Amanda Ripley explains just how badly the US is doing in education:
Even if we treat each state as its own country, not a single one makes it into the top dozen contenders on the list. The best performer is Massachusetts, ringing in at No. 17. Minnesota also makes it into the upper-middle tier, followed by Vermont, New Jersey, and Washington. And down it goes from there, all the way to Mississippi, whose studentsby this measure at leastmight as well be attending school in Thailand or Serbia. ...
Kevin Drum wants to know what Massachusetts is doing right. And Ripley dispatches the false hope that rich kids fare better:
[E]ven these relatively privileged students do not compete favorably with average students in other well-off countries. On a percentage basis, New York state has fewer high performers among white kids than Poland has among kids overall. In Illinois, the percentage of kids with a college-educated parent who are highly skilled at math is lower than the percentage of such kids among all students in Iceland, France, Estonia, and Sweden.
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