The BBC published the broad outline of a recent OECD survey of educational attainment for 76 countries around the world. Data will officially be released next week. My Google search for details suggests other news organization writing about this are simply repeating the BBC story.
The survey is based on testing of 15-year-olds on science and math. It differs from the OECD’s previous Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) studies–the latest published in 2012–in two ways:
–it includes an extra 11 countries, and
–it doesn’t have the third PISA test, reading.
The US finished 28th.
Pending the full release of data, this may actually be a perverse kind of “good” news. In the 2012 rankings, the US finished with average showings in science and reading, and below average marks (in 36th place) in math.
Generally speaking, the US beats out Latin America but loses to the EU and Asia. As can be seen from the interactive chart in the BBC article, China, India and most of Africa aren’t included.
These surveys are presumed to be important (I think they in fact are) both because they give an indication of equality of opportunity within a given country (the US is below average but making some progress) and international economic competitiveness (unclear to me whether the US is mired in average or is slipping).
More when the actual report is out.