Amer­i­can 8th-graders lag in math and sci­ence

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - Byjosh Lederman

WASHINGTON — Amer­i­can fourth-graders are per­form­ing bet­ter than they were four years ago in math and read­ing, but stu­dents four years older show no such progress, a global study re­leased Tues­day re­vealed.

Although the U.S. re­mains in the top dozen or so coun­tries in all sub­jects tested, the gap be­tween the U.S. and the top-per­form­ing na­tions is much wider at the eighth-grade level, es­pe­cially in math.

“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 about 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 is stag­nant, with U.S. stu­dents far less likely than many Asian coun­ter­parts to reach ad­vanced lev­els in sci­ence.

“If we as a na­tion don’t turn that around, those na­tions will soon be out­com­pet­ing us in a knowl­edge-based, global econ­omy,” Dun­can said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.