Well, this is just silly:
U.S. Says No to Next Global Test of Advanced Math, Science Students
“In 1995, the United States lagged behind most of the world on a test of advanced mathematics and physics taken by graduating high school students from 16 countries. That won’t happen again, if the Bush Administration has its way: It has decided not to participate in the next version of the test. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), says it is bowing out of 2008 TIMSSA, an advanced version of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study given quadrennially to younger students, because it can’t fit the $5 million to $10 million price tag into its flat budget…..
But many leaders in the mathematics community believe that the Administration opted out because it feared another poor U.S. performance would reflect badly on its signature education program, the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act.”
No word on whether anyone stomped their feet, or pouted. But I strongly suspect it. Americans generally suck at math, but hiding the evidence isn’t going to make things better.
In this same issue of Science, there is also a great article about making science and math relevant to high schoolers by linking it to pharmacology, BTW.