In Standardized Tests, Shanghai Kids Kick World's Butt
Shanghai ranks at the top in all three areas
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2010 9:01 AM CST
Students have a lesson at a primary school in Hong Kong Thursday, June 11, 2009.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

(Newser) – China is emerging as a world powerhouse, and that extends into the classroom. Shanghai teenagers outscored their peers around the world on the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey, and Hong Kong also ranked high in all three areas: second in math and science, fourth in reading. This was China's first year participating in the tests, a generation after the Cultural Revolution badly damaged the country's school system, Time notes.

US results were mediocre: 31st in math, 17th in reading, and 23rd in science. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan tells the New York Times that this should be a "wake-up call." Officials administering the test acknowledge that scores for two Chinese cities aren't representative of the entire country, but they are attracting attention nonetheless. Speaking to a college audience, President Obama called this "our generation's Sputnik moment," recalling how the Soviets' launch spurred the US to improve math and science education, and ultimately win the space race.

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Showing 3 of 38 comments
Dec 7, 2010 12:45 PM CST
I've heard from a few of my more wordly teachers that the reason the chinese do so well in school is because of their outlook. Americans believe that, when they do bad in school, it is because they suck, they're not smart. etc. However, the chinese see everyone as equal. The reason for why, as they see it, they didn't do well in the classroom is because they didn't work hard enough, study enough, etc. While this does reek of some communistic undertones, I see this as being a more realistic view.
Dec 7, 2010 12:41 PM CST
the people who own america don't want education to improve because having an intelligent educated population means they are harder to manipulate. They turn down healthy food in schools hindering development, teach bullshit like creationism giving students a huge disadvantage when compared to balanced education kids.
Dec 7, 2010 12:13 PM CST
Education leads to economic slavery in debt.