The best American K12 schools, many of them in the New York City metro area, are fully competitive with their peers around the world, even in math and science—though experts often tell us otherwise.
Take “Schools We Can Envy” by Diane Ravitch in the New York Review of Books last year. Ravitch, a professor at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, penned a two-part paean to Pasi Sahlberg’s book “Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?”
Huh? Later in the year, we got the results from the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. Finnish eighth-graders scored 514 in math, while America’s eighth-graders achieved a 509, a statistically insignificant gap. And eighth-graders in Massachusetts, the nation’s top-performing state, registered a 561, while those in Connecticut scored a 518.