"When you start looking at our older students, we see less improvement over time," said Jack Buckley, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which coordinated the U.S. portion of the international exam.Even where U.S. student scores have improved, many other nations have improved much faster, leaving American students far behind many of their peers — especially in Asia and Europe.With an eye toward global competitiveness, U.S. education officials are sounding the alarm over what they describe as a recurring theme when American students are put to the test. Lamenting what he described as "sober cautionary notes," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said it was unacceptable that eighth-grade achievement in math and science are stagnant, with U.S. students far less likely than many Asian counterparts to reach advanced levels in science.
Maybe if our teachers were a bit better paid and could teach things like you know evolutionary science as y'know a science and all.
And hey, maybe if we let schools in poor areas have more money that might help too.
— Some U.S. states that were measured separately were clear standouts, performing on par with or better than some top-performing Asian countries. Eighth-graders in Massachusetts and Minnesota score far better in math and science than the U.S. average. But in California and Alabama, eighth-graders fell short of the national average.— Racial and class disparities are all too real. In eighth grade, Americans in the schools with the highest poverty — those with 75 percent or more of students on free or reduced-price lunch — performed below both the U.S. average and the lower international average. Students at schools with fewer poor kids performed better. In fourth-grade reading, all ethnic groups outperformed the international average, but white and Asian students did better than their black and Hispanic classmates.