Obama Administration Eyes International School Grading Index

Some want to compare schools in the United States to those around the world.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

It's going to be hard to do, but the administration and some lawmakers are interested in using an international grading index for American schools. Reason: It shows how well, or poorly, U.S. students are doing compared with others around the world, a key to President Obama's effort to boost math and science stores to levels of high-performing countries. The hurdle: state and local officials who sneer at international grading benchmarks. Still, the administration has taken a keen interest in a new American Institutes for Research study that reveals the shortfalls of U.S. education compared with other countries. How bad is it? Asian students outperform ours in math. We do our best in Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Kansas, and Vermont, where fourth graders perform at B levels on the international scale. The study by the influential nonprofit provides a pathway for schools to implement the standards.

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