Dead Last

The United States is Dead Last in Basic Skills Solving among the eighteen industrial countries taking part in a test on literacy, numeracy, and digital problem-solving.

The non-shocking results come from the Program for the International Assessment for Adult Competency (PIACC) which tested thousands of adults aged 16 to 74.

The Wall Street Journal reports …

The countries that scored the highest on the problem-solving with technology criteria were Japan, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Poland scored second to last, just above the U.S.

One stark revelation is that about four-fifths of unemployed Americans cannot figure out a rudimentary problem in which they have to spot an error when data is transferred from a two-column spreadsheet to a bar graph. And Americans are far less adept at dealing with numbers than the average of their global peers.

When the original study by the OECD was published in 2013, then-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan didn’t pull his punches. “These findings should concern us all,” he said. “They show our education system hasn’t done enough to help Americans compete—or position our country to lead—in a global economy that demands increasingly higher skills.”

The new report does nothing to dispel that gloom. Data on 16- to 34-year-olds, for instance, found even workers with college degrees and graduate or professional degrees don’t stack up favorably against their international peers with similar education levels.

In the 1970s, the U.S. had the most educated workforce in the world. Since 2000, the skills and knowledge of U.S. high-school graduates have stagnated while those of other countries have increased rapidly.

Administrators and Unions First, Kids Last

The report confirms the US educators get paid the most for delivering the least.

That’s precisely what one would expect when union hiring and firing practices put educators and administrators first and kids last.

Union rules make it virtually impossible to get rid of bad teachers, even child molesters.

Doubt that statement? Then please see California Students File Constitutional Challenge to Teacher Firing Practices; Unions are the Child Molester’s Best Friend.


US Problem Solving Score

Link to PIAAC Report, ht CJ and Tony.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock