Expert Tells Senators America is Lagging in Education Standards

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One of the world’s “foremost experts on comparing national school systems told lawmakers on Tuesday that many other countries were surpassing the United States in educational attainment, including Canada, where he said 15-year-old students were, on average, more than one school year ahead of American 15-year-olds,” the New York Times reports.

America’s education advantage, unrivaled in the years after World War II, is eroding quickly as a greater proportion of students in more and more countries graduate from high school and college and score higher on achievement tests than students in the United States, said Andreas Schleicher, a senior education official at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, which helps coordinate policies for 30 of the world’s richest countries.

“Among O.E.C.D. countries, only New Zealand, Spain, Turkey and Mexico now have lower high school completion rates than the U.S.,” Mr. Schleicher said. About 7 in 10 American students get a high school diploma.

The comments came during a hearing conducted by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The panel plans “to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the main law governing federal policy on public schools.”

You can watch the hearing here.

(credit image – getty)

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3 Comments

Filed under Education, Hearings

3 responses to “Expert Tells Senators America is Lagging in Education Standards

  1. SpoutingHorn

    Gee, but the Federal Government spends more and more money every year on education? Why hasn’t literacy risen?

    The fact is, since the creation of the US Dept. of Education, spending has exploded, but we’re less educated than before.

    And the answer? Spend more money!

  2. If you don’t pay enough to attract the best people into the teaching profession (and America doesn’t) then you’ll have to import even more brains to keep your economy on the road (more than half of the graduates in postgraduate science and technology degrees in the US are from overseas and have been for a long time).

    What’s changed is that America is being overhauled and the best and the brightest from around the world are less keen on living in America. More and more from China, India and elsewhere are going home to fund startups that will take jobs from America.

    But, don’t worry. In America there’s a degree for every pocket. And the price will keep going up to match any increase in funding. It’s a bit like insurance companies and the healthcare really. They’ve consumed the productivity gains that have should have accrued to workers in higher salaries since the 1980s.

  3. NellBa

    This article contains some out and out falsehoods such as this:
    “America’s education advantage, unrivaled in the years after World War II …” All during the 1950s and beyond we were told that the USSR had the best
    shools in the world. American schools were awful. Think of the best seller “Why Johnnie Cant Read”. American schools we were told over and over with shrieks of delight were pathetic. Go back and read the torrent of articles and speeches after Sputnik on how the USA was losing the Space Race because of our schools. Check Admiral Hyman Rickover’s tirade on the subject. In reality what took place in high schools had nothing whatever to do with Sputnik. The USSR was first because they chose to do it as
    they had publicly stated during announcements for the International Geophysical Year. The outcome of the Cold War was determined by events in
    real life not within schools.

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