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Statement by Secretary Margaret Spellings on the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Results


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) today released results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). PISA assesses science, math and reading skills of 15-year-old students in the principal industrialized countries every three years. In 2006, all 30 OECD-member countries and 27 additional countries and other jurisdictions (e.g., Hong Kong) participated in PISA.

Regarding the 2006 PISA results, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today made the following statement:

The PISA results released today offer additional data on how America’s students are stacking up against their peers in other countries. With scores flat since 2003, the U.S. continues to score below the OECD average and in the middle of all countries assessed.

While disappointing, it speaks to what President Bush has long been advocating for: more rigor in our nation’s high schools; additional resources for advanced courses to prepare students for college-level studies; and stronger math and science education. In fact, students are being assessed in science under No Child Left Behind this school year. And, the President has proposed making science assessments an element of states’ accountability calculations.

Through such initiatives as the Academic Competitiveness Council and National Math Panel, we’re bringing research-based strategies and best practices into our classrooms. By equipping educators with more data to customize instruction, we’re laying the groundwork to strengthen math and science education. It’s the right course for our students and our workforce.


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