The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

October 25, 2013

U.S. students fare well in science on international test

WASHINGTON — Comparing American students to their international peers typically prompts hand-wringing over the failures of U.S. schools. But a new study shows that when compared to their foreign counterparts, U.S. eighth-graders attending public schools in 47 states are actually above average in science.

Americans also fare well in math, with students in 36 states above the international average.

The study by the federal National Center for Education Statistics used scores from American eighth-graders who took the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) in 2011 to predict what their performance would be on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), a highly respected gauge of academic ability.

Researchers used the actual TIMSS scores of students in nine U.S. states to test their predictions.

Although most U.S. states were above average, the study showed wide disparities among them. And even the U.S. state with the highest scores, Massachusetts, produces far fewer top-performing students than the top-ranked education systems: Nineteen percent of eighth-graders in Massachusetts were rated “advanced” in math, compared with about half the students in Taiwan, Korea and Singapore.

In 2011, students from more than 60 countries and subsections of countries participated in TIMSS.

“We conducted this study because it’s important to know how students educated in U.S. states are performing against international standards,” said NCES Commissioner Jack Buckley.

In math, average state scores ranged from 466 in Alabama to 561 in Massachusetts. The average score in the U.S. was 509. Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan all outperformed Massachusetts.

Among the 36 states with average scores of at least 500 in math, the proportion of students scoring high or advanced ranged from 29 percent in Arkansas to 57 percent in Massachusetts.

In science, average state scores ranged from 453 for the District of Columbia to 567 in Massachusetts. The average score in the United States was 525. Singapore was the only education system with a higher science average than Massachusetts.

Among the 47 states with average scores of at least 500 in science, the percentage of students scoring high or advanced ranged from 31 percent in Hawaii to 61 percent in Massachusetts.

Maria Ferguson, executive director of the Center on Education Policy at George Washington University, said that while interpretations of the data will vary, “Massachusetts is clearly doing a couple of things right, even if you’re not one of the people who believes test scores dictate everything.”

Ferguson said policymakers should explore why Massachusetts might be performing at such a high level, citing the quality of the state’s teachers and its education spending as possible factors in its success.

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in Netherlands

    Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash site which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

    July 24, 2014

  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children’s clothing scattered in the courtyard.

    July 24, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

    An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation disaster in a week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Troubled childhoods may prompt men to volunteer for military service

    In the era of the all-volunteer U.S. military, men who served are more than twice as likely as those who never did to have been sexually abused as children and to have grown up around domestic violence and substance abuse, a new study has found.

    July 24, 2014

  • As poverty continues to rise, fewer Ohioans are receiving state aid

    The number of Ohioans receiving public assistance continues to drop even while poverty increases, raising questions about how the state helps the poor.

    July 24, 2014

  • ’Saltwater’ from fracking spill much different from ocean water

    In early July, a million gallons of salty drilling waste spilled from a pipeline onto a steep hillside in western North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Reservation. The waste — a byproduct of oil and gas production — has now reached a tributary of Lake Sakakawea, which provides drinking water to the reservation.

    July 24, 2014

  • 40 bodies from jet solemnly returned to Dutch soil

    Victims of the Malaysian jetliner shot down over Ukraine returned at last Wednesday to Dutch soil in 40 wooden coffins, solemnly and gently carried to 40 identical hearses, flags at half-staff flapping in the wind.

    July 23, 2014

  • U.S. pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

    The United States announced signs of progress in cease-fire talks Wednesday, but prospects for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the death toll rose to more than 700 Palestinians and 34 Israelis.

    July 23, 2014

  • GROUNDED U.S., other countries ban flights to and from Israel

    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel’s main airport, prompting a ban on all flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot down over Ukraine.

    July 23, 2014

  • REPORT: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre.

    July 22, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video