Students in the United States have fallen behind kids in many other countries, according to the two largest international benchmarking tests in math, science, and reading. Five years into the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (commonly known as "Common Core"), 15-year-old kids in the United States lag behind their peers in 35 other countries in math.
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015 showed American students holding stagnant in science and reading, compared to results in 2012 and 2009, but far behind their previous results in math. Out of the 69 countries (and territories) tested, the United States ranked 39th.
In math, Singapore took the top spot, followed by four Chinese provinces: Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, and BSJG. Japan scored below Taipei and above BSJG. Many other countries ranked higher than the U.S., including Canada, Finland, Ireland, Vietnam, Russia, Australia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Malta, and Israel.
America's 15-year-olds performed better in science and reading, only lagging behind 21 countries in each of those subjects. In both, Singapore took the top spot. Countries like Japan, Estonia, Ireland, Slovenia, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom still beat the U.S. in both subjects. While the U.S. ranked below average in math, America was roughly in the middle of education systems for these two subjects.