EPI's weekly illustration of education data trends — December 16, 2016

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PISA 2015 Rankings

The US Versus the World


The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international survey of education systems (e.g., countries) to assess the relative knowledge and skills of 15-year old students. In 2015, PISA surveyed over half a million students in 72 countries and economies. Students were assessed in science, mathematics, reading, collaborative problem solving and financial literacy in a two-hour test.

What the results actually mean is up for discussion and argument. The methdology can also be argued to a certain extend, as creating a valid instrument in so many languages and cultures is difficult at best. That stated, PISA is the best source of relative information about student skills and knowledge that we have.

As in past years, PISA illustrates that the US scores in a middling range on PISA compared to other countries, while Canada continues to score near the top of the list in all three literacy areas.


SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2015.