In the most recent survey conducted by the BBC and Harris Poll, more than 60 percent of respondents said the US is worse than other countries when it comes to teaching math and a majority expressed the same opinion about the science curriculum in the US.
So how can those numbers be turned around? In South Korea the answer lies in longer days and a much stricter study regimen. It is a model which even President Obama has praised but it is not without its drawbacks.
The BBC's John Sudworth reports on the drive to succeed in Seoul.