NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED510889
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
How Does the United States Stack Up? International Comparisons of Academic Achievement. Fact Sheet
Alliance for Excellent Education
Over the past thirty years, the modern workplace has radically changed, and the demands on those making the transition from the classroom to the workforce continue to rise. Students from Birmingham and Boston no longer compete against each other for jobs; instead, their rivals are well-educated students from Sydney and Singapore. But as globalization has progressed, American educational progress has stagnated. Today, the United States' high school graduation rate ranks near the bottom among developed nations belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). And on virtually every international assessment of academic proficiency, American secondary school students' performance varies from mediocre to poor. Given that human capital is a prerequisite for success in the global economy, U.S. economic competitiveness is unsustainable with poorly prepared students feeding into the workforce. The United States has substantial inequities in achievement across the country, and international surveys show that the performance gap between the most- and least-proficient students in the United States is among the highest of all OECD countries. Despite the myth that other countries achieve only because they have small, homogenous student populations, data shows that many countries' schools successfully assimilate immigrant or high-poverty populations that are proportionately larger than those in the United States. American schools, on the other hand, do little to mitigate the barriers that these groups face. This "fact sheet" details how fifteen-year-old students from the United States compare with fifteen-year-olds in other OECD member countries in the Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA) measures of academic proficiency.
Alliance for Excellent Education. 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-828-0828; Fax: 202-828-0821; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alliance for Excellent Education
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment