American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
December 9th, 2010
09:18 AM ET

Here's why China is beating the U.S. in education

According to the latest Program for International Student Assessment, known as PISA, a ranking of 15-year-old students from around the world found that students in Shanghai outscored kids from across the world in reading, science and math.

Students in the U.S. came in 14th in reading, 17th place in science and 25th for math.

Why are the U.S.'s efforts at reforming education failing, and what are Chinese students doing to succeed?

American Morning's Kiran Chetry speaks with Jonathan Plucker, with the Center for Evaluation & Education Policy at Indiana University, who has taken a number of trips to China to study their education system. He explains why China's students are beating the rest of the world.

For more information on Jonathan Plucker, visit

Filed under: Education
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. JM

    Its not what the Chinese are doing and Americans not.. it's what the Chinese are NOT doing: They are not deactivating and drugging their brains with occupational therapy and overconsumption of uneducative multimedia information and sensorial stimuli.

    December 14, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  2. kw

    Great education is available to all in this country. Our children/ students have no vision for the future to a significant degree. The fault lies with system's acceptance of low level performance without remediation. That is to say that students are promoted when they should be held back. Bussing is expensive and nonproductive because the same arithmetic is taught in every neighborhood. It is the perception of inequality that has fueled poor performance and achievement.

    Parents are at fault for not insisting that their children attend school in a productive way.

    Government is at fault for 'helping' too much.

    Furthermore, students in this country do not realize that the education they buy today as teenagers will be something they will pay for the rest of their lives.

    Start with a mandatory course in high school that teaches the purpose and ethics of work. Tell them how it will affect their future and make sure they 'get it'.

    I witness this lack of vision and committment by children under 30 years of age each day in my office. I am a healthcare practitioner.

    December 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  3. S. Fridland

    What is the source of information about the racial divide and worldwide ranking broken by USA racial groups?

    Does PISA breaks it down like this?

    December 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  4. Henry Ho

    Heterogenous grouping, culture of education and 2500 years of Confucian education doesn't hurt acclimating a culture to filial piety.

    December 9, 2010 at 11:15 am |