If you’re in an American college right now, it may feel like you are getting the best education possible on the Earth–but you’d be wrong, according to a series of academic studies.
The problem with our perception of colleges is that we’ve based the success of a school on where it ranks in the world and not the actual results that those schools produce when they send their students out into the real world. For instance, a study by the London-based Times Higher Education put out a list of the top 25 colleges and universities in the world and 18 of them were American. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s study, however, paints a different and much bleaker color on the subject.
They administered an assessment test to adults in several countries including the United States between the ages of 16 and 65 and it found that only 18 percent of American in adult ages who received bachelor’s degrees finished in the top two of the five levels of assessment. That falls below the worldwide average of 24 percent. Another third of those with bachelor’s degrees from American school couldn’t make it to the third level. According to the result of the test, that means that the latter group can’t do math that required “several steps and may involve the choice of problem-solving strategies.” The scariest part is that some of them probably work for the IRS.
So when we say “We’re number one!”, that’s not entirely accurate. Add in that cartoon from yesterday showing that Captain America isn’t #1, and it’s shaping up to be one of the more depressing Fourth of July celebrations in our lifetime…