The effectiveness of educational technology
In the most recent PISA assessments, U.S. 15-year-olds had an average mathematics score below the average of countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Among the 33 other OECD countries, over half had higher average scores than the U.S., 5 had lower average scores, and 11 had average scores that were not substantially different than the U.S. Similar patterns were found in tests given in 2003 and 2006. Importantly, the problem of students’ performance in mathematics is not equally distributed.
While many middle class schools in the U.S. do perform at world class standards, poor and minority students are much less likely to do so. On the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2009), only 17% of eighth graders eligible for free lunch scored at proficient or better, while 45% of middle class students scored this well. Among African American students, only 12% scored proficient or better, and the percentages were 17% for Hispanics and 18% for American Indians, compared to 44% for Whites and 54% for AsianAmericans. All of these scores have been improving over time, but the gaps remain.