Lessons from PISA 2012 for the United States

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This report compares the performance of 15-year-olds in the United States in PISA against the global patterns and trends. But it goes beyond the aggregate level analysis that have so far been published in the PISA 2012 reports, to give analysis of student performance on individual mathematics test items in order to reveal students’ strengths and weaknesses. Considering this also in the context of the relationship between PISA and the Common Core Standards for Mathematics can help connect these results to what the United States aspires to teach in classrooms and help inform teaching practices that can support performance improvement.




In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama launched one of the world’s most ambitious education reform agendas. Entitled “Race to the Top”, the agenda encourages U.S. states to adopt internationally benchmarked standards and assessments as a framework within which it can prepare students for success in college and the workplace; recruit, develop, reward, and retain effective teachers and principals; build data systems that measure student success and inform teachers and principals how they can improve their practices; and turn around their lowest-performing schools.


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