Math Achievement

American students’ math achievement nationally has been improving slowly since 2003. But U.S. 15-year-olds fall behind 22 countries on one international test and 12 on another. Math is a frustrating subject for many students and their parents and educators and policymakers agree the U.S. needs to do a better job to remain competitive in an increasingly technical global economy. Poor math skills exacerbate inequities, shut people out of jobs and make it hard for voters to understand complex issues such as the cost of health care and the size of the national debt. See all our Special Reports

Students make use of tablets and technology while working in small groups.

Three lessons from rigorous research on education technology

Hope seen in "personalized" software for math

U.S. now ranks near the bottom among 35 industrialized nations in math

Math performance of American 15-year-olds declined significantly on international PISA test

Is it better to teach pure math instead of applied math?

OECD study of 64 countries and regions finds significant rich-poor divide on math instruction

Are science lecture classes sexist?

Researchers find women suffer bigger "grade penalties" than men in large science lecture classes

Brainy black and Hispanic students might benefit most from ‘honors’ classrooms

Two studies suggest that tracking doesn't always exacerbate inequality

Schools exacerbate the growing achievement gap between rich and poor, a 33-country study finds

Rich kids get steered into more demanding math classes while poor kids get less challenging content

Black math scores lag the most in segregated schools

But study finds greatest black-white achievement gaps inside the typical school, not between black and white schools

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New York experience shows Common Core tests can come at a cost for underprivileged students

Low-income students, disabled students and English language learners show sharper declines than general population in Common Core high school algebra exam

Signs that fewer black students are taking calculus in high school

New high school transcript data show that 45 percent of Asian-Americans now take calculus

U.S. private school students not much better than public school students in math

In the 2012 international test that measures what 15-year-old students know, called PISA, private school students did only a smidgen better than public school students on the math test. Almost…

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