Dec 3, 2019

Survey: Chinese students outperforming in reading, math and science

Grade three senior high school students study for the upcoming 2019 National College Entrance Exam in Beijing. Photo: Visual China Group/Getty Images

Chinese students tested better in reading, math and science than students in any other country, according to a triennial study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development (OECD).

The big picture: “The quality of their schools today will feed into the strength of their economies tomorrow,” OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria told Bloomberg. Most other OECD countries saw no overall improvement in their students' performances since they were last tested in 2015.

What they found: 600,000 15-year-old students in 79 countries took a two-hour exam to test their skills in reading, math and science.

  • Chinese students consistently ranked at the top in reading, math and science.
  • American students performed above the OECD average in reading and science, but below in math.
  • Socioeconomic backgrounds can still predict the quality of education a student will likely receive.
  • 1 in 10 disadvantaged students scored in the top quarter of reading performance in their country, "indicating that disadvantage is not destiny," per the survey's findings.
  • On average across OECD countries, girls significantly outperformed boys in reading by 30 points.
  • 17% of immigrant students scored in the top quarter of reading performance.

Worth noting: Some of the countries with the highest-performing education systems recently achieved this status.

Go deeper: Student performance in public schools stalls on Nation's Report Card

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
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Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.