Wednesday, February 19, 2014

OECD Skills Data

Re. the OECD report that came out on Oct. 8th (see and this NYT, a friend wrote:
Those OECD skills data are, I believe, the most devastating indictment of the status quo in American education that I've ever seen. I want to emphasize, since too many in the media read the report too quickly and too sloppily, this point: if you look at the tables on pages 75, 85, and 95 of the full report, you see that, simply adding the literacy, numeracy, and problem solving scores together, the USA has the worst results of any of the 22 countries that can be compared -- BELOW those of Italy and Spain. And since the report states that tertiary graduates in those two Mediterranean countries are less skilled than those completing secondary school in Japan and the Netherlands, it is entirely possible that average American college graduates are also less skilled than those Dutch and Japanese teenagers; and the current national strategy of regaining world leadership in the college completion rate could make this problem worse, and could lead to lives of worse opportunities, accompanied by more indebtedness and devalued degrees, for this rising generation than those my generation has had, unless learning standards associated with these qualifications are strengthened, rather than reduced, which is what I see happening all around me.

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