Compared to Peers a Pitiful, Pathetic, Poor Performance by U.S. Students

By Patricia L Johnson

Every three years the PISA, Programme for International Student Assessment, is administered to 15 year old students around the world to determine their knowledge in reading, math and science. The last test was offered in 2012 to approximately 510,000 students from 65 economies. These 510,000 students represented approximately 28 million students, with a focus on math skills. The 2009 test focused on reading and approximately 70 economies have signed up for the 2015 test which will focus on science skills.

How did the United States do in comparison to the other 65 economies around the world?

Well, let’s put it this way. While you were sharing your latest recipe or sharing your thoughts about the most current, less than newsworthy event on Facebook or Twitter, your teens were talking, texting, or sexting on their cell phones and/or playing video games. In other words they were doing anything and everything other than studying.

How do we know that? Take a look at the results of the PISA. When the greatest nation on earth has so many other economies ahead of it on math scores, there is something seriously wrong with what we’re doing. Feel free to blame in on the teachers, the schools, the parents or the students because believe me there is enough blame to go around for everyone. The test results of our students are not only pathetic they are embarrassing!

Our children are the future of this country and at the rate we’re going, this country has a very dismal future.

The PISA contains questions from the following four categories; space & shape, change & relationships, quantity and uncertainty & data, with six levels of skill.

Following is a sample question from Level 1

If you look at the question and think “I don’t know the answer to that question so how can my 15-year old be expected to know?” The answer is simple; it is their job to know. Children have only one job in life and that is to get an education, and it’s your job as a parent to see they get the best education provided.

The average U.S. test result in math was lower than 29 other education systems. Think about that for a minute, there were only 65 education systems participating and the United States was lower than 29 other systems. How low can we go?

The United States spends significantly more on education than most other countries, yet we don’t get much bang for the buck. On a comparative basis we spend an estimated $115,000 per student while the Slovak Republic spends approximately $53,000 per student and our students perform at the same level on the tests.

You may read more about PISA survey results at the following link OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development].

© 2013 Patricia L Johnson

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