ERIC Number: EJ712936
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-May-1
Reference Count: N/A
Is the United States Really Losing the International Horse Race in Academic Achievement?
Boe, Erling E.; Shin, Sujie
Phi Delta Kappan, v86 n9 p688 May 2005
It is widely believed and lamented that U.S. students perform poorly on international comparisons of academic achievement. For example, Edward Silver reports that U.S. seventh- and eighth-grade students performed poorly on the mathematics section of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS 1995) and that this indicates "a pervasive and intolerable mediocrity in mathematics teaching." Likewise, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education attributed the reportedly poor performance of U.S. middle- grade students on the TIMSS 1995 mathematics assessment to the ineffectiveness of mathematics education. Such perceptions have led to grave concerns about the future economic competitiveness of the U.S. For example, Rita Colwell, the former director of the National Science Foundation, has stated that if the U.S. is to maintain its position in the world economy, it is critical for the nation's students to achieve at high levels in mathematics and science. The results of international assessments of student achievement are far more nuanced than the headlines lead citizens to believe. Having examined six comparisons of performance--in various subjects and at various levels--by students in the U.S. and other industrialized nations, Mr. Boe and Ms. Shin conclude that the dire pronouncements about America's standing are greatly exaggerated. Their examinations are described in this article. (Contains 29 notes.)
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Comparative Analysis, Mathematics Education, Academic Achievement, Mathematics Achievement, Reading Achievement, Reading Instruction, Science Achievement, Science Education, Developed Nations
Phi Delta Kappa International, Inc., 408 N. Union St., P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Web site: http://www.pdkintl.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; France; Germany; Italy; Japan; Switzerland; United Kingdom; United States
IES Cited: ED491283