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Strength and weakness of US students

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Country analysis of the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) describes the United States students competency in mathematics as follows, “Students in the United States have particular strengths in cognitively less-demanding mathematical skills and abilities, such as extracting single values from diagrams or handling well-structured formulae. They have particular weaknesses in items with higher cognitive demands, such as taking real-world situations, translating them into mathematical terms, and interpreting mathematical aspects in real-world problems.” Different solutions have been tried, but the consensus is that improving teacher quality is the most important solution that may help the United States to avoid this embarrassment of graduating students who are cognitively weak in mathematics.

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