A couple of weeks ago an article on The Fordham Institute page positively commented on the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). They wrote:

Among the findings:

  • In raw numbers, the U.S. produces many more high-achieving students than any other OECD nation—more high-achievers than France, Germany, and the UK combined (both in reading and in math).
  • On the downside, in raw numbers, the U.S. also produces many more low-achieving students (both in reading and in math) than any other OECD nation, including Mexico and Turkey.

Unfortunately I can not see a bright light even in these findings. What good does it do to U.S. to boast about exceeding France, Germany and UK combined in the number of high-achievers combined, when our GDP is significantly bigger than theirs combined? Quick trip to Woflram alpha produced the following chart:

While the upside is really non-existing,  the downside on the other hand, the number of low achievers in our developed country, spells social and economic trouble down the road. We simply can not afford not to deal with these problem. This is a ticking social bomb that is nothing less than a direct threat to our national security. Additional criticism of the report is that without China and India no international comparison is really meaningful.


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