Public education in the United States, if measured by results, has been producing graduates that are less competent in language skills and dramatically less well taught in the sciences and mathematics since 1964, when Scholastic Aptitude Test scores peaked. The decline in science and math skills has accelerated in the past decade according to rankings of American students compared to their peers overseas. A recent assessment, from 2015, placed the U.S. at 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD), the United States came in at 30th in math and 19th in science. Those poor results must be placed in a context of American taxpayers spending more money per student than any other country in the world, so the availability of resources is not necessarily a factor in most school districts.
Much of the decline is due to technical advances that level the playing field for teachers worldwide, but one must also consider changing perceptions of the role of education in a social context. In the United States in particular, political and cultural unrest certainly have been relevant factors. But all of that said and considered, the U.S. is now confronting a reassessment of values that will likely alter forever traditional education and will also make American students even more non-competitive with their foreign peers.