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:

Finland
South Korea
Hong Kong
Japan
Singapore
UK
Netherlands
New Zealand
Switzerland
Canada
Ireland
Denmark
Australia
Poland
Germany
Belgium
USA
Hungary
Slovakia
Russia

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.

Tags: education

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Well, yeah, one of the problems we have is that a huge proportion of the people obtaining the best education in the U.S. are foreign nationals from, most usually, Asia. Then we, very unwisely many think, give them the boot and send them home. 

It would be nice if our high schools (which is what we call the schools for teens before they are eligible for college/university) delivered students who were actually prepared to enter an institution of higher education.

Especially in our public universities, a lot of remediation needs to be done before the students are ready to take their 101's (the most basic courses in such subjects as English, math, biology, history, etc.

It's a scandal.

@Unseen, I replied to Stutz because you snuck in a "probably" into your post :)

Only unique in scale, not substance. I just think we're more encouraging than most others. Perhaps unique was a misleading word.

So, the larger the population the worse the educational system?

Interesting.

That's not what I said

I was referring to the correlation between sample size and the standard deviation. In this particular case it seems that having a higher sample size is actually going against the US since there are too many variables affecting the outcome of the possibilities.

The top ranked states for  public education by math and  science are mostly in the North East.

1. Mass, 2. Minn, 3. NJ, 4. N.H. 5. NY

http://www.livescience.com/14953-states-add.html

These schools are way above the national average. Population  and economy wise,  NY is very close to some of these top European states in your list. I would like to see these 5 states ranked individually against those top countries. Something tells me they will not disappoint you.

PISA provides sub national regional data to some extent. With the 2009 data on reading, the US North East did well, but not as well as you might have thought. It may only be including public schools though. As with anything, there are limits to such comparisons.

Sorry I don't have specific links. It takes digging through pdfs of moderate length.

A quarter? Massachusetts has a larger population than some of these countries. 

I should have said 1/20th. But the term '1/4''  is so commonly used when referring to a lesser amount that it just rolled off my tongue lol

How does population affect education? larger population means more students, sure.... it also means more funding.

A large population probably results in a larger budget. But per student? Not necessarily. 

Exactly my point. Population is irrelevant because more people means more funding for more students.

But probably less per student.

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