By John Cookson, CNN
In the most recent sixty-five-nation Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the United States came in 15th in reading, 23rd in math and 31st in science. Here are the nations who beat the U.S. in the 2009 PISA test.
Not only are Americans absent from the top-ten nations based on average score, but the U.S. also has one of the smallest portions of students that achieve a top score. Nine percent of U.S. 15-year-olds who took the PISA test in 2006 scored a 5 or 6 (out of 6) in math. Seven-and-a-half percent got a similar top score in science. On the same test in Korea, 27% got a top score in math. In Finland, 21% got a top score in science.
This Sunday at 8pm ET, Fareed Zakaria will explore what the U.S. education system needs to do to compete in today's world in a special edition of CNN GPS called "Restoring the America Dream: Fixing Education."