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If the superintendents of failing school districts were as adept at fixing schools as they are at making excuses for their poor performance, America would have the best education system in the world.

Instead, the just-released tests administered by the Program for International Student Assessment show that other countries are making faster progress than the United States.

Our teenagers are now ranked 26th in math, 21st in science and 17th in reading. Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong are leading the pack.


Experts concerned that American students are falling behind their international peers said that despite these improvements, the United States still had a long way to go. Paul E. Peterson, director of Harvard University’s program on education policy and governance, said he worried that recent policy changes were not putting enough pressure on states and school districts.


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But how do our nation’s results stack up against those of other nations?
Not so well, according to Paul Peterson, director of Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance. Peterson is co-author (with Stanford University’s Eric Hanushek) of the new book “Endangering Prosperity: A Global Look at the American School.”


ObamaCare isn't the only thing the Obama administration is spinning these days. In education, too, accomplishments on the ground don't match the rhetoric coming out of Washington. That's the main take-away from the latest results on student performance in math and reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which the Education Department released on Thursday after some delay.


Two conservative university researchers, Paul E. Peterson of Harvard and Eric Hanushek of Stanford, underscored the national debate over assessment results in a statement released Tuesday before Washington authorities announced their own findings. "The NAEP shows that even children of college-educated parents have not been competitive internationally," Peterson and Hanushek said.


Americans trail adults in other countries in math, literacy, problem-solving.

The results are "quite distressing," says Harvard University's Paul Peterson, co-author of Endangering Prosperity, a recent book on education and international competitiveness. "Other countries have been catching up for some time," he says. "At one time, we had a really significant lead, but those people are disappearing from the workforce."