TIMSS: Third International Math and Science Study: Excerpts from the USDOE report (Click here to see "U.S. vs. the World" tables)
"[The] Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is the largest, most comprehensive, and most rigorous international study of schools and students ever conducted . . . .
"At the fourth grade, U.S. students . . . were above the international average in mathematics. In the eighth grade, U.S. students scored . . . below the international average in mathematics. By the twelfth grade, U.S. performance was significantly lower relative to the international average in both science and mathematics, even among our most advanced students. . . .
"Fourth grade (26 nations): U.S. students score above the international average in mathematics, outperformed by only 7 countries. If an international talent search were to select the top 10 percent of all fourth graders, 9 percent of U.S. fourth graders would be included in mathematics.
"Eighth grade (41 nations): U.S. students score below the international average in mathematics. . . . If an international talent search were to select the top 10 percent of all eighth graders, only 5 percent of U.S. eighth graders would be included in mathematics.
"Twelfth grade: U.S. twelfth graders scored below the international average and among the lowest of the 21 participating nations. The U.S. outperformed only South Africa and Cyprus. . . . ACHIEVEMENT OF ADVANCED STUDENTS: The advanced mathematics and physics assessments were administered to a sample of the top 10-20 percent of students in their final year of secondary school in each nation. The performance of U.S. physics and advanced mathematics students was below the international average and among the lowest of the 16 countries that administered the physics and advanced mathematics assessments. The U.S. outperformed no other country on either assessment. When you compare U.S. twelfth graders with Advanced Placement calculus instruction (about 5 percent of the U.S. cohort) to all advanced mathematics students in other nations, their performance was at the international average and significantly higher than 5 other countries."
TIMSS 2011 results
At grade 4, the United States was among the top 15 education systems in mathematics (8 education systems had higher averages and 6 were not measurably different) and scored higher, on average, than 42 education systems.
The percentage of 8th-grade students performing at or above the Advanced international mathematics benchmark in 2011 was higher than in the United States in 11 education systems; was not different in 13 education systems; and was lower than in the United States in 31 education systems.
TIMSS 2007 results (NYT article)
"The results showed that several Asian countries continued to outperform the United States greatly in science and math, subjects that are crucial to economic competitiveness and research."
"Nearly half of eighth graders scored at the advanced level in math in Taiwan, Korea and Singapore, compared with 6 percent of American students."
“It was good to see that the United States has made some progress in math,” said Ina V. S. Mullis, co-director of the Boston College center, “but I was surprised by the magnitude of the gap between us and the highest performing Asian countries, and that should cause us some concern.”
or if you are having difficulty: NY Times: TIMSS Article
TIMSS Clickable Links
Trends in International Math and Science Study
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