Posted on January 2, 2024

U.S. Students’ Math Scores Plunge in Global Education Assessment

Ivana Saric, Axios, December 5, 2023

U.S. students lag behind their peers in many industrialized countries when it comes to math, according to the results of a global exam released Tuesday.

Why it matters: U.S. students saw a 13-point drop in their 2022 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) math results when compared to the 2018 exam.

  • The 2022 math score was not only lower than it was in 2012 but it was “among the lowest ever measured by PISA in mathematics” for the U.S., per the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country note.

Zoom in: While the U.S. scored below the OECD average in math, it managed to score above the OECD average in reading and science.

  • The 2022 results found that U.S. students scored one point below their 2018 reading score and three points below their 2018 science score. However, their performances in those areas were higher than in 2012.

The 2018 PISA assessment found that U.S. students straggled behind their peers in East Asia and Europe {snip}


The big picture: 31 countries and economies maintained or improved upon their 2018 math scores, including Switzerland and Japan. {snip}

  • 10 countries and economies — Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Macao and the U.K. — saw their students score proficiently in all three domains and had “high levels of socio-economic fairness,” per the report.