How about “We’re #36!” as a slogan? Does that sound like something to get excited about?
Well, this is where the U.S. finished in a recent global academic exam, given to 15 and 16 year olds in 65 countries. An article on CNN did a nice job of detailing what happened. Essentially, out of the 65 countries involved, the U.S. finished in the bottom half in terms of scores. As in, ranking 36 out of 65.
The exam apparently covered math, science, and reading. Clearly, these are core subjects that one needs to excel at to be positioned for success in the future. Yet the U.S. finished behind many other notable countries, such as:
- China – 1st
- South Korea – 5th
- Japan – 7th
- Finland – 12th
- U.K. – 26th
I think that many people get this, but there are also probably many others that wouldn’t believe it or don’t see the significance. One person I told this to, after I saw this, made the joking comment that “at least we’ll do better than 36th in the Olympics!”.
Not sure about you, but if I could have my country finish 1st in either the Olympics or 1st in a global academic exam, I’d choose the latter. Of course I’d rather see top finishes in both, but you get the idea 🙂
How about seeing your home country finishing first in financial education? That would be good too, though I’m guessing that would come as an outcome of finishing at or near the top of the academic exam.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you see this as a sign of the U.S. needing to ramp up its educational system to continue to compete at a high level? After all, the world is shrinking and getting more competitive.
Good Reading from Around the Personal Finance Blogosphere
Here are some recent posts that caught my eye, that I’d like to share:
Sep-IRAs; How to Increase Retirement Savings for the Self Employed at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance
Soldier of Luxury at Mr. Money Mustache
When the Right Choice Isn’t Obvious at Get Rich Slowly
Has Holiday Gift Giving at the Office Gotten Out of Control at Frugal Rules
When It Doesn’t Pay to Buy Big-Ticket Items on Sale at Len Penzo
The Golden Rule of Student Loan Consolidation at The Student Loan Sherpa
Counting Stars at Debt Discipline
Don’t Let a Salary Raise Get in the Way of Hustling at My Personal Finance Journey
4 Ways to Stop Being a Serf at Frugal Portland
How to Beat Carnival Games at Blifaloo (indirectly a money-related post!)