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A summary of findings from PISA 2006

In 2006, 57 education systems participated in PISA, including 30 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and 27 other countries and subnational education systems (such as Hong Kong-China and Macao-China). A comparison between the scores of U.S. 15-year-old students in science and mathematics literacy and the scores of their international peers in these areas showed the following:

On average, U.S. students scored lower than the OECD average (the mean of the 30 OECD countries) on the combined science literacy scale (489 vs. 500).

The average score for U.S. students was:

  • higher than the average score in 22 education systems (5 OECD countries and 17 non-OECD education systems)
  • lower than the average score in 22 education systems (16 OECD countries and 6 non-OECD education systems)
  • not significantly different from the score in 12 education systems (8 OECD countries and 4 non-OECD education systems)

On average, U.S. students scored lower than the OECD average on the mathematics literacy scale (474 vs. 498).

The average score for U.S. students was:

  • higher than the average score in 20 education systems (4 OECD countries and 16 non-OECD education systems)
  • lower than the average score in 31 education systems (23 OECD countries and 8 non-OECD education systems)
  • not significantly different from the score in 5 education systems (2 OECD countries and 3 non-OECD education systems)

Other findings include the following:

  • There was no measurable difference in the average scores on the combined science literacy scale U.S. male and female students.
  • On the combined science literacy scale in the United States, Black (non-Hispanic) students (409) and Hispanic students (439) scored lower, on average, than White (non-Hispanic) students (523), Asian (non-Hispanic) students (499), and students of more than one race (non-Hispanic) (501). Hispanic students, in turn, scored higher than Black (non-Hispanic) students, while White (non-Hispanic) students scored higher than Asian (non-Hispanic) students.
  • View figure with scores (and associated standard errors) of U.S. 15-year-old students at selected percentiles and at the mean on PISA mathematics literacy, 2003 and 2006

For more information, please see Highlights from PISA 2006: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Science and Mathematics Literacy in an International Context from the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).


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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education