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U.S. schools shine

It may have escaped notice, but American students did a lot better than Cal Thomas’ eulogy (Oct. 27).

In 1992, the National Science Foundation compared the achievement of 13-year-old mathematics students in the U.S. with performance internationally. Taiwan was tops, followed by Iowa, South Korea, North Dakota and Minnesota. Twelve of the top 20 were U.S. states – including Idaho.

A 1998 report, issued by the National Center for Educational Statistics that compared 13-year-old science students in individual states against each other and other nations, showed U.S. states would hold 14 of the top 15 places in the world. Washington’s kids placed fifth in the world.

A most laudatory note was brought home in a July 2001 announcement by The College Board News. American students in physics and calculus, who scored well on Advanced Placement exams, went on to outperform students in the rest of the world. It showed dramatically that our best are clearly “at the top of the world in academic achievement,” stated Lee Jones, the executive director of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program. Indeed, Advanced Placement courses definitely illustrate that highly effective instruction is taking place in our high schools.

Donald C. Orlich