While some may partially-jest that one only need look at United States elected politicians to know that Americans aren’t the smartest people in the world, there are now test results that prove that Americans are academically behind in scores compared to some other countries in the world, according to an Al Jazeera report on Tuesday.
Adults in the United States received grades below the international average on a global test that was given in mathematics, reading, and problem-solving utilizing technology. All of these areas of academia are critical for global competition and a nation’s ability to have a strong economy. The report claims the countries of Japan, Canada, Finland, and Australia – as well as other nations across the globe – had adults scoring a good deal higher than adults in the United States. These countries scored better than the United States in all three categories according to the results announced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which is comprised of primarily industrialized countries.
The exam tested basic math and reading skills of those tested, as well as basic routine activities representative of what persons would be expected to do in a variety of jobs – such as sorting email, comparing food expiration dates on grocery store labels, and figuring out mileage reimbursement a person may receive on one of many different jobs.
The exam gave generalities that have been expected for a time in educational circles, such as there being a good-sized ability gap between persons whose parents graduated from college and persons whose parents didn’t finish high school.
The entire educational study is called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. Approximately 157,000 people aged 16-to-65 were tested from more than 20 countries and sub-national regions across the globe. One of the participants in the study was the Education Department’s Center for Educational Statistics.
Besides the United States performing poorly on the exam, other countries – where unemployment is high – did poorly as well. Among some of the very worst scores were Spain which currently has a 25 percent unemployment rate and Italy which has b 12 percent unemployment rate. The northern part of Europe – where Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands are located – did much better.
Another well-assumed result of the study shows that persons with low literacy skills are twice as likely to be unemployed – showing the need for education throughout the world.
In a statement from United States Education Secretary Arne Duncan, he asserted that the nation needs to find ways to reach more American adults to upgrade their academic skills. He claims that no matter how hard people work, they will be stuck – unable to support their families and contribute fully to our country.