Results from another set of international tests are out, presenting another frightening result for the United States. The Programme for International Student Assessment test rankings released last week measured 15-year-olds from industrialized countries in math, science and reading. We've known the United States doesn't fare well against these other nations, but it's getting worse. More nations are passing us. The United States placed 36th among countries or regions in math. It was 31st in 2009, but has been bypassed by Ireland, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain and Italy. All of these scored below the United States in the earlier round of tests.
For all the griping that tougher standards in our schools have been introduced too fast, that's not the case. There's plenty of ground to make up, and not another moment to be spent losing more.