The National Science Foundation has awarded a second five-year grant to the PSLC, a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh to study how people learn and to develop the most effective, science-based teaching tools. Carnegie Learning is a spin-off company that uses research results to provide mathematics programs to 2600 U.S. schools.
The research on math, science and foreign language education is done in real classrooms all over the country and the world with students from middle school to college, including the Steel Valley Middle and High Schools, where the announcement was made.
American students do not compare favorably with other countries: Pitt Professor Charles Perfetti says 4th grade readers are in the middle third and haven't improved since 2001, while 15-year-olds lack science literacy. The ranking is 17th out of 30 industrialized countries--below six countries less well-developed.
Only 9% of American high school graduates have a useful knowledge of a foreign language, compared to 53% in Europe, according to Prof. Perfetti.