Every three years, the Program for International Student Assessment, which is administered by the OECD, tests students around the world in core areas of math, science, and reading. The test allows for comparison between countries as well as evaluation of overall global trends in student progress. In 2022, 690,000 fifteen-year-old pupils were tested in 81 countries. The results were just announced, and the top six spots were all held by Asian countries. At the top was Singapore, followed by Macau, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. The U.S. ranked 18th lagging other western countries such as Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Finland, and Denmark. With respect to the three competencies, the U.S. ranked 34th in math, 17th in science, and 9th in reading.
Largely attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic, the world saw a record drop in mathematics skills equivalent to three-quarters of a year of education. Reading competency declined by one-half year while there was no significant change in the results for science. Since the inception of the program in 2000, global scores have declined only slightly for mathematics, but science and reading skills have fallen by roughly 5%.