It seems a little ironic.
Aside from some concerns about the methodology employed in this report, somehow I cannot get excited about the US scoring somewhat above the international average when we once were number one.
It’s no secret that the world’s economy increasingly demands a better educated workforce, so comparing our kids’ performance to the world average isn’t likely to maintain a high standard of living in this country.
I’m far from the only one worried about this. John Cassidy, writing for the New Yorker, just posted “Measuring America’s Decline, in Three Charts.”
Cassidy’s three charts show how 16 to 24-year olds in the US now score well down the list against their counterparts in some of more developed countries in a recent study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
• Out of 19 countries, our young adults scored dead last for problem solving skills.
• Out of 21 countries, our young adults scored second to last in literacy.
• Out of 21 countries, our young adults scored dead last in numeracy (can you say math?).
So, we might be a tad better than average, but that isn’t nearly good enough. Even the New Yorker gets it. As Mr. Cassidy points out:
“At this stage, we don’t really need more evidence that there is a problem. We need a concerted national effort to address it.”
And, trying to make about average sound like we are on top of the world isn’t going to solve this problem, either.