U.S. PISA Reading Scores: Good and Bad News

US Reading Scores are flat since PISA 2000


by Jennifer Craw

US Reading Scores are flat since PISA 2000

The release of the latest results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) showed that U.S. students performed slightly better in reading compared to the previous PISA administration in 2015, but that U.S. reading performance is flat compared to the first PISA administration in 2000. At first glance, this seems to show the U.S. holding steady in reading performance over the long term, but a closer look at student scores reveals that we’ve done it by widening the achievement gap over the last six years. U.S. scores for the 90th percentile of student performance increased by a statistically significant margin between 2015 and 2018 while scores from for the 10th percentile of student performance saw a statistically significant decrease between 2012 and 2018. For more on what the PISA results mean for U.S. education policy, watch footage from a special webinar featuring Anthony Mackay, OECD’s Andreas Schleicher and the U.S. Department of Education’s Peggy Carr, where they explore the results of PISA 2018 and what they mean for the U.S.