The Guardian:

Chinese schoolchildren
Shanghai’s lead was so clear that the results were the equivalent of its students having had three additional years of schooling, the OECD estimates. Photograph: Stringer Shanghai/REUTERS

Asia's rising economic success has helped China's hi-tech corridor to take a clear lead in the latest OECD international education rankings.

The results of the OECD's programme for international student assessment – a triennial exam for 15-year-olds known as Pisa – show that China's Shanghai region easily tops the rest of the world in maths, reading and science.

Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea made up the rest of the top five for maths, followed by the Chinese island of Macao.

Elsewhere, Pisa results were a further disappointment for the US, which saw its maths rank fall to 36th place overall, worse than its 2009 performance, which President Obama dubbed a "Sputnik moment" for American education. In reading, the US fell seven places, to 24th, and in science the country came in 28th, down five...

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