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STEM Education

"The ABC of Gender Equality in Education"

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Fifteen-year-old girls are more likely than their male peers to be proficient in reading, mathematics, and science, according to a new analysis of international test data by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But among top performers, girls do worse than boys in math and science.

The report, released earlier this month, looks at results from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, which compares achievement among students from 65 participating education systems. It finds that 14 percent of boys and 9 percent of girls did not attain baseline proficiency in all three core subjects (reading, math, and science).

Among the top 10 percent of students in math, boys outperform girls by an average of 20 points. Among the top 10 percent in science, boys score an average of 11 points higher.

Boys were less likely than girls to report doing homework and more likely to report having negative attitudes toward school, but girls were more likely to report feeling math anxiety than boys. Greater math anxiety is correlated with lower math achievement.

Vol. 34, Issue 24, Page 5

Published in Print: March 18, 2015, as STEM Education
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