Editorial: Falling behind other countries in high school performance

Editorial Agenda 2020 Shared Concerns - School

MADISON, Wis. — The latest results of an international study of high school performance on math tests show U.S. students lagging eight other countries in reading and, get this, 30 other countries in math.

Think about the jobs being created in a 21st century global economy and then think about the importance of math proficiency for those jobs. And going just a bit deeper think about the importance of math proficiency for problem solving and critical thinking skills. And we’re not just lagging, we’re falling further behind. That does not bode well for this nation’s future.

There are no doubt many reasons for this. But the fact that so many other countries are doing so much better with different strategies for teaching math suggests a lack of civic will to demand and then support change. The same holds true for reading. Set aside ideological and institutional and entrenched turf battles. Our kids have to do better.