Magazine article Work & Family Life

Testing 15-Year-Olds from around the World

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Testing 15-Year-Olds from around the World

Article excerpt

Who does better on tests of science, math and reading? Girls or boys? It all depends-both on the subject area and where in the world they live. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development tests about half a million 15-year-olds annually in 65 developed countries. It's known as PISÄ, for Programme for International Student Ässessment.

Top-performing students in science are able to use abstract scientific concepts to explain phenomena and events. In math, they can do advanced mathematical reasoning. In reading, they can retrieve deeply embedded information from a text or graph.

Test results can be found at www.oecd.org/pisa. You can compare scores by country and view equityissue findings in three categories: boys vs. girls, social backgrounds and immigrant students. There are also webinars on "Gender Differences in Education" and "Closing the Achievement Gap," for example. Information is available in English, Spanish and French. Here are some of their findings:

Students in the United States continued to score slightly above the international average in science and reading and significantly below the average in math. …

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