Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$59.95



View/Hide Left Panel
  • A company can hire nine factory workers in Mexico for the cost of one in America. A company can hire eight young professional engineers in India for the cost of one in America.14

  • The share of leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing capacity owned or partly owned by US companies today is half what it was as recently as 2001.15

  • During 2004, China overtook the United States to become the leading exporter of information-technology products, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).16

  • The United States ranks only 12th among OECD countries in the number of broadband connections per 100 inhabitants.17

K–12 Education

  • Fewer than one-third of US 4th-grade and 8th-grade students performed at or above a level called “proficient” in mathematics; “proficiency” was considered the ability to exhibit competence with challenging subject matter. Alarmingly, about one-third of the 4th graders and one-fifth of the 8th graders lacked the competence to perform even basic mathematical computations.18

  • In 1999, 68% of US 8th-grade students received instruction from a mathematics teacher who did not hold a degree or certification in mathematics.19

  • In 2000, 93% of students in grades 5–9 were taught physical science by a teacher lacking a major or certification in the physical sciences (chemistry, geology, general science, or physics).20

  • In 1995 (the most recent data available), US 12th graders performed below the international average for 21 countries on a test of general knowledge in mathematics and science.21

  • US 15-year-olds ranked 24th out of 40 countries that participated in a 2003 administration of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) examination, which assessed students’ ability to apply mathematical concepts to real-world problems.22

  • According to a recent survey, 86% of US voters believe that the United States must increase the number of workers with a background in science and mathematics or America’s ability to compete in the global economy will be diminished.23

  • American youth spend more time watching television24 than in school.25

  • Because the United States does not have a set of national curricula, changing K–12 education is challenging, given that there are almost 15,000



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement