Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

Summer 6-2019


Article begins on page 2


I spent 23 years of my career in higher education as an administrator of teacher education programs (15 at Kansas State, 4 at Florida State, and 4 at UNL). I would, on occasion, find myself in discussion with school board members or state legislators concerning the standing of American schools in relation to rankings reported, for instance, by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Before making a case why our educational system has no need to apologize, let’s examine our 2015 PISA rankings.

  • Reading literacy – 24th (tied with Chinese Taipei)

  • Mathematics literacy – 40th (tied with Israel)

  • Science literacy – 25th (tied with Norway & Austria)

    Taken out of context, these rankings make it appear as though there is something quite amiss with American schooling. What are other nations doing that achieve higher rankings?