Monday, August 30, 2010

US Math Scores Not Keeping Up Globally

One of the greatest parenting challenges I experienced when my children were younger was helping them with math homework. Many parents like me have heard their children say, “but why do I need to know this? I’m never going to USE it!”

If you need help, Drexel University’s has numerous links that can help you answer that question for your children as they can see the use of math in daily tasks, in numerous career opportunities, even in art. And, if indeed math skills are necessary for our children to compete in a global economy, much less the local job market, recent research funded by the Department of Education might have parents concerned.

According to the report from the American Institutes for Research, U.S. math students are consistently performing below their peers when compared to 11 other industrialized nations including Australia, Japan and the Russian Federation. The study assessed students in grades 4 and 8 as well as 15-year-olds. The students ranked 8th or 9th out of twelve at all three grade levels.

The study also found that students who score well on higher level skills such as mathematical reasoning, also perform better on lower level skills. Compared to other countries, U.S. students didn’t score well on questions at either skill level. While educators are looking at solutions for U.S. math students, parents may also consider how they can help the next time their child asks for help with math homework.


“Reassessing U.S. International Mathematics Performance: New Findings from the 2003 TIMSS and PISA,” U.S. Department of Education Policy and Program Studies Service (PPSS); Prepared by American Institutes for Research.® (2005). Retrieved from on 01/10/06.

1 comment:

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