American children aren’t necessarily getting smarter or dumber, but that might not be good enough to compete globally, according to numbers cited Tuesday by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. He noted a special analysis put out last week by the National Center for Education Statistics that compares 15-year-old U.S. students with students from other countries in the Organization for Economic Development.

It found the U.S. students placed below average in math and science. In math, U.S. high schoolers were in the bottom quarter of the countries that participated, trailing countries including Finland, China and Estonia. According to the report, the U.S. math scores were not measurably different in 2006 from the previous scores in 2003. But while other countries have improved, the United States has remained stagnant. In science, the United States falls behind countries such as Canada, Japan and the Czech Republic.

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