WASHINGTON D.C. – In spite of the United States being a superpower in the modern world, some wonder how it stacks up against schools in other countries. Some sources say it is worse than others, but a comparison from Great Schools that has some of the answers.
In academic performance overall, as data taken from 57 developed countries, Finland came out on top overall. Furthermore, Finnish 15-year-olds came in first place in science and second place in math. Great Schools said Hong Kong, Canada, Taiwan, Estonia, Japan and Korea are other top-performing countries.
The U.S. performed somewhere in the middle of the list. On average, Great Schools said, “16 other industrialized countries scored above the U.S. in science, and 23 scored above us in math.” The reading scores for this report were rejected due to a printing error.
The report also noted that the U.S. has one of the largest gaps between high-performing and low-performing students. A country like Finland, for example, will have a much smaller gap. A student in Finland will perform remarkably well regardless of what school they attend.
The Huffington Post said children in “Latvia, Chile and Brazil are making gains in academics three times faster than American students, while those in Portugal, Hong Kong, Germany, Poland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Colombia and Lithuania are improving at twice the rate.”
Though the U.S. is not at the top of the list for developed nations, it is no where near the worst-performing developing nations. In 2010, Osfam reported Somalia and Haiti topped the list for “world’s worst places to be a school child,” in a report released by the Global Campaign for Education.
In association with Education International, Oxfam, Plan, Save the Children and VSO, it was reported that poor countries are “teetering on the brink of an education crisis with the growth in access to education now stalling.”
The “Back to School?” report released by the Global Campaign for Education said 69 million children are still out of school. The report takes note of the economic impacts that lead to cuts in education provisions. Furthermore, only one country in Africa has more than 50 percent of its children in secondary school, Oxfam said.
As of 2013, 61 million children are not in primary school. In September, the Global Campaign for Education and fifteen other “leading civil society organizations” called for education to become a human right in the “post-2015 development framework by member states of the United Nations.”
The Global Campaign for Education said it would cover these fundamental principles:
- Every human being is entitled to the right to education.
- States are duty bearers and must respect, protect and fulfill human rights, including the right to education.
- The right to education begins at birth and is lifelong.
- Adult Education and literacy in a lifelong learning framework are an integral part of the right to education.
- A broad approach to quality education is needed.
- Equality and non discrimination are core elements of the right to education.
- Teachers are at the center of quality education.
- The State must provide sufficient financing for public education.
- There must be democratic governance in education.
- Human rights are integral, indivisible and interdependent.
– Alycia Rock