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Science, Math Study Doesn’t Flatter U.S.

In the most comprehensive study of science and math achievement by students around the world, students in the United States showed below average achievement in mathematics and average performance in science, according to an international comparison of 41 countries released Wednesday.

Experts cautioned that the rankings, which saw Singapore, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic among the top ranking nations of 41 surveyed, reflect enormous political, social and cultural differences that make simple explanations and comparisons difficult. The U.S. results did not differ significantly from some other Western nations like Canada, England and Germany.

But the findings provide some clear and striking findings on teaching methods and curriculum and are certain to increase the pressures for improvements in American education at a time of increasing ferment, particularly around questions of standards and achievement in American schools.

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