Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Education Gloom and Doom   posted by DavidB @ 12/05/2007 03:38:00 AM

A few days ago (see a few posts down) I reported on recent education statistics in Britain, which, as usual, purport to show that educational achievement has risen. Not surprisingly, some comments were sceptical about the reality of such claims.

Their scepticism seems to be vindicated by the latest international comparisons from an OECD study, which shows Britain falling from 7th to 17th place (out of 50 or so 'advanced' countries) between 2001 and 2007.

But before our American readers start gloating, they should note that the US is only 21st in the same table. Indeed, on searching Google News for "OECD education", it seems that just about every country in the study finds something to moan about - even the Canadians, who are very close to the top.

And who is actually at the top? Sorry, Razib, but it's Finland.

Added on 6 December: It has rightly been pointed out that the UK ranking of 17th relates to Reading, while the US ranking of 21st relates to Science, so they are not comparable. Mea culpa. The correct figures are: UK: Reading 17th, Science 14th, Mathematics 24th. USA: Science 29th, Mathematics 35th. There does not seem to be a Reading ranking for the USA. I think I read somewhere that there was some error in the American test papers which invalidated the results for Reading.