American Schools October 2012

A National Report Card

A visual look at the educational successes and failures of the past year

Download this spread as a PDF

By the Numbers

How far we've fallen behind the rest of the world—and the economic benefits of catching up

Top-Ranked Countries

According to the Program for International Student Assessment, 2009

Top-Level Science Scores

Only 1% of American 4th- and 12th-graders scored at the Advanced level on national science exams in 2009.

Engineering Degrees

as a percentage of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2008:

More Teaching Is Not Always Better

Average number of hours teachers instruct students:

America Values Teachers Less Than Other Countries Do

Average salary for teachers with 15 years of experience:

A McKinsey study predicts that if teacher salaries began at $65,000 and maxed out at $150,000, the number of high-achieving college grads who would consider teaching would increase by 54%.

How School Improvements Could Jump-Start the Economy

If the math proficiency of U.S. students improved to match that of Korean students, our annual growth rate would increase by 1.3%. The resulting increase in GDP over 80 years would be $75 trillion (nearly five times the current GDP).

Next: The new generation of education activists

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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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