This article from The Atlantic paints a grim picture of how even top-performing U.S. kids suffer in international education comparisons. A study by Stanford economist Eric Hanushek (a number of you will discount him because he had the temerity to appear in that propaganda reel “Waiting for Superman”) found that
even…relatively privileged students do not compete favorably with average students in other well-off countries. On a percentage basis, New York state has fewer high performers among white kids than Poland has among kids overall. In Illinois, the percentage of kids with a college-educated parent who are highly skilled at math is lower than the percentage of such kids among all students in Iceland, France, Estonia, and Sweden.
There is much more here, and none of it will make you feel optimistic. Read it and weep.
I’m growing accustomed to people contorting themselves to defend the quality of education in this country. They will find any reason — the tests are bad, our kids are so diverse, so poor — to explain away bad results. This study is devastating.
By the way, the comment thread that follows the article on the magazine’s website has some interesting stuff in it, including some forceful refutations of Hanushek’s methodology.
Popularity: 2% [?]