The 2007 TIMSS
report was just released on the internet. The good news: Math scores have increased for fourth and eighth grade students in the U.S. The U.S. is now scoring above average compared to 35 countries at the fourth grade level and 47 countries at the eighth level. All 5 countries, that scored measurably higher than the American 8th graders, are in Asia.
Is the change real or are scores just measured differently?
If real - what has changed in our schooling system?
That is a great question.
I know that the U.S. has been working on improving scores, vis-a-vis international students, since the Bill Clinton administration.
How do high school students compare is the big question (The reported scores were for 4th and 8th grade students).
I don't think that American high schools, after scoring 24th of 29 nations, any longer participate in the TIMSS exams.
Another good question would be to ask college mathematics professors how American students are doing in class compared to 15 years ago.
23% of students at California State Universities needed math remediation in 1989 compared to 54% in 1998 (http://www.rsvh.addr.com/lwved/id16.htm).
I haven't been able to find more recent statistics but there are so many students entering the California State University system, who need math remediation, that they are now linking students with "on-line" courses (http://blogs.csun.edu/news/clips/2008/09/22/as-more-first-year-students-need-remedial-math-instruction-low-cost-online-programs-are-coming-to-the-aid-of-college-leaders/).
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