Check out this link to an article that explains why American schools, no matter how much a politician will try to convince you otherwise, are still pretty good.
We seem to have this need to want to be like China, Japan, Thailand when it comes to math scores and academic "progress." What is always left out of the discussion is the difference of culture. Asian countries are mostly hierarchical societies where moving up the social ladder is mostly unheard of. A poor family will stay poor and a wealthy family will remain wealthy. A lower or middle class student who performs well in school will most likely continue their station in that society. A "B" student in America will have more opportunities available simply because of the social structure here.
As pointed out in the article, the countries we compete against only report test results of a small population within their country and do not take into consideration all scores from across all socioeconomic backgrounds. We count the lowest of the low and highest of the high.