Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education - Lessons from PISA 2012 for the United States

This report compares the performance of  United States 15-year-olds on PISA against global patterns and trends. The report analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of U.S. students on different types of mathematics tasks. It also reviews the relationship with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) in order to help connect results from PISA to what the United States aspires to teach in classrooms and to inform teaching practices that can help to improve performance.

Content Comments 

This is the full report on the key findings of the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which focused extensively on mathematics. It provides a timely backdrop for the discussions around college- and career-readiness as well as international benchmarking on skills required in the 21st Century. While the bulk of the 100+ page report is focused on discussing the patterns of performance of U.S. students against the other 33 OECD countries (the U.S. ranked 26 in math, 21 in science, and 17 in reading), the publication ends with a chapter analyzing the PISA results against expectations of the Common Core mathematics standards. It will not be a surprise that the PISA rankings show that 15-year-olds in the U.S. continue to perform below average, as compared with the other OECD countries, and especially so in mathematics. An interesting discussion comparing the framework of the PISA to the mathematical practice framework of the CCSS show strong overlap, and a need for helping U.S students apply mathematical skills and formulate situations mathematically.