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Tuesday
Dec072010

Sec. Arne Duncan: "Developed Nations Are Out-Educating Us"

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Education Secretary Arne Duncan has responded to a new report showing that American students continue to fall behind internationally, saying the findings “show that a host of developed nations are out-educating us.”

The report, Highlights From PISA 2009: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy in an International Context, out Tuesday, reveals the U.S. now ranks 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading out of the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] countries.

OECD countries such as Finland, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and New Zealand continue to outpace the U.S. in reading, science and math. China also delivered a wake-up call to experts. In its first year to be included in the study as a non-OECD country, Shanghai ranked first in all three categories.

“The findings, I have to admit, show that the United States needs to urgently accelerate student learning to try to remain competitive in the knowledge economy of the 21st century,” Duncan said at a press conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “Americans need to wake up to this educational reality instead of napping at the wheel while emerging competitors prepare their students for economic leadership.”

The U.S. did show improvement in science and math from 2006 to 2009, but Duncan warned “I don’t think that’s much for us to celebrate. Being average in science is a mantle of mediocrity.”

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, Duncan said the U.S. should focus on recruiting and supporting talented teachers in order to catch up to the rest of the world.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio