In this video Paul Peterson and Eric Hanushek discuss the results of their new study which looks at which countries and which U.S. states are growing the most in student achievement. As Eric Hanushek points out, the U.S. is doing middling, but some states are doing well and some are doing awfully.

Among the states they discuss: Maryland, which is the gold medal winner, and Iowa and Wisconsin, which are laggards in terms of achievement gains.

“Iowa was number one [in student achievement] back in 1992 when this kind of data first became available,” says Peterson. But over time, he reports, Iowa has suffered a “remarkable decline.”

Hanushek and Peterson speculate as to why some states made gains and others didn’t. Money does not seem to make much difference.

If the nation as a whole was performing as well as the top states, we’d be competitive internationally, Hanushek notes.

More information on the gains made by individual states, as well as the gains made by the country as a whole, can be found in “Is the U.S. Catching Up?” (Education Next, Fall 2012).

Hanushek and Peterson assess the U.S. performance overall in this video here.

Last updated August 8, 2012