China...is aware of its creativity deficit. In 2016, Beijing accelerated its Silicon Valley shopping spree, buying tech and talent it couldn’t produce at home. Americans often observe that China is imitative, not innovative, and that its politicized universities and denial of personal freedom make it dependent on others for new ideas. That may have been important before China got rich, but does China’s inability to foster innovation still matter now that it can purchase it overseas?
U.S. schools where <25% of students qualify for free- and reduced-price lunch (FRPL) fare extremely well in PISA rankings. In fact, they would rank first in reading and science and third in math among OECD countries.By contrast, U.S. schools where >75% of students qualify for FRPL fare very poorly, ranking nearly last in all subjects. Their scores are so low that they drag the overall U.S. average below the median, just above Mexico and Chile.
science diplomacy—whereby experts collaborate scientifically to address common problems and build constructive international partnerships—has more potential than is often recognized. Science diplomacy can of course help countries solve on-the-ground challenges and improve standards of living for their citizens. But it can also lay groundwork for improving relations in a region often defined by tension (if not outright conflict) through functional, scientific cooperation that is less politicized.
The ratio of rich math whizzes to poor ones is 3 to 1 in South Korea and 3.7 to 1 in Canada, to take two representative developed countries. In the U.S., it is 8 to 1. And while the proportion of American students scoring at advanced levels in math is rising, those gains are almost entirely limited to the children of the highly educated, and largely exclude the children of the poor. By the end of high school, the percentage of low-income advanced-math learners rounds to zero.
Fifteen years ago, teenagers in Poland scored below their American peers on the PISA test of critical thinking; today, Polish students perform well above our kids (despite Poland’s significant child poverty and political dysfunction). A greater percentage of Polish kids now graduate from high school than our kids ... it’s fantastic for Poland, but over the same time period, the U.S. has not budged. We remain subpar in math and science, and average in reading.
Analysts suggest that by 2020, there are expected to be one million more computing jobs than students in the U.S., which could leave an untapped market of $500 billion. Currently, the U.S. is ill prepared to fill these jobs. In one international study across 65 countries, the U.S. ranked 23rd or 24th in most subjects and 27th in math and science.
Math and science majors are popular until students realize what they’re getting themselves into, according to new research. In a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, researchers Ralph Stinebrickner of Berea College and Todd R. Stinebrickner of the University of Western Ontario say that college students are fleeing from math, physics, chemistry and the like after dipping into some classes.