Outsourcing starts to make a lot more sense when considered in the context of the results from PISA, a comprehensive exam given to students in 65 countries:
In math, the Shanghai students performed in a class by themselves, outperforming second-place Singapore, which has been seen as an educational superstar in recent years. The average math scores of American students put them below 30 other countries. …
In reading, Shanghai students scored 556, ahead of second-place Korea with 539. The United States scored 500 and came in 17th, putting it on par with students in the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and several other countries.
In science, Shanghai students scored 575. In second place was Finland, where the average score was 554. The United States scored 502 — in 23rd place — with a performance indistinguishable from Poland, Ireland, Norway, France and several other countries. …
“I know skeptics will want to argue with the results, but we consider them to be accurate and reliable, and we have to see them as a challenge to get better,” he added. “The United States came in 23rd or 24th in most subjects. We can quibble, or we can face the brutal truth that we’re being out-educated.”
The United States is losing any competitive edge that it might have had in past generations. We used to boast about having the most intelligent scientists, the most creative engineers, the most inspiring mathematicians. American research and technology was at the cutting edge of international progress for decades – albeit often driven by militaristic goals – and our educational standards represented the pinnacle of global excellence.
These days, we have very little to offer aside from epidemic obesity and ADHD, with a sprinkling of both physical and intellectual sloth. Read more of this post