| November 7, 2011

How Does Your School District Stack Up Internationally?

The Global Report Card, which Jay P. Greene and Josh B. McGee discuss on page 4, “enables users to compare academic achievement in math and reading between 2004 and 2007 for virtually every public school district in the United States with the average achievement in a set of 25 other countries with developed economies that might be considered our economic peers and sometime competitors.”

The math achievement of the average student in the Edmond school district, for example, is at the 47th percentile relative to the international comparison group. In other words, one of Oklahoma’s best districts produces students with math performance below that of the typical student in the average developed country. This despite the fact that “the comparison is to all students in the other countries, some of which have a per-capita gross domestic product that is almost half that of the United States,” Greene and McGee say.

Here’s another way to look at it. If you picked up the Edmond school district and dropped it into Canada, the average Edmond student would be at the 39th percentile in math. If you dropped it into Singapore, the average Edmond student would be at the 29th percentile in math.

“There is no law of nature that says America will always be a flourishing and successful nation,” education researcher Greg Forster observes. “It will not in fact remain so unless we overcome our myopia and confront the mediocre performance of all our schools.”

Here’s how some other Oklahoma school districts stack up. To see how your school district performs, visit

—EditorInternational Chart

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