School Education: measuring America's decline, in three charts
What is a threat? And what about a plague? Can you describe a stagnation?
Read this article from The New Yorker about the US school education.
In recent years, a number of international surveys have raised alarms that the United States is falling behind other countries in terms of educational achievement. Now there is another one, and its findings represent a serious to the country’s future prosperity. In basic literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills, the new study shows, younger Americans are at or near the bottom of the standings among advanced countries.
The survey was by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a Paris-based forum and research group, which counts thirty-three high- and middle-income countries among its members. Some of its findings have been well covered elsewhere, particularly by the Times’ editorial board and its economics columnist Eduardo Porter.
But the data comparing young adults aged sixteen to twenty-four in different countries—the who will be manning the global economy for the next thirty or forty years—deserves a closer look. The figures come from three charts in the report’s statistical annex, which we have adapted here. Taken together, they vividly illustrate some of the challenges facing an economic that has for decades been by wage and rising inequality, and which, as President Obama has pointed out, desperately needs to raise its game.
The numbers come from the O.E.C.D.’s inaugural Survey of Adult Skills, a massive exercise in which researchers interviewed five thousand people in each participating country. In order to capture their ability to function in “technology rich environments,” the subjects were also asked to answer questions on a computer.
to carry out (v) to do a particular piece of work, research etc
folk or folks (n) people of a particular type or from a particular place
hegemon (n) one that exercises hegemony, political or social influence
to plague (v) to cause a lot of problems for someone or something for a longperiod of time
stagnation (n) a situation in which there is no progress or development
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