US students continue to lag peers on international math and science exam

timss-math-2015-chart600,000 student across the globe were administered the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIIMSS).

The average math score of US fourth-graders put them behind students in 10 systems:

Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Northern Ireland and Ireland, Norway, and the Flemish portion of Belgium.

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8th Grade Mathematics

  • In 2015, U.S. eighth-graders’ average score in mathematics was 518, which was higher than the average scores of students in 24 education systems and lower than the average scores of students in 8 education systems (table 2).
  • At the eighth grade, U.S. students’ average mathematics scores increased from all prior time points (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011) to 2015 (table 18). Over 20 years, U.S. eighth-graders’ mathematics scores increased from 492 points in 1995 to 518 points in 2015.
  • At the eighth grade, 10 percent of U.S. students reached the Advanced international benchmark in mathematics in 2015, 37 percent reached the High benchmark, 70 percent reached the Intermediate benchmark, and 91 percent reached the Low benchmark (figure 2). The percentage of U.S. students reaching each of the international benchmarks in mathematics was higher than the median percentages reaching each benchmark internationally.
  • In 2015, the percentage of eighth-graders who reached the Advanced international benchmark in mathematics was
    • higher than the United States in 8 education systems: Singapore, Chinese Taipei-CHN, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong-CHN, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Israel;
    • not measurably different from the United States in 5 education systems: Hungary, Dubai-UAE, England-GBR, Quebec-CAN, and Florida-USA;
    • lower than the United States in 29 education systems (figure 2).

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