# Why Do Students in the U.S. Have Weaker Math Skills vs. Students in Other Countries?

The American educational system has been under quite a bit of pressure due to students lackluster math skills vs. other countries. This is an alarming state of affairs, and one that has far reaching implications for our children's future. But who has the best educational system and how are the educational systems different?

There are many reports comparing the math skill performance of U.S. students in pre-high school and high school to the math skill performance of students in other countries, with U.S. students scoring significantly lower than in many other countries. For example, in 2004 the New York Times reported that high school students in Hong Kong, Finland and South Korea do best in mathematics among those in 40 surveyed countries, while students in the United States finished in the bottom half, according to a new international comparison of mathematical skills shown by 15-year-olds (NYT, Dec. 7, 2004).

Such reports also tie into recent falls in average math SAT scores, with the largest drop in math scores in 30 years reported by the Wall Street Journal in 2007 (WSJ, August 29, 2007).

But why do students in the U.S. have weaker math skills vs. students in other countries? And why do the math performance assessments of U.S. students continually fall short of students in other countries? Two key reasons are that students in other countries tend to follow math curricula that involve significantly more drilling of basic math operations, and also tend to use calculators much less in the classroom than do students in the U.S. ( Reassessing U.S. International Mathematics Performance: New Findings from the 2003 TIMSS and PISA, American Institutes for Research, November 2005).

Practice, practice, practice - and the ability to work through math problems without calculators - appear to be two critical criteria for U.S. students to achieve math success. But these two solutions are often out of the control of the American educational system to provide alone. How can student's skills in the U.S. keep pace with the rest of the world? U.S. students need additional educational services to remain competitive in a global market.

GoldStudent has been designed in order to directly counter these disturbing trends and to assist the American educational system by providing supplemental assistance. GoldStudent emphasizes personalized and continuous practice drills (math worksheets) of basic math concepts for all students. Students are able to test their math skills through a series of math performance tasks that are personalized to their skill level. Throughout their studies with GoldStudent, students receive math performance assessments to track how they are progressing over time. At GoldStudent we also believe in performance based math, meaning that students are rewarded for their practice and their progress.

It is true that currently students in the U.S. have weaker math skills vs. students in other countries. But there is quite a bit that parents can do to help their children succeed in math and ultimately succeed in the global job market. Here are some easy and free next steps to get your children on the right math path:

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