PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Programme for International Student Assessment, the PISA test, compares educational levels across nations. It’s considered the most comprehensive of such instruments focusing on how well students apply knowledge in reading, math and science in real-life situations.

Results of the rankings of 470,000 students in 65 countries and educational systems, from wealthiest to underdeveloped nations, recently were published.

Findings showed that the best school systems were most equitable; students from disadvantaged backgrounds were just as likely to do well academically as those more privileged. There was much variation in class size; some of the highest performers put quality teachers in larger classes.

While we spend more per student than other countries, the Associated Press report notes that Estonia and Poland perform at the same level and the gap between the highest performing countries and the US is “stark.” Between 1995 and 2008, we slipped in college graduation rates from 2nd to 13th.

Data showing that the US out of 34 countries ranks 14th in reading, 17th in science and 35th in math, clearly provide a wake-up call for our new national decision makers.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

More From CBS Philly

Latest Videos
Latest Forecast

Watch & Listen LIVE