The dumbing down of America proceeds apace. In a test of the world’s high school students, the United States did not make the top twenty. Compared to other high income countries we have the second largest percentage of children who fail to meet basic skill levels upon graduation.
The Street has the story:
The world’s top high school students are outside of the United States. According to a report commissioned by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 24% of students in the U.S. fail to meet a basic level of skills after they leave school – that’s the second-worst percentage of all high-income countries analyzed on this scale.
It does not bode well for America’s future. An undereducated population is not going to lead the nation to a bright economic future:
According to the OECD Report, “Universal Basic Skills What Countries Stand To Gain,” economic growth and social development are closely correlated to the skills of a country’s population. “Earlier research shows the causal relationship between a nation’s skills – its knowledge capital – and its long-run growth rate, making it possible to estimate how education policies affect each nation’s expected economic performance,” it notes.
How was the survey conducted?
The OECD survey focuses on 76 countries that currently have data on school enrollment and on achievement. The country ranking is based on a triennial survey called the Program for International Student Assessment(PISA), an international assessment that measures how 15-year-old students perform in reading, mathematics, science, and problem-solving. In addition to student performance, the survey considers enrollment rates, gross domestic product (GDP) and population.
As for the top twenty nations, here they are:
2. Hong Kong China
5. Chinese Taiwan
17. New Zealand
20. United Kingdom
While American educators are bemoaning the fact that our schoolchildren work too hard, it looks as though they do not work anywhere nearly as hard as their peers around the world. It is probably not an accident that the nations that are on the top of the list are those that have Tiger Moms. I would note that no South American or Southern European nations made the list either.
The report does not affix blame, so I will not either.