Back in December, U.S. schools learned the results of the 2003 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a test that focuses on 15-year-olds' capabilities in reading, math, and science literacy. The results echoed a familiar refrain in recent years: U.S. students performed lower on average than their counterparts in the participating countries in both math literacy and problem solving.

Worse still, the PISA results highlighted an achievement gap that continues to plague U.S. students, with white and Asian students outperforming Hispanic and black students. The United States also demonstrated the strongest relationship of any country


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