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Sizing Up International Student Test Scores26:33
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Massachusetts students scored well on the international exams. (AP)
Massachusetts students scored well on the international exams. (AP)

Massachusetts students have consistently ranked fairly high on national and international tests.

The latest out today — the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA — again has Massachusetts near the top.

The state's 15-year-olds had the 4th best scores in reading, behind Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.
And Massachusetts was 6th in science and 10th in math — finishing behind countries like Finland, South Korea and Switzerland.

State education officials — including Governor Deval Patrick — say the results offer reason to be proud. And when you consider that Massachusetts students did a lot better than American students over all — who finished in the middle of the pack in reading and science and well below average in math — maybe they're right.

But we wondered what do these test scores really tell us about our education system?

Guests

Paul Reville, former Massachusetts education secretary and currently the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration at Harvard University.

Mark Schneider, a vice president and an Institute Fellow at the American Institutes for Research and the former commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics.

This segment aired on December 3, 2013.

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