Grace T. Missouri

Education in the U.S.A.

Students in America are falling behind in subjects like math, science, and reading. We are below average in math and reading and just barely making average at science. We need to fix this because a dumb America is not a good America.

Dear Future President,

I'm sure you realize that America is falling behind in education. This is a big problem and will only get bigger if not fixed. When the U.S. took the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2012, the results showed that that we were trailing behind other countries like Finland. Years have past and we still have not improved much.

In mathematics, the lowest average was Peru at 368 and Shanghai and 613. America was at a 481. The U.S.A scored below average on the PISA math section and ranks 26th out of 34 countries. If you compare that to Shanghai, China, a top scoring city, you get Shanghai at 55% of the students being high scorers and 9% in the U.S. One in four students did not reach the baseline of "level 2" proficiency. According to PISA, at this level "students begin to demonstrate the skills that will enable them to participate productively and effectively in life." That's kind of sad because 25% of American students couldn't get there. Even our top scoring students in places like Massachusetts, Florida, and Connecticut are two years of formal education behind Shanghai. We have lots of catching up to do in math.

In science, the U.S.A. did a little bit better. The lowest average is Peru at 373 and highest is Shanghai at 580. Our average was a 497. The overall average for all of the countries together was 501. Twenty two other education systems and two states in the United States scored over 497. Some of the systems were Shanghai, Hong-Kong, Singapore, Japan, Poland and Canada. The two U.S. states that scored above 497 were Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The last section I'm going to write about is reading. The average reading scores range from 384 in Peru to 570 in Shanghai. The U.S.A. is at a 498. Nineteen other education systems and two other U.S. states had an average higher than 498. Some of the high scoring states were Shanghai, Hong-Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Australia. The two U.S. states were Massachusetts and Connecticut.

In conclusion, I think that this evidence proves that the U.S.A. is falling behind in education, and America need to do something about it. Some ways we can fix this are:

  • Invest in training teachers and their bosses- The quality of a teacher can relate to the factor of his or her success. Improving the quality of the school district's leaders will also help. This way they know how to lead better. They need to get smarter about what good teaching looks like then help grow teachers.
  • Reduce Class Size and Extend the School Year- Students learn better in classes with less people. Some students from less wealthier families fall behind because they don't get enriching activities. Though these two ideas both cost lots of money, it will hopefully be worth it. Experiments have proved that the positive effect of spending more time in schools is larger than the negative effect of having larger classes.

I hope you consider helping America catch back up to the world on education. Education is really important for our future careers and just our lives in general.


Grace T.


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Bode Middle School

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