Comparing the scores of 15-year-old students in the United States to their international peers, the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) report results, released Dec. 4, are especially disheartening this year.
The average combined science literacy scale score for U.S. students was lower than the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an intergovernmental agency of 30 member countries and the sponsor of the report) average, according to the latest PISA results.
U.S. students fell to 25th place in math and 21st place in science.
The United States was joined by Spain and Italy among the 32 countries that were classified as below OECD average.
"In today's technology-based societies, understanding fundamental scientific concepts and theories and the ability to structure and solve scientific problems are more important than ever," the report said.
Finnish 15-year-olds took the top spot in science knowledge, South Korea came in first in reading, and Taipei students were the smartest at math.