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oecd education rankings

Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Are you looking for answers to the question of which is theoecd education rankings? Do you spend hours searching the web for the information you want to know, however, the results are not as captivating as they should be? This article will provide you with all the information you need. 

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After the release of the latest 2018 rankings by the Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA, earlier in December 2019, there was considerable hand wringing and consternation but the result wasn’t much different. The U.S. still ranks behind the same group of countries, with the exceptions of Israel, which has slipped below, and Sweden, which has risen above the U.S. In math, the U.S. ranks 36th out of the 79 countries and regions that participate in the test.

It’s worth noting that the U.S. Department of Education considers the U.S. ranking to be 30th, not 36th. That’s because some of the numerically higher scores are so close that the National Center for Education Statistics calculates them to be statistically equivalent. And not all of the 79 geographic entities are countries. In some cases, autonomous regions, such as Hong Kong, participate separately from their countries. The Organisation for International Co-operation and Development (OECD), which runs PISA, also allows partial participation for some nations. The top rank in the world is held by a group of four provinces within China (Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang).

But however you count it, U.S. math performance is below the international average.

“What surprises me is how stable U.S. performance is,” said Tom Loveless, an education expert who was formerly at the Brookings Institution. “The scores have always been mediocre.”

The U.S. performs relatively better in reading, average instead of below average. It ranks 13th out of the 79 countries and regions, according to the 2018 PISA scores in reading. As with math, U.S. performance hasn’t changed much since the first PISA tests in 2000. Today’s scores in reading and math aren’t statistically different from when PISA started testing the subjects in the early 2000’s.

The latest PISA scores reinforce the results from the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test of math and reading, which U.S. fourth and eighth graders take every two years. Those results, released in October 2019, also found that U.S. achievement hasn’t progressed over the past decade and, for low-performing students, was the same as 30 years ago. The international PISA test is taken by older students, 15-year-olds, every three years. The majority of U.S. test takers are at the beginning of their high school sophomore year.

Amid the long-term stagnation, there is an important change to note. Inequality is growing. Peggy Carr, associate commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) points out that both exams are showing a widening achievement gap between high- and low-performing students. One in five American 15-year-olds, 19 percent, scored so low on the PISA test that they had difficulty with basic aspects of reading, such as identifying the main ideas in a text of moderate length.

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