What do international tests really show about U.S. student performance? | Economic Policy Institute
Stanford recently released this analysis of social class in international achievement test score comparisons, looking particularly the effects of higher rates of poverty in the US than in other industrialized countries.
In other countries in these comparisons, social supports ensure that children enter school on more equal footing.
In the US, we expect schools to educate children from very unequal backgrounds to achieve equal results, and when they do not, schools themselves are blamed for perpetuating inequality.
Because social class inequality is greater in the United States than in any of the countries with which we can reasonably be compared, the relative performance of U.S. adolescents is better than it appears when countries’ national average performance is conventionally compared.