A report from the George W. Bush Institute, in Dallas, argues that even America’s top school districts are “mediocre” in student achievement compared with the performance of other industrialized countries.
The report, published in an online preview of the Winter 2012 issue of Education Next, argues that when average district achievement in mathematics or reading is compared with average achievement in those subjects for students in other industrialized countries, as measured on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, even wealthier districts in areas like Beverly Hills, Calif., and Fairfax County, Va., fall in the middle of the pack or worse.
The report’s accompanying interactive website allows users to see how 13,636 school districts would rank in student achievement in comparison with the average student performance in 25 industrialized nations in math and reading. Fairfax County students, for example, rank in the 49th percentile in math, just below the 25-nation average.
It also breaks out comparisons of average student performance in Canada, Norway, and Singapore.
A version of this article appeared in the October 05, 2011 edition of Education Week as International Achievement