Americans Test Better Than Previously Thought

For years, American students have struggled to achieve at the same level of academic performance as other students around the world, particularly those in China. In international tests such as the International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Americans ranked 25th in math and 14th in reading overall.

Educational experts have relied on these findings to implement educational programs to boost test scores and lessen the achievement gap, but they may have been wasting their time.

According to a recent report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), Americans aren't ranking as low as the international tests indicate. When social class is taken into account, American students rank as high as 10th in math and 4th in reading.

Now, that sounds much better, doesn't it?

According to this new study, the average US scores in both reading and math on the PISA are low partly because a, "disproportionately greater share of U.S. students come from disadvantaged social class groups, whose performance is relatively low in every country."

In the The Washington Post's analysis of the report, they explain that, "Because social class inequality is greater in the United States than in any of the countries with which we can reasonably be compared, the relative performance of U.S. adolescents is better than it appears when countries' national average performance is conventionally compared."

Social class has long been considered as a possible factor in the discrepancies between American students and international ones, but it hasn't been been analyzed until now. When social class was matched up with that of international students taking the same tests, the overall ranking of U.S. students rose significantly, which greatly reduced the achievement gap.

Click here to read the full article at eSchool news.

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