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ERIC Number: ED513539
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 42
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 31
U.S. Math Performance in Global Perspective: How Well Does Each State Do at Producing High-Achieving Students? PEPG Report No.: 10-19
Hanushek, Eric A.; Peterson, Paul E.; Woessmann, Ludger
Program on Education Policy and Governance, Harvard University
To see how well U.S. schools do at producing high-achieving math students, the authors compare the percentage of U.S. public and private school students in the graduating Class of 2009 who were highly accomplished in mathematics in each of the 50 states and in 10 urban districts to percentages of high achievers in 56 other countries. Their analysis relies on test-score information from young adults collected by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Their findings reveal that the percentage of public and private school students in the U.S. Class of 2009 who were highly accomplished is well below that of most countries with which the U.S. generally compares itself. No less than 30 of the 56 other countries that participated in the PISA math test had a larger percentage of students who scored at the international equivalent of the advanced level. It is not only Taiwan that did dramatically better than the U.S. At least 20 percent of students in Hong Kong, Korea, and Finland were also highly accomplished. Twelve other countries had more than twice the percentage of highly accomplished students as the U.S.: In order of math excellence, they are Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Japan, Canada, Macao, Australia, Germany, and Austria. The remaining countries that educate to a high level of accomplishment a higher proportion of their students than the U.S. are Slovenia, Denmark, Iceland, France, Estonia, Sweden, the U.K., the Slovakia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Poland, Norway, Ireland and Lithuania. Appendices include: (1) U.S. Science and Reading Performance in Comparative Perspective; (2) Methodology for Comparing U.S. States to International Performance; and (3) Further Reflections on the Phillips Studies. (Contains 7 figures, 8 tables and 33 footnotes.) [This paper was prepared under the auspices of Education Next, the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and the Harvard Kennedy School.]
Program on Education Policy and Governance. Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Taubman 304, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-495-7976; Fax: 617-496-4428; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Kern Family Foundation
Authoring Institution: Harvard University, Program on Education Policy and Governance
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress; Program for International Student Assessment