This article discusses the ranking of the U.S. education 17th on an international scale.
A recent study published by the educational firm Pearson ranks the education within the United States 17th on an international scale. Consequently, Pearson ranked Finland, South Korean, and Hong Kong as the top three, respectfully, for developed nations in education. Furthermore, a 2009 study ranked the United States 25th amongst 34 nations in math and science.
Similarly, amongst 24 OECD nations – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development – a study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics states that the United States has a 37% college graduation rate for a bachelors level degree. The OECD had a mean average of 38% amongst nations which submitted data.Finland boasted a 63% graduation rate at this level, ranking first. The Slovak Republic and Iceland boasted a 57% graduation rate, ranking second, respectfully.
On the other hand, on an international literacy rate scale, the United States boasts a 99% literacy rate for individuals 15 years of age and older. Luxembourg boasts a 100% literacy rate. So why then, does the United States produce such good readers and poor students in Math and Science?
Being amidst a biological, chemical, nuclear, and technological revolution with students being taught the concepts of DNA and computer applications at such a young age, one would assume that students would perform better in the arenas of Mathematics and Science.
During his presidency, former President George W. Bush passed the ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ as an attempt to put more pressure upon our teachers to get our children to perform better in the classrooms, to no avail. With lucrative careers in Aerospace technology, engineering, chemistry, and biology why aren’t our students taking more of an interest in these subjects?
Shall we cast blame upon teachers who have overcrowded classrooms and out of date textbooks? Shall we cast blame upon parents whom don’t stimulate educational activities and learning at home? We must of course take into consideration the prevalence of the single parent home and poverty as well.
Are our children more concerned with Facebook and Youtube than they are with their educations? There is no single faceted answer, there is no simple solution. We should not base individual intelligence specifically upon test scores because this is not an accurate measure of intelligence but performance.
Intelligence is multifaceted. There are multiple forms of intelligence such as emotional intelligence, musical intelligence, athletic intelligence, artistic and creative intelligence, mechanical intelligence, and many others. One of the greatest mathematical geniuses of our time was flunking out of school, and specifically mathematics. Albert Einstein.
Mr. Einstein’s postulation on the Theory on Relativity and Special Relativity shaped the minds of physicists and intellectuals for years. His formula E=MC2, energy x the speed of light squared, can be found within classrooms across the nation.
So should we overreact to such a ranking on an international scale? I would like to think not, for we are a nation of innovators and the intellect behind such innovation, and potential of each unique individual just can’t be measured by a standardized test.