PISA 2006: Science Competencies for Tomorrow's World

Heather Cope

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
December 2007

Last week we reported the results of the latest Progress in International Reading Literacy test (PIRL). The punch line: American fourth grade readers are stagnating while other countries pass us by. This week, it's déjà vu all over again. The OECD released findings from the 2006 PISA exam, and guess what: U.S. 15-year-olds are performing more or less the same in math and science as they did in 2003 while students in other lands surge ahead. American students now trail their peers in 16 of 30 OECD countries in science and 23 in math. (In 2000, the U.S. was behind just eight OECD countries in math.) Finland is now the top performer in both math and science, with scores well above the OECD average. Other strong performers include Canada, Japan, and New Zealand. The full report, along with scads more findings, can be found here.

 

Year        Scale Score
       Rank among OECD countries
Science        
2000   499   11
2003   491   17 (not statistically significant difference from 2000)
2006   489   18
         
Math        
2000   493   16
2003   483   22
2006   474   24

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