What does Belgium have that the United States does not?

It has 16th place in a list of best-educated countries. The United States is in 17th place. Here is the list starting with Finland, the best-educated country in the world:

South Korea
Hong Kong
New Zealand

So, my question for you is why can't the richest country in the world come in ahead of Belgium, Poland, and Canada?

One man thinks he knows...

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant suggested on Tuesday that a decline in American education was precipitated by the mass entry of mothers into the work place.

Bryant's remarks, which came during a Washington Post event, immediately stirred controversy amid a recent broad discussion over women's roles as family "breadwinners."

At the Washington Post event, Bryant was asked why he thought the country's educational state had gotten "so mediocre."

"I'm going to get in trouble. You want me to tell the truth? You know, I think both parents started working," Bryant said. "The mom is in the work place."

According to the Post, Bryant immediately tried to clarify his remarks, saying that "both parents are so pressured" in modern family situations. (source)

Now, it's hard to talk about this subject without women getting their backs up because they know that a lot of people are happy to blame one more bad thing on the improvement of the lot of women over recent decades. I heard one female commentator say that Finland has an even higher proportion of families with two employed parents and yet they have a better educated populace than the United States. I wonder, however, how many Finlandish families have latchkey children? Perhaps Finnish children do not leave school for an empty home but instead have some sort of free childcare for the younger children and perhaps activities for the older children.

Anyway, on what do YOU blame the poor performance of American schools.

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I am only mentioning the data. I have no explanations just the odd speculation here and there. I would speculate a longer tradition of education bringing success. The orient, particularly China, has had a tradition of choosing government administrators based upon learning and tests going back to Confucius at least. It was about the only route to increasing social status and living standard.

In northern Europe the idea is about two centuries old but in southern Europe it is barely one century old and for all practical purposes much less.

I made another suggestion above.

I'm not sure what your point is. Behavior is part of culture. Asians tend to value education and accomplishment. Hispanics value family loyalty, often to the detriment of education and worldly accomplishment. These things tend to be enforced by parents.

High Fructose Corn Syrup combined with a cultural attack on intellectualism, combined with strategic cuts to education and advertisement of private schools that not everyone can afford or even be accepted to.

High Fructose Corn Syrup was originally used as a marketing ploy because it blocks the "I'm full" signal to the brain. If you think you're still hungry, then you'll buy more food. Turns out it blocks everything else from reaching your brain as well, and makes it more difficult for you to retain information. It also raises the chances of children being born with autism, and it's in EVERYTHING. Link

American movies and television are flooded with stupid people being praised for stupid crap. Rednecks on tv doing unprogressive, and unproductive stunts for laughs. Humans, especially impressionable young ones tend to emulate things that make them happy or laugh. It can be argued that Pepe Le Pew taught children that sexual harassment was okay. There's no evidence to support it, but there is a correlation.

Back in the fifties when all the smartest people in the world were doing research, they were doing so in America. That's because our public education system, the one where anyone with a birth certificate or a green card could attend for free, also included college, up to a doctorate level. And it was more than adequate. It was adequate for that particular generation to put two men, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. ON THE FRICKEN MOON!!!! We cannot do that today. We have the technology to blow up the moon, but we do not have the technology to put somebody on it again. When NASA goes up to the ISS and puts out their cool youtube videos about wet washrags in zero G, they have to hitch a ride with the Russians. And the really fucked up thing is they are lower on that list than us.

George Carlin said it right. They don't want people who are smart enough to know how bad their getting screwed over, they want them just smart enough to run the machinery that makes the crap that they screw the people over with.

I think there are parts of this country with excellent educational systems. It also depends greatly on the parents to follow through. I do not believe the US is as bad as they make it out to be, but I do agree that the US lacks entreprenureal flare and know-how compared to other countries. Let's not however confuse that with the term "uneducated."

Belle, I'd say that where there are good educational systems there tends to be affluence. Inner city schools are notoriously bad by comparison with school systems in the more affluent suburbs or when compared with expensive private schools..

Maybe affluent parents are better parents in many ways (they probably are in relevant senses), but I think money buys better education, otherwise you'd need to explain how more better parents end up with kids in those better school systems and I don't think you can,

Also, I'd say that if the U.S. excels at anything, it's "entrepreneurial flair." What evidence do you have that we lag behind in that area/

I'd say that better off people tend to have more stable and less chaotic lives, more able to support the environment necessary for the child to educate themselves. 

Here in the US where education is paid for locally, they are also more likely to vote FOR taxes designed to improved education in their district.

Unfortunately the distribution of taxes towards education is not equal in all places. 

*most well educated countries.

There is a difference between superlative (best) and comparative (well) adverbs. Finland is the best educated country, while Belgium is among the most well educated ones. 


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