Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement following the release of the Program for International Student Assessment by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This is a test of reading literacy, mathematics and science given every three years to 15-year-olds in the United States and approximately 70 countries worldwide.
“AASA is grateful to the OECD for releasing this information as we work to produce programs and policies to improve schools and school districts throughout our country on behalf of our students. According to the report:
• U.S. students earned scores that were slightly above the international average in reading and slightly below average in science and mathematics.
• Countries earning scores well above the international average included Shanghai-China, Singapore, Korea, Japan and Finland.
• Shanghai-China had the highest score in mathematics, with a mean score of 613 points—119 points above the international average.
“With respect to these results, it’s important to realize that children in the United States are not falling behind. Today, the dropout rate, which has been declining steadily since 1972, is the lowest it has ever been. High school completion rates have been trending up as we have the highest high school graduation rate in decades (78.2 percent during 2009-10).