Why American Students Are Actually Ahead of the World


The pervasive liberal educational myth is that American students are behind the rest of the world because we spend more money on nukes than on teachers. This myth contains three lies. The United States actually spends ridiculous amounts on education and our students are not behind.

It’s easy to see that because when we rank high performing students, the United States is Number One.

Among OECD nations in 2006, the United States claimed a third of high-performing students in both reading and science, far more than our next closest competitor, Japan. On math, we have a bit less to be proud of — we just claimed 14 percent of the high-performers, compared to 15.2 percent for Japan and 16.2 percent of South Korea.

If we have so many of the best minds, why are our average scores so disappointingly average? As Rutgers’s Hal Salzman and Georgetown’s B. Lindsay Lowell, who co-authored the EPI report, noted in a 2008 Nature article, our high scorers are balanced out by an very large number of low scorers. Our education system, just like our economy, is polarized.

The problem is in the averages. We have a fragmented multilingual educational system with few values. It is capable of giving achievers what they need to succeed, but has nothing much to offer those at the bottom.

Another way of looking at it is that the educational system is largely irrelevant. Values are. We have good students who are motivated at home to succeed and bad students who are not motivated at home, because their home hardly exists except as a dot on a bunch of social services agencies.

We are polarized between achievers and people whose big dream is to game the system for cash until it falls apart. Our educational scores reflect that disparity.

We have schools where students succeed and other schools where students are promoted by an educational bureaucracy that is gaming the educational standards.

  • Douglas Saballos

    In a few words you remind us of our educational problem. In Miami-Dade County we spend over 4.5 billion dollars a year and still get zip for our money. Our Public Schools and our Colleges are controlled by ideologues who brain wash our kids into left wing parasites. Is there a solution to this long term problem? I don’t know.

    • http://michellemalkin.com/ wolfeatworld

      Well, yes. Yes there is. It involves quite a bit of rope though.

      Let me explain: you take some of that rope you use when you’re moving, you know, the kind they sell you at U-Hall when you rent their trucks. But you’ll need a LOT of it for this to work.

      Ok. So, you get all your rope stacked up, get some friends, (you’ll need a LOT of these too), then go door to door in all the neighborhoods in each of yours and your friends cities, states and so on.

      You knock on each door, and you have like this clip board or something, and you pretend like you’re reading from it. (Remember to dress pretty good. You don’t want anyone getting suspicious). When the door opens, you say, “hey, good afternoon. We’re doing this survey thing, and I just need to ask you one question. That’s right, just one.”

      So then, since it’s only one question, they’ll usually say “Ok. Sure. I can answer one question”.

      “Are you a liberal or conservative?” (Yeah, some wise guys will tell you this is really two questions, but it’s not. I looked it up.)

      Now, depending of what they say, of course if they’re conservative, you just tell ‘em to have a nice day. But if not….(this is where it gets pretty hard sometimes), you have one of your pals stick his foot in the door so the liberal can’t close it on ya, and then you, you run very fast to the truck where you put all that moving rope and you get enough to tie the liberal up, make sure to tie them really tight too, but if it’s a girl or an old crippled person or something, you can leave the ropes a little looser than you would for a healthy male liberal. (I was gonna say ‘man’ liberal, but that’s like an oxymoron or something, if you know what I mean…)

      Are you still with me? Good. Ok. Now…two or three of you put the liberal over your shoulders and haul them out to the waiting truck (you have to rent a really BIG truck, with all the rope and stuff, or they’ll be no place to stack all the liberals.)

      Now, if you’re like me and real fast at stuff like this, and if you have friends that move like the wind, this whole deal could probably be completed in, oh, say…ten or twelve years –– at the most. I know; I know what you’re thinking. But it’s worth it! just think: no liberals anywhere in sight –– ever again!!

      (Personally, i think it’s like the greatest idea in the history of the World!).

      Oh yeah, remember, you won’t be able to return the rope to U-Hall, so if you want, you can just bury it all along with the liberals some place. Now the trucks, you HAVE to return them. If you don’t, people might get suspicious. So, bury the rope, the liberals, but NOT the trucks.

      (Besides, have you ever tried to bury a 18′ Box truck –– by yourself!? Tale it from me, not easy).

      Well, if you decide to use my idea, you don’t have to give me credit or anything. Getting rid of the liberals is reward enough.

      See ya…

  • truebearing

    This was a succinct and enlightening post. I didn't know we were doing well at anything when it comes to education. Naturally, the poor students — the ones the Left claims to be helping — continue to fail under the idiotic "guidance" of the Left.

    After the decades of failure within the education system, one has to assume that it is intentional on the part of those in control. If they won't admit that, they have to admit to being morons for continuing to do the same thing but expecting different results.

    I hate to strain the Left's collective intellect with anything too profound, but have they considered the possibility that egalitarianism has no representation in biology or nature? Some people, or animals, are just way smarter than others, so why not tailor education to meet the student's capacity and give less intelligent students options that will give them a decent chance at success? Everyone can't be a doctor and some people barely belong in high school, much less college. Of course the colleges are already fully functioning indoctrination mills and the only education the Left cares about is ideological.

  • Larry

    Those high achievers are doing that in spite of the system, not because of it.

    The leftard educational philosophy of equality of outcome necessarily means that you have to try and dumb the whole system down to the lowest common denominator.

    Instead of equality of opportunity and pursuit of excellence education in most of the English speaking world is now all about pursuit of equality and often actively discriminates against the bright students.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "It’s easy to see that because when we rank high performing students, the United States is Number One."

    In essence it boils down to the fact that the USA is the greatest place in many ways that matter most, but we lie to our students and tell them fantasies about "social justice" and so forth that makes many of them, frankly, lazy and blissfully ignorant.

    We are therefore at risk of losing a lot of that greatness. It seems to be happening now. Most of our controllable problems are caused by leftist delusion.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "Another way of looking at it is that the educational system is largely irrelevant. Values are. We have good students who are motivated at home to succeed and bad students who are not motivated at home, because their home hardly exists except as a dot on a bunch of social services agencies."

    And educational resources are available to virtually everyone. It boils down to motivation which usually flows from values.