Technology in schools and colleges--and in the world at large--ultimately rests on a strong foundation of mathematics. Now comes evidence suggesting that 15-year-olds in the United States have fallen behind much of the world in mathematics--at least by one widely recognized measure.

Compared with their peers in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere, 15-year-olds in the United States are below average when it comes to applying math skills to real-life tasks, new test scores show. The results point to the need for U.S. school leaders to rethink how they teach mathematics to prepare students for success in


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