Measuring America’s Decline, in Three Charts : The New Yorker

The New Yorker has run an article reviewing a survey along with a number of derived diagrams which was executed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a Paris-based forum and research group.  The first of three diagrams presented in the article is below.  I wish I could say that this is the worst for the United States, but rather, sadly, it is the beginning of a trend.

Proficiency In Problem Solving

Many have raised alarms that the United States is falling behind in terms of educational (and, I would add motivational) achievement. This next chart shows that the United States scored 260.9, putting it second to last, above Italy in basic literacy.

Proficiency In Literacy

This final chart (which shows proficiency in numeracy among sixteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds) carries forward with the trend of Finland’s youth coming out on or near the top while the The United States was dead last.

Proficiency In Numeracy

From the article:
This is, again, far from the first international comparison to make the United States look bad. It is well known, for example, that when it comes to test scores in math and science, American middle-school and high-school students lag behind their counterparts in Asia and Europe. At this stage, we don’t really need more evidence that there is a problem. We need a concerted national effort to address it.

via Measuring America’s Decline, in Three Charts : The New Yorker.


Measuring America’s Decline, in Three Charts : The New Yorker — 2 Comments

  1. I don’t disagree with you– nor do I think the author of the New Yorker article would as toward the end he notes:

    > There are some questions that should be asked about any multi-
    > country survey like this one: Is the methodology consistent across
    > the sample? Does it control for cultural and language differences?
    > Can the results from various countries really be compared?

    I don’t think that the greater point; that the U.S. isn’t leading and we’ve got some serious work to do, with little (if any) time to waste.

    – Mike

    P.S. It’s good to hear from you…. It’s been far too long!

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