International Competitiveness

To measure a state’s performance on preparing its students for the international economy, we created an index of three measures. First, we used the analysis of Paul Peterson, Lugder Woesmann, Eric Hanushek, and Carlos Lastra-Anadon that compared 2011 state NAEP scores with the Programme for International Student Assessment test, simply referred to as PISA, to determine at the state level how many students were proficient compared with an international standard.

Second, as we calculated earlier for all AP tests, we broke out the class of 2013’s performance specifically on AP tests in the STEM subjects. Those tests included what the College Board identifies as AP STEM tests: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Computer Science A, Environmental Science, Physics B, Physics C-Mechanics, Physics C-Electricity and Magnetism, and Statistics.

Finally, we computed an identical analysis for what the College Board identifies as AP foreign language exams including Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Spanish language, and Spanish literature.

We used the same AP data from the metric on Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness, disaggregated into these two groups, to calculate the percentage of students in the class of 2013 who graduated having passed an AP STEM or foreign language exam. Those three measures—percent proficient internationally, AP STEM passages, and AP language passages—were averaged, ranked, and then curved for 10 states with A’s, 10 with B’s, 11 with C’s, 10 with D’s, and 10 with F’s.