The Global Achievement Gap

America is facing two achievement gaps: one domestic and one international. While the former is often cited as the most pressing issue in educational policy, the latter does not garner as much attention. In a recent Harvard study, Eric Hanushek, Paul Peterson, and Ludger Woessmann review how American students stack up against the world by comparing NAEP scores, the test known as the “nation’s report card”, to P.I.S.A. scores, the international baseline assessment provided to OECD members’ students. Overall, Americans students lag behind behind their foreign pupils, but there is a silver lining–American students are making steady academic gains. An abridged version of the study can be found at


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