USA above average in PISA test

Singapore again wins the top prize. :angry:

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Asian countries always excelled in math. I am surprised that the US is not ranked even lower…

We beat many European countries too like France and Italy. Most surprising we managed to beat Israel. Something is not right. :thinking:

Israel has social problems of its own.

Israel’s 60% students are from families who value religious studies more than science/math. Is the mainstream education focused families having less kids? Or maybe the religious studies focused families are producing many more kids.

Of course, men has the right to focus on religious studies all their life.

"according to a demographic study published in 2009, Haredim and Arabs together will amount to 60% of Israel’s elementary school population by 2030.[21] Haredim and Arab citizens are underrepresented in both the Israel Defense Forces and the workforce, since both groups are exempt from the otherwise compulsory military service, and in many Haredi sects men choose to focus only on religious studies throughout their life and rely financially on support from co-religionists, the State, etc.

The Haredim’s lack of mainstream education, and consequent low participation in the workforce, are regarded by many in Israel as a social problem."

We are 5th in spending per student and 25th in results. I don’t think we can maintain an economy where our median income is top 1% in the world with such average students. We’ve created 1M manufacturing jobs since the Great Recession. 350,000 are vacant, since our workers don’t have the right skills for high-tech manufacturing.

Singapore :grin:

Our education problem is not the student performance. The biggest problem is the content and type of the education we provide after 8th grade.

It’s impossible for an economy to have all the population to work on jobs which utitizes a college education. Our population is overly educated, half of the college education is wasted since we do not need that many college graduates. Half of the high school education is also not effective, since the kids who are not going to college have wasted their time on premier education they are not interested or not able to absorb.

If we cut 50% of the colleges and cut 50% of the high school, let kids to learn the more useful skills, our education spending will be less wasteful.

Our current system penalizes the bright students since we want to have the bottom students to receive the same education as the brightest. In the process, the bottom students are also harmed by lack of interest, lack of relevance and decease of confidence.

College education should be only for elite students or half elite. High school should be elite, half elite as well. The rest should get training in trades school, learning carpentry, window replacement, robot repair, medical billing, food preparation etc.


Systemic over education is the most wasteful of our government. It’s hurting the people who need not go to college.

Nobody is talking about this, because the professors and teachers have an incentive to keep people over educated. If there are alternative education such as trades schools, half of the teachers and professors will be out of job.

I sympathize millions of young people who have a degree but can not find any usefulness for their degree, who have a big student loan but no adequate job to pay back the loan.

Colleges have 50% more women than men. Men are less interested in college but high school gives them no job skill, just some fancy general education. Many college women can not learn much useful
skills in college but do accumulate a student debt. For every bright Hillary, there are hundreds of thousands of jobless young women with a fancy degree and a fancy college immersed brain.

Agree on the split between college and trade/professional schools after HS. Even in HS, I think classes should be more focused on building the knowledge and skills each type of student will need to succeed in his/her career path. Non-honors classes should not be watered-down versions of their counterparts. More practical instruction.

I believe you have very valid point.
However, top ranking contries in the list actually have much higher level of overall education across all populatuon than US.
In case of Korea, spending on education is way higher than US although it is not through public spending but through private.
The obsession with education has been the main reason for fast economic growth in past few decades in Korea. However, it is also true that overall population has been overly educated compare to available jobs. For example, a lot of young folks study a few more years after college to pass the hiring test for the lowest ranking goverment job and competition for such job is extremely high. You study law, history, korean and etc to very in-depth level (the test itself is very difficult to choose a few necessay people) to do a very simple admin job in a small townhall.
However, without such passion on education, the country wouldn’t have achieved such fast economic growth.
I guess there should be a sweet spot where things are well balanced between over and under education.
Furthermore, i guess society should support the people who have passion in academics. We will benefit from their efforts eventually.

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Our HS students are so bad at math that they aren’t capable of modern manufacturing jobs. Sheet metal, plumbing, and electrical unions now have tests that include algebra and geometry. If someone doesn’t know those, then they don’t have a chance at those jobs. What happens to HS students that don’t achieve that level? We just tell those people to be happy with minimum wage and government assistance?

I agree we create too many college grads with degrees that don’t have an application in the work force. It’s a huge waste of resources. It’s not popular to say it, but women that get STEM degrees and leave the work force for family isn’t great for economic output either. I get people do what’s best for their family, and that’s their right. We need to do more to keep those women engaged in the work force even if it’s part-time. We need some middle between working demanding hours and sacrificing family time vs working moderate hours and raising your kids. I’ve been at companies that allowed job sharing, but I’ve never seen anyone actually use the program.


I have no problem with people pursuing endless academic endeavors. .But I do have a problem with students accumulating massive debt, especially studying subjects that have no economic benefit. .We need more trained and skilled journeymen and less baristas with liberal arts degrees…

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When I talked to a few recent college grads who are underemployed at low paying job, with liberal arts degree from 3rd to 4th tier universities. I asked what’s their long term plans, they said that if they can’t get good jobs, they’ll go to graduate school to get PhD. I asked what area, they still plan to get PhD in anthropology and some other specializations which made me worried and felt sad for their innocent love of useless education. I can tell those people are not strong in academics, it may take them a long time to get a PhD and it might be even harder for them to get a good job after years of PhD program.

Over education sometimes hides a personal failure.

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Our entire society drills into kids’ heads that they should pursue their dreams. It works out great for a few lucky ones like Bill Gates and Michael Jordan. But nobody bothers to bring up the cost side of the equation: Can you really afford your dreams? At what costs?

We the money-loving Chinese are famous for pushing kids into STEM fields. Pursuing dreams is more of a Western concept to us.

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Pursuing your dream makes sense unless you less you are delusional, which many are…In my day, people that drifted thru college went to law school if they were smart enough. .Of course only half of law degree graduates have legal field jobs waiting for them. .Point is you can drift through graduate school too…There are not enough good paying jobs in traditional fields. .Industry needs to set up its own training programs for the highly skilled jobs they need filled…unfortunately kids and universities are not informed enough to know what and where those jobs are…Currently there are many more skilled specialty jobs than qualified workers…My wife graduated from Stanford the a MS in petroleum engineering. .She first was trained in that field in Russia…Did well in school…But gas was a $1/g when she graduated are there were few jobs…She went into tech instead…10 years later there was a shortage of petroleum engineers, now there is a glut. …It is not always the workers fault that labor and industry are mismatched…Industry with government help needs to educate its work force…

The phrases starving artist and starving musician exist for a reason. I think it’s smarter to pursue a good paying career and keep your passion as a hobby.

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I was half way thru my math PhD when I realized there weren’t that many jobs for people doing pure math. Every university was cutting budget and I heard horror stories of PhD’s drifting thru a series of post-docs making not that much above Teaching Assistant salaries with zero job security. Finally if you were lucky you may get a tenure track position in some god awful place like Oklahoma.

So I switched to CS and got a tech job in Silicon Valley. The funny thing is now that I have a lot of free time in my hand I am slowing rediscovering the joy of math. Only this time I have no pressure to make a living out of it and things are just way more enjoyable that way.

Sometimes pursuing your dreams need not be a straight path.

Pursuing endless education is only doable for a family who can afford doing so. Some people never want to leave school just to escape reality.

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That’s why I picked engineering in the first place. I had friends with older siblings that studied liberal arts. After college, their siblings moved back home and ended up at the same jobs they had in HS. I didn’t want that, and I never met someone with an engineering degree that wasn’t at least above average financially.

With so many college graduates with no viable career path to pay off their student loan, over education has become a time bomb to our democracy. These self claimed “educated” poor have no determination to work hard, they feel entitled to be fed by other hard working people.

A piltical revolution is in the making by the student starving professors.

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