Asian students top math, science, reading tests
In the US, children performed better than the global average. Elementary school children have improved their scores in reading and math over the past four years, according to the study. But progress seems to fall off in later grades, where math and science scores are stagnant.
“These 2011 international assessments provide both encouraging news about our students' progress and some sobering cautionary notes,'' said US Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who warned the gains among younger children aren't being sustained in later grades. ``That is unacceptable if our schools are to live up to the American promise of giving all children a world-class education.''
In the meantime, other countries are making significant strides. Russian middle school students were about tied in math with their American peers in 2007, the last time the study was conducted. Four years later, Russia's scores have surged and now surpass the US by a significant margin.
Globally, the gender gap appears to be closing. About half of the countries showed no statistically meaningful gap between boys and girls in math and science.
The tests are carried out by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement, a coalition of research institutions.
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