K-12 Blues

Kiosa Coup's picture

Interesting link from Barbara Oakley's Learning How To Learn Friday newsletter:

Foreign Students Say U.S. High School Classes Are Absurdly Easy

When the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy surveyed foreign exchange students studying in the U.S. in 2001, it found that they thought that education in the United States was a cake walk compared to secondary education in their home countries. And when it conducted the survey again in 2016, it found that exchange students thought that U.S. education was even less challenging than before.

. . .

Thank goodness we're reinventing that wheel.


tomaj's picture

It would be interressting to see what the numbers are in other countries, like the UK, to compare with the US numbers.

- Tom

Kiosa Coup's picture

From Education by the Numbers:


The latest 2012 PISA test results, released Dec. 3, 2013, show that the U.S. lags among 65 countries (or sub country entities) even after adjusting for poverty. Top U.S. students are falling behind even average students in Asia. I emphasize Asia because Asian countries (or sub entities) now dominate the top 10 in all subjects: math, reading and science.

In descending order from the top spot in math, they are (1) Shanghai, (2) Singapore, (3) Hong Kong, (4) Taipei, (5) Korea, (6) Macao, (7) Japan, (8) Lichtenstein, (9) Switzerland and (10) the Netherlands. Most of these countries are also posting top-of-the charts reading scores. (Here’s the global list. See Table 1.A on page 19.


The global list link is a PDF (slow) - if you click through to the article, the author has created a couple of tables that you can zoom in on (faster).

In summary (fastest):

[country] [maths] [reading] [science]

China, 613,570,501
UK, 494,499, 514
Norway, 489, 504, 495
US, 481, 498, 497

These are 2013 numbers, published that year. A December 2016 headline read:

American teens' math scores fall on international test.


tomaj's picture

Thanks Kiosa Coup :)

Kiosa Coup's picture

being able to retrieve memorized stuff under pressure is not the same as being able to synthesize innovation.. . . and part of the reason we are having so much trouble with the latter may very well be because we haven't figured out a way to systematically test for it.