CHINA: Top test scores from Shanghai stun educators

With China's debut in international standardised testing, students in Shanghai have surprised experts by outscoring their counterparts in dozens of other countries, in reading as well as in maths and science, according to the results of a respected exam, writes Sam Dillon for The New York Times.

American officials and Europeans involved in administering the test in about 65 countries acknowledged that the scores from Shanghai are by no means representative of all of China. The Programme for International Student Assessment, known as PISA, was given to 15-year-old students by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

PISA scores are on a scale, with 500 as the average. On the maths test last year, students in Shanghai scored 600, in Singapore 562, in Germany 513, and in the US 487. In reading, Shanghai students scored 556, ahead of second-place Korea with 539. The US scored 500 and came in 17th. In science, Shanghai students scored 575. In second place was Finland, where the average score was 554. The US scored 502, in 23rd place.
Full report on The New York Times site