U.S.-International Comparison

2012 PISA: Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2013. PISA tests 15-year-old students from 65 countries ranging from developed to undeveoped countries, including the 34 developed countries in the OECD, which does not include China, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia and several smaller European countries.

Performance by U.S. Students Compared to Other Countries (including results from three individual U.S. states - MA, CT and FL - which are given equivalent rankings in comparison to OECD countries):

Ranking in reading literacy:

  • US score: 498 (2009 = 500)
  • 17th in OECD
  • 24th if non-OECD countries included
  • OECD average: 496
  • Individual states: MA 527, 3rd in OECD; CT 521, 6th in OECD; FL 492, 19th in OECD

Ranking in mathematics literacy:

  • US score: 481 (2009 = 487)
  •  26th in OECD
  • 36th if non-OECD countries included
  • OECD average: 494
  • Individual states: MA 514, tied for 10th in OECD; CT 506, tied for 11th in OECD; FL 467, 29th in OECD

Ranking in science literacy:

  • US score: 497 (2009 = 502)
  • 21st in OECD
  • 28th if non-OECD countries included
  • OECD average: 501
  • Individual states: MA 527, 5th in OECD; CT 521, tied for 10th in OECD; FL 485, tied for 27th in OECD

2011 TIMSS:  Trends in International Math and Science Studies (TIMSS), Institute of Education Services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2012. There are 63 countries and 14 regional jurisdictions (including some individual US states) participating in TIMSS.  NOTE: Unlike PISA, TIMSS includes a significant number of lesser developed countries.  

Performance by U.S. 4th and 8th Graders on TIMSS Tests Compared to Other Countries:

Ranking in 4th grade math:

  • Overall US score: 541  
  • States ranked individually: NC 554 and FL 545
  • 11th among all participating countries 
  • TIMSS average: 500

Ranking in 8th grade math:

  • Overall US score: 509
  • States ranked individually: MA 561, MN 545, NC 537, IN 522, CO 518, FL 518, CA 493, AL 466
  • 9th among all participating countries
  • TIMSS average: 500

Ranking in 4th grade science:

  • Overall US score: 544
  • States ranked individually: NC 545 and FL 538
  • 7th among all participating countries
  • TIMSS average: 500

Ranking in 8th grade science:

  • Overall US score: 525
  • States ranked individually: MA 567, MN 563, CO 542, IN 533, NC 532, CT 532, FL 518, CA 499, AL 485
  • 10th among all participating countries
  • TIMSS average: 500