There’s no question that our current educational system is failing our students.
The statistics are staggering: among 30 developed countries, the U.S. is ranked 25th in math and 21st in science. While critics tend to rely on the three-decades long decline of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) to document the dumbing down of American education, more alarming is our performance against the students of other industrialized countries. By virtually every measure of achievement, American students lag far behind their counterparts in both Asia and Europe, especially in math and science. Moreover, the evidence suggests that they are falling farther and farther behind. As educational researcher Harold Stevenson notes, although “the U.S. is among the countries expending the highest proportion of their gross national product on education, our elementary school and secondary school students never place above the median in comparative studies of academic achievement.”