USA Teens 29th in Science

Posted on December 6, 2007  Comments (3)

The 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report has been released. The report examines the science of 15 year olds from 57 countries in math, science and reading. Once you get passed the poor design of the PISA web site you can find a great deal of data (which gives a great deal more depth to the results than just a simple listing of the top countries by mean score). But that list is interesting too.

*Rant* I find it amazing that sites can be so poorly run that they fail to even display without Javascript enabled. That is how badly run the PISA web site is, though. Here is the home page they direct you too:,2987,en_32252351_32235731_1_1_1_1_1,00.html – they need to have some people read about web usability (they should hire someone that knows how to apply the ideas of Jakob Neilsen, Jared Spool or 37 Signals).

Results for the Science portion (rank – country – mean score)(I am not listing all countries):

  • 1 – Finland – 563
  • 2 – Hong Kong – 542
  • 3 – Canada – 534
  • 4 – Taiwan – 532
  • 6 – Japan – 531
  • 7 – New Zealand – 530
  • 8 – Australia – 527
  • 9 – Netherlands – 525
  • 11 – Korea – 522
  • 13 – Germany – 516
  • 14 – United Kingdom – 515
  • 25 – France – 495
  • 29 – USA – 489
  • 49 – Mexico – 410

Related: The Importance of Science EducationInternational science education achievementCanadians ace science testScience Education in the USA, Japan…Best Research University Rankings (2007)340 Years of Royal Society Journals Online

New report ranks U.S. teens 29th in science worldwide

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It measures student literacy in science, math, and reading (focusing this year on science) among 15-year-olds

“What once was the gold standard [for international education] is now not even at the OECD average, which shows you how much the world has changed,” says Andreas Schleicher, who helped write the report. The US is average in the number of students at the highest levels of scientific literacy, but has a much larger pool – nearly 1 in 4 – at the bottom, Mr. Schleicher notes. “We have stand-alone studies that suggest these kids have grim prospects in the labor market,” he says.

3 Responses to “USA Teens 29th in Science”

  1. John Wilberforce
    December 7th, 2007 @ 11:32 am

    Very interesting! I always look forward to the PISA report, if only to see the newspaper articles getting all worked up discussing it. I agree with you about the poor website design too, it’s a shame more effort and awareness doesn’t go into important sites like this.

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Innovation, America and Engineering: NAE Grand Challenges Summit
    March 6th, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

    […] Jeff Wadsworth, CEO and president of Battelle Memorial Institute, noted that high school graduation rates have fallen from about 86 percent in the Baby Boomer generation to about 72 percent today. He compared that to a 96 percent graduation rate in Denmark, 92 percent in Japan and the fact that China graduates three engineering students for every one that we do. It’s not news that international competition is stiffening against us, but the statistics he presented about how the U.S. measures up to foreign countries in K-12 metrics was gut-wrenching. […]

  3. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Top Countries for Science and Math Education: Finland, Hong Kong and Korea
    December 7th, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

    […] USA Teens 29th in Science – Best Research University Rankings (2008) – The Importance of Science Education […]

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