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2012 PISA Results: LAC continues to lag in education performance

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The results of the OECD’s 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) were released yesterday. We list below key takeaways for the eight Latin American countries that participated in this round (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay). Improvements (and declines) in scores are based on the first year each country participated in PISA, and are statistically significant.

  • The eight Latin American countries all ranked in the bottom third in reading, math, and science among the 65 countries tested.
  • Chile scored highest and Peru lowest among LAC countries in all three subjects. (Costa Rica tied with Chile in reading).
  • Brazil’s scores improved in all three subjects, and Uruguay’s declined.
  • Chile and Mexico improved in math and reading
  • Colombia and Peru improved in reading.
  • Improvements in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru were at rates above the OECD average.
  • Peru showed the greatest improvement in reading scores among Latin American countries, and fourth highest among all 65 countries.
  • Argentina and Costa Rica did not improve in any subject.
  • Colombia and Mexico were particularly successful in improving performance among struggling students.
  • Less than 2 percent of Latin American students scored at the highest levels in mathematics, compared with 55 percent in Shanghai, more than 30 percent in South Korea, and more than 12 percent in OECD countries.
  • More than half of Latin American students scored at the lowest levels in mathematics, compared with 4 percent in Shanghai, less than 10 percent in South Korea, and less than 25 percent in OECD countries.

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*Data sources: OECD’s PISA Snapshot and Press Release. Photo Credit: Pisa test document/Theo Müller/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.5

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