Chinese Students' Dominance On Global Standardized Test Called A "Sputnik" Moment
Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the New York Times: “I know skeptics will want to argue with the results, but we consider them to be accurate and reliable, and we have to see them as a challenge to get better. The United States came in 23rd or 24th in most subjects. We can quibble, or we can face the brutal truth that we’re being out-educated.”
The PISA results were striking not just because Chinese students dominated (outperforming the world in math, reading and science), but because the U.S. was no competition at all.
American students from around the country placed 31st in math, 17th in reading and 23rd in science, impressing no one. This was China's first year participating in the PISA test (administered last year), and the country's students were ready.
The test indicated a larger trend toward Asian educational success. South Korea, for example, became the most literate country this year, beating Finland after a 10-year reign.
President Obama, speaking to students in North Carolina Monday, said: “Fifty years later, our generation’s Sputnik moment is back. As it stands right now, America is in danger of falling behind."
The PISA test says that's already happened.