Thursday, October 1, 2009

Is We Educated?

According to a study of the World's math and science scores by country America ranks 9th.

While I would love us to be number one I am a realist and I understand that we cannot be the leader on every front. Naturally I hope we use this as a stimulus (can I use that word for this?) to do better in the coming years.

But while coming in ninth may not be bad considering how many countries there are in the world it is nevertheless not something to be terribly proud of. I mean you are not going to hear many citizens going around shouting "We're Number 9" unless they are inveterate Beatles fans.

Of course being number 9 is thirty better than our rank in the World's ratings for health care but that's another story (See Below.)

What I find interesting is the placement of the countries above and below us.

Not surprisingly taking the top 5 spots are the Asian countries of:

Chinese Taipei - South Korea - Singapore - Hong Kong & Japan.

Hungary is a bit of a surprise at number 6 and I guess I'll have to stop with my joke about their schools being from hunger.

England coming in at number 7 is not a shocker although I would have liked to have beaten those blokes.

Another slight surprise is that the US is sandwiched between Russia above and Lithuania below.

Many countries just like small school districts have to include a diverse student class that is not as homogeneous as one might think. For example in my neighborhood many years ago I had the task of rating school districts for my kids and I found that a certain area had lower grades than I expected. I found that the poor scores were a direct result of many students being transient as their parents were in the military. These children, through no fault of their own were not scoring as high as they most likely would have given more stability in their lives.

Israel is further down the list than I expected but as noted above without a more detailed breakdown of their student class I make no assumptions.

The bottom six on the reported list includes no surprises as far as I am concerned. I will leave most of the editorializing to you but I will ask if you feel education of the masses, including women is high up on the list of importance in these countries:

Qatar - Saudi Arabia - Colombia - Egypt - Iran - Turkey.

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