Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceOther - Education · 1 month ago

Why are high school students in the USA in the bottom in proficiency in math and science among developed countries?

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Middle class students in the US always score as well as or better than students in other countries on the tests that are given internationally.  The problem is our high poverty rate (about 20%)- those are often students whose parents didn't have the chance for a good education and can't prepare their children for school or help them while in school. And it's true that we have everyone take the tests. In China, for example, the smartest kids are in schools and are tested, while others work in factories and are not included in the testing. 

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  • 1 month ago

    There are a number of factors going on here. 

    1. Since schools switched over to "New Math" in the 1970s, math skills & abilities have declined dramatically. 

    2. US has huge numbers of immigrants and illegal aliens who often have poor English language skills, poor educational backgrounds, and despite all the extra money for special programs, etc. the majority are doing poorly. Press, pro-immigrant lobbying groups, etc, point to those who are exceptional achievers, but this is seriously deceptive as the majority are doing poorly & not catching up very well. 

    3. More parents are not doing the things parents need to do to give their child a good start in school, supervising homework, active in parent organizations, etc. And some cultures rigorously support education, and others do not. Parents & their values, actions, emphasis on academic achievement are often a big obstacle.

    4. US tests everyone, not just those who aim for college. This lowers scores overall, but the range of achievement is often far wider - higher highs & lower lows - than for some countries US is compared with.

    5. Spending on so many programs for those from low-income households, non-English speaking immigrants, other specific groups, is detracting from spending on the latest in science labs, etc. School spending is among the world's highest, but a lot of that money is spent on school breakfast & lunch programs, busing, other non-academic items.

    So overall, academic standards have seriously declined.

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  • Lili
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    In the US, we test everyone, including the most low-income students and immigrants, people whose first language is not English and who often do not speak English at home. In a number of other countries, students are tracked, and only those on a university track are tested.  A teenager in rural China who left school to take a farm or factory job isn't being tested.

    It was remarked by a European analyst not long ago that if you removed the low-income and immigrant students from the US testing pool, American results would be on a par with those in other advanced nations.

    • drip
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Agreed.  Our HS tested all mentally disabled students. Those with autism too.  Their test scores are figured into all the students scores.

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