Recent U.S. test scores show need for improvement

Our View

“You can’t do anything without a good education.” Many of us have heard this expression since we were in Kindergarten. Although this still remains true, a recent assessment done by the Programme for International Student shows that education is not a top priority in the United States.

In a test of 15-year-olds from 34 countries, the United States ranked 17th in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in math. Shanghi-China, Finland, Korea, Hong-Kong-China, Singapore, Canada and New Zealand were the top ranking countries.

These results should be big eye openers for our country. Our world is constantly changing, and we need to be able to perform on the global stage if we want to keep up. While other issues like the economy and world relations are the main focus of Congress, education deserves its share of attention as well.

The Department of Education has tossed around the idea of raising pay for high-achieving teachers and weeding out those who are not up to par. Another suggestion is to downsize classes.

However, we can’t just use teachers or bigger classes as our scapegoats. The U.S.’s poor academic performance also comes from our culture. Families and communities need to stress to their children that education is number one. Many of us take school for granted, complaining about homework and how boring our classes are; we don’t try hard enough to do well, but that kind of attitude will not help us in the long run.

Whether it be the teachers’, students’ or school curriculum’s fault, the United States should not be looked down upon as the “stupid” country.

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