That is a worrying development for the long-term economic outlook, since most economists believe that growth is partly driven by improvements in education levels—or what they call human capital—although the strength of the relationship is uncertain.
Students in Singapore had the highest average score in science, followed by their counterparts in Japan, Estonia, Taiwan and Finland, in triennial testing of 540,000 15-year-olds across 72 countries and regions during 2015.
The U.S. ranked 25th, ahead of France but below the U.K. and Germany.
While the rankings have changed slightly since the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development last conducted its examinations under the Programme for International Student Assessment in 2012, the most arresting outcome is that higher spending on schooling around the world is having little impact on outcomes.
“Against this backdrop, and the fact that expenditure per primary and secondary student rose by almost 20% across OECD countries over this period, it is disappointing that, for the majority of countries with comparable data, science performance in PISA remained virtually unchanged since 2006,” he said.
To read Hannon’s complete story, click here.