- Although the average mathematics score of U.S. fourth-graders was 518 in both 1995 and 2003 (table 4), the data suggest that the standing of U.S. fourth-graders relative to their peers in 14 other countries was lower in 2003 than in 1995 in mathematics (table 6 and table C3 in appendix C). In 1995, on average, U.S. fourth-graders were outperformed in mathematics by fourth-graders in four of these countries and outperformed fourth-graders in nine of these countries. In 2003 on average, U.S. fourth-graders were outperformed by fourth-graders in seven of these countries and outperformed fourth-graders in seven of these countries, on average.
- The average mathematics score for U.S. eighth-graders increased from 492 in 1995 to 504 in 2003. Over the same period, several countries whose eighth-graders outperformed the U.S. eighth-graders in 1995 experienced decreases in their average scores. The net effect resulted in a higher relative standing for U.S. eighth-graders in 2003 (table 7 and table C5 in appendix C). Among this group of countries, U.S. eighth-graders were outperformed by eighth-graders in 12 countries, on average, and outperformed eighth-graders in 4 countries in mathematics in 1995. In 2003, U.S. eighth-graders were outperformed by eighth-graders in seven of these countries, on average, and outperformed eighth-graders in six of these countries in mathematics.