Science  06 Dec 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6163, pp. 1153

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  1. Asian Teens Remain on Top in Test of Student Knowledge

    Shanghai students have widened their lead in the latest global comparison of the educational skills of 15-year-olds. Asian city-states dominate the rankings, released on 3 December, while U.S. students continue to lag behind their counterparts in the industrial world.

    The Programme for International Student Assessment measures how well students can apply what they've learned in reading, mathematics, and science to practical problems. The 2012 results are similar to 2009 and earlier versions. Of 65 participants, which included both countries and smaller entities such as states and provinces, Shanghai once again leads the way in all three subjects, while Singapore and Hong Kong hold down the next two spots in math and science. Korea and Japan are the only large nations in the top 10. (China does not participate as a country.)

    The United States ranks 26th in math and 21st in science out of the 34 countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which conducts the assessment. In addition to compiling head-to-head rankings, OECD collects data on educational policies and practices around the world.