In 23 Advanced Economies: U.S. Adults Rank 21st in Math Skills
By Terence P. Jeffrey CNS News Friday, October 18, 2013
(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on Friday released the initial results of an international survey of adult skills in literacy and mathematics, revealing that Americans rank 21st in numeracy and are tied for 15th in literacy among adults in 23 advanced economies.
American adults also scored below the average in both numeracy and literacy for all respondents in all 23 advanced economies.
Japan and Finland ranked first and second in both categories and Italy and Spain took the bottom two spots in both.
The international survey--the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)-- was developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The data from Russia was not included in the initial results, the NCES said, "because they were released too late for publication."
Numeracy was defined by the survey as the ability to access, use, interpret, and communicate mathematical information and ideas, to engage in and manage mathematical demands of a range of situations in adult life.
Literacy was defined as understanding, evaluating, using and engaging with written text to participate in society to achieve ones goals and to develop ones knowledge and potential.
The survey tested a random sample of approximately 5,000 people ages 16 to 65, using a test that was scored on a scale of 0-500.
In numeracy, American adults achieved an average score of 253 out of 500, nosing out Italian adults who averaged 247 and Spanish adults who averaged 246.