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It’s harder to be a poor student in the U.S. than in Russia Published: July 13, 2014

It isn't easy to be a disadvantaged high school student anywhere, but the U.S. education system appears to be particularly unkind to its less privileged youth, the Washington Post reports.

Poor students have a tougher time overcoming their socioeconomic odds in the U.S. than in Canada, France, Russia, and 33 other countries, according to a new global report by the OECD. Only about 20 percent of disadvantaged students in the U.S.—those in the bottom 25th percentile of the PISA index of economic, social and cultural status— show academic performance that's in the top 25th percentile internationally. In Russia and France, that percentage is only slightly higher; in Canada it's nearer to 35 percent. In a handful of East Asian countries, including Singapore, Vietnam, and several provinces in China, well over 60 percent of disadvantaged students rank in the top quarter of international students. The average among all OECD member countries is roughly 25 percent.

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