VIENNA, AUSTRIA (SatireWire.com) – A key academic assessment released today ranked America’s high schoolers 25th in the world in math, a showing that pleased U.S. students who figure that at least keeps them in the top 1O.
“This is awesome,” said San Antonio high school junior Keegan Russell as he looked over the results. “By my count, you’ve only got China at 1, Finland at 2, and Latvia at 33, ahead of us.”
The exam, given in 2009 by the Vienna-based Program for International Student Assessment, tested 470,000 students in 65 countries in math, reading, and science. Aside from math, the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, and 17th in science, numbers that alarmed U.S. educators.
“The results are extraordinarily challenging to us and we have to deal with the brutal truth,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “”This is an absolute wake-up call for America.”
“Yeah wake up America, your kids are the shizz!” said Brendan Halerty, a sophomore in Las Vegas. “That’s the truth. Brutal.”
President Obama, who has long criticized the decline in U.S. academic standards, said the results show America is at serious risk of falling behind China and the rest of the world. Students, however, say they don’t understand the pessimism.
“OK, this year we finished at number 25, and last time we finished 26th, so we fell five places, but we’re still really strong,” said Florida 10th grader Samantha Wenger. “I know the President is better at math than me, ‘cause he can reduce a deficit by adding to it, but honestly, lighten up.”
As for the other test scores, students conceded their generation has some work to do.
“We got ranked 17th in science, but that’s a prime number, or a negative number, so I can’t talk about that because we haven’t covered those yet,” Wenger said. “But in reading we came in 14th, so we’re next-to-last out of 65, which is bad.”
Halerty, however, pointed out that the PISA test, while considered “standardized,” was in fact weighted against U.S. students.
“If you think about it, this really isn’t a fair comparison,” he said. “Like the Chinese students, they took the test in Chinese. We had to take it in English. Way harder.”
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