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Volume 14, Number 4
July/August 1998

Do U.S. Math and Science Scores Suffer Because of Work?

 

The test scores of U.S. high school students in math and science are lagging behind those of other countries, but so far, researchers have not been able to lay the blame on any one factor. Class size, age, gender, curriculum—none of these alone can adequately explain the difference in scores between high- and low-performing countries.

But Albert Beaton, a professor at Boston College and the international study director of the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS), has a working theory. At the American Educational Research Association conference held in April, he pointed to after-school jobs as a possible culprit: U.S. 12th-graders work at a far higher rate than their global peers who took the TIMSS test.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.

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