A recent survey shows that American adults mistakenly believe U.S. students rank poorly on international science tests, despite evidence to the contrary.

A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press poll found that 44% of those surveyed said teens in the U.S. ranked near the bottom in international comparisons. Results of the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, however, show 12 countries had higher scores than the U.S. students, nine had lower scores and 12 countries posted scores similar to the U.S

American teenagers aren’t doing as poorly on international science tests as adults think. Despite the misconception, people don’t think the subject should get greater emphasis in schools, a survey released Monday found.

More Americans than not wrongly think that U.S. 15-year-olds rank near the bottom on international science tests, according to a Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll. U.S. students actually rank in the middle among developed countries.

science testsEven so, Americans are more likely to pick math or language skills over science when they are asked which subject they think deserves greater attention.

Among adults, there is wide variety in what they know about science and technology, the survey also found. For instance, two-thirds of those surveyed correctly said rust is an example of a chemical reaction and 77 percent correctly said the continents have been moving for millions of years and will continue to shift.

Yet only 47 percent correctly said electrons are smaller than atoms. Protons, neutrons and electrons are parts of atoms.

Education advocates have long warned that U.S. students need more science education if they are to keep pace with international peers. That perhaps has yielded the impression that the nation’s students don’t stack up to other nations on international tests.

CONTINUE READING New Survey Indicates US Students Are Doing Better On Science Tests Than Public Realizes

READ MORE articles about science tests.

science tests