Stagnation Leaves U.S. Lagging in World Education Achievement

August 18, 2013 in Top News, U.S. News

OECD Tertiary Graduation Rate ChartEducational achievement in the United States is slipping significantly behind compared to advances in other developed countries according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s “Education at a Glance 2013”, a compilation of 2011 education statistics for the world’s most developed countries. Statistics reflect a stagnation in U.S. educational achievement levels extending now into decades compared to other nations committed to fast-track prioritizing of higher education.

South Korea, Japan, Canada and the Russian Federation now outstrip the U.S. in the percentage of 25 to 34 year olds achieving tertiary,  or advanced post-secondary, education. According to the OECD study, 43.13 percent of U.S. young adults in that age group have gone on to college-level education as of 2011. That compares to 56.46 percent in the Russian Federation, 56.71 percent in Canada, 58.70 percent in Japan, and 63.82 percent in South Korea.

South Korea outpaces all other OECD countries in the degree to which younger adults are out-performing older adults in their ultimate level of educational accomplishment.

Future contenders for educational achievement leaders can be identified among the OECD list as well. On the average, 45.86 percent of OECD countries’ adult populations ages 25 to 64 years old have attained upper secondary technical or general education as of 2011. Highest among these were the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic —74.09 and 72.56 percent respectively —followed by Poland, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Germany, Japan, Estonia and Sweden.

Recent analysis of OECD and other educational source data by’s Josh Tom reveals further deficiencies in U.S. educational performance.

Even while the U.S. has spent 50 percent more on education than the OECD average, graduation rates in the U.S. are below OECD averages for both high school and college levels. Statistics from the Program for International Student Assessment reveal that average math, reading and science scores lag behind compared to what they should for the investment being made, Tom points out. U.S. scores for 15 year olds rank 12 among 34 for reading, 17 for science, and 25 for math.