First half of the article is about research comparing primary education in individual US states with other countries, and attempting to pin down how we do for our best or most advantaged students, to answer concerns that other comparisons with the US are harder to read because we have so much more variance here. The research this article surveys suggests that that's not the explanation; that we really don't do as well as many other countries, even when we break it down by geography or demographics.
Second half of the article is mostly about Massachusetts, beginning with this:
- One cannot help but thank God for Massachusetts, which offers the
United States some shred of national dignity-a result echoed in other
international tests. "If all American fourth- and eighth-grade kids
did as well in math and science as they do in Massachusetts," writes
the veteran education author Karin Chenoweth in her 2009 book, How
It's Being Done, "we still wouldn't be in Singapore's league but we'd
be giving Japan and Chinese Taipei a run for their money."