STEM work-based learning experiences, to increase interest and abilities in fields requiring STEM skills.
Integration of technology and virtual learning through elearning courses and remote tutors.
Alignment of student’s career pathway with postsecondary STEM program(s).
Among the 35 countries in the OECD, the United States performed around average in science, the major domain of this assessment cycle. Its performance was also around average in reading, but below average in mathematics.
One in five (20%) of 15-year-old students in the United States are low performers, not reaching the PISA baseline Level 2 of science proficiency. This proportion is similar to the OECD average of 21%.
Another long-running testing effort is the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a project of the federal Education Department. In the most recent NAEP results, from 2015, average math scores for fourth- and eighth-graders fell for the first time since 1990.
The average fourth-grade NAEP math score in 2015 was 240 (on a scale of 0 to 500), the same level as in 2009 and down from 242 in 2013. The average eighth-grade score was 282 in 2015, compared with 285 in 2013; that score was the lowest since 2007. (The NAEP has only tested 12th-graders in math four times since 2005; their 2015 average score of 152 on a 0-to-300 scale was one point lower than in 2013 and 2009.)
Looked at another way, the 2015 NAEP rated 40% of fourth-graders, 33% of eighth-graders and 25% of 12th-graders as “proficient” or “advanced” in math. While far fewer fourth- and eighth-graders now rate at “below basic,” the lowest performance level (18% and 29%, respectively, versus 50% and 48% in 1990), improvement in the top levels appears to have stalled out. (Among 12th-graders, 38% scored at the lowest performance level in math, a point lower than in 2005.)