US fourth and eighth grade students continue to lag behind many of their peers in Eastern Asia and Europe in math, science and reading, found two reports released Tuesday.
U.S. fourth-graders ranked 11th in math and 7th in science, while U.S. eighth-graders ranked 9th in math and 10th in science, according to the report on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), released by the National Center for Education Statistics under the U.S. Department of Education.
Meanwhile, U.S. fourth-graders rank only sixth in reading, according to the report on Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).
South Korea tops the rankings in eighth-grade math, followed by Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Japan, while Singapore leads the ranking in fourth-grade math, followed by South Korea, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and Japan, the TIMSS 2011 report showed.
Only 7 percent of U.S. eighth-graders reached the advanced level in math, while 49 percent of eighth-graders in Chinese Taipei, 48 percent in Singapore and 47 percent in South Korea reached the advanced level, found the report.
South Korea tops the rankings in fourth-grade science, followed by Singapore, Finland, Japan, Russia and Chinese Taipei, while Singapore leads in the eighth-grade science, followed by Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Japan and Finland. U.S. students are the seventh in the list.
Fourth-graders from 57 countries and regions or education systems and eighth-graders from 56 countries and regions or education systems took the math and science tests, designed by the International Study Center at Boston College, in collaboration with government education officials and academic researchers in participating countries and regions.Students from 53 countries and regions or education systems participated in the reading test on the fourth graders. Students from Hong Kong, Russia, Finland and Singapore are the top performers in the reading test, with American students ranking sixth, found the PIRLS 2011 report.
The TIMSS study was conduced every four years, while the PIRLS test was held every five years by the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).