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How U.S. Students Rank

June 18, 1997

International math and science scores released last week show U.S. fourth-graders doing well in a comparison of 26 nations. But earlier results for eighth-graders in the same testing program indicated that U.S. students have fallen back by then.

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4th-Grade Math

* International Average: 524

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Rank Mean score 1. Singapore 625 2. South Korea 611 3. Japan 597 4. Hong Kong 587 5. Netherlands 577 6. Czech Republic 567 7. Austria 559 8. Slovenia 552 9. Ireland 550 12. United States 545

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4th-Grade Science

* International Average: 529

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Rank Mean score 1. South Korea 597 2. Japan 574 3. United States 565 4. Austria 565 5. Australia 562 6. Netherlands 557 7. Czech Republic 557 8. England 551 9. Canada 549 10. Singapore 547

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8th Grade: U.S. ranked 18th of 41 countries in math and 12th in science.

Sample Science Question

A water can is tipped so water begins to drip.

Draw line where surface of water is now.

Results: Only 1 in 5 U.S. fourth-graders answered correctly.

Source: IEA Third International Mathematics and Science Study

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