Sorry I have to say this so loud, but it's a myth that students in the USA underperform academically. Now it's a big myth, and you'll learn about it in colleges of education, but it simply isn't true. The USA is a big, big place. Some places are like Third World nations and you know about the other places because the Americans on this forum come from there. Taiwan, with a population almost the same as Canada, is like a medium-sized American state. Korea is slightly bigger and Finland has fewer people than New York City and an economy that's almost entirely dependent on one company
...accounting for about a third of the market capitalization of the Helsinki Stock Exchange (OMX Helsinki) as of 2007, a unique situation for an industrialized country
Factually, there are US states that do as well as Asian nations. The graph in this blog post illustrates my point well.
I recommend reading the whole thing because it does a good job of explaining where all those statements about how good or bad schools here and there come from.