A widespread belief is that top students in the US fare well as compared to their peers from other parts of the world (Barshay, 2013). As the US makes positive strides to regain its economic footing in the world, there is an increasing drumbeat to improve its performance score in mathematics in schools. At present, the US students are scoring higher that they did more than two decades ago on national math assessments. According to Madsen (2013), mathematics score data released by OECD, in 2000, the US was ranked 18th among the 28 OECD nations and position 19 of the total 32 countries. In 2003, the US was ranked 24th among the 30 OECD nations and position 27 among the total 41 nations. In 2006, the US was position 25 among the 30 OECD nations and 35th out of the 57 total (Madsen, 2013). In 2009, USA was position 25 among the 34 OECD nations and 31st out of the 65 overall. In 2012, the US was ranked 27 among the 34 OECD nations and position 36 of the total 65 overall (Madsen, 2013).
Currently, the US stands at position 25 in world math proficiency. This is evident that in international comparisons, the US mathematics score still ranks near the middle of the pack and behind several advanced nations in terms of industrialization. Even though the use of technology in teaching and delivering education content has been widely embraced by schools in the US, the use of technology has not helped in improving mathematics scores in USA as compared to other countries because of various reasons (Richtel, 2011). One major reason is that classrooms have increasingly become technology centric turning teachers into guides instead of lectures while students remain wandering and learning on their own place.
Classrooms have been decked with laptops as well as big interactive screens and programs that drill students on each basic subject (Valdex, 2005). Even though the strategy has soared enthusiasm and hope, math test scores have not improved. A place like Singapore also uses technology in teaching math, but teacher and student engagement is widely involved and students are not left to study on their own (Mullich, 2012).
- Barshay, J. (2013). Top US students fare poorly in international PISA test scores, Shanghai tops the world, Finland slips. Education By The Numbers. Retrieved 16 July, 2015 from http://educationbythenumbers.org/content/top-us-students-fare-poorly-international-pisa-test-scores-shanghai-tops-world-finland-slips_693/
- Madsen, N. Brat: U.S. math and science scores rank “at the bottom” of industrialized countries. PolitiFact. Retrieved 16 July, 2015 from http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2014/nov/02/dave-brat/brat-says-us-students-scoring-bottom-math-and-scie/
- Mullich, J. (2012). Rising to the Challenge America’s Math and Science Curriculum Is Key to Future Competitiveness. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 16, 2015 from http://online.wsj.com/ad/article/mathscience-rising
- Richtel, M. (2011). In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores. The New York Times. Retrieved 16 July, 2015 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/technology/technology-in-schools-faces-questions-on-value.html?_r=0
- Valdex, G. (2005). Critical Issue: Technology: A Catalyst for Teaching and Learning in the Classroom. Retrieved 16 July, 2015 from http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te600.htm