A Call for a Math Revolution

Dec 12, 2023 | Fort Myers

Recent results from the 2022 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reveal a concerning trend for U.S. students in math proficiency. Compared to 2018, there was a significant 13-point drop in math scores, placing the 2022 results among the lowest ever measured by PISA. While U.S. students outperformed the OECD average in reading and science, the decline in math proficiency highlights an area of concern.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona acknowledged the need for a "math revolution," emphasizing the critical role of math in global competitiveness. Despite improvements in reading and science since 2012, the U.S. lags behind peers in East Asia and Europe.

The 2022 PISA assessment, the first since the pandemic, compared results from nearly 700,000 students across 81 OECD member states and partner economies. Countries that maintained or improved math scores shared characteristics such as shorter school closures during the pandemic and fewer obstacles to remote learning.

As the 2025 PISA assessment approaches, there is a heightened focus on science, along with the addition of a new foreign language test. The results underscore the challenges posed by the pandemic on education, emphasizing the need for targeted efforts to address math proficiency among U.S. students.

In response to the findings, Secretary Cardona acknowledged the progress made but emphasized that much work remains. The blog concludes with a call to action, highlighting the urgency of addressing math proficiency for the future competitiveness and leadership of U.S. students on the global stage.