The problem is that the 'formers are either knowingly misrepresenting these test results, or don't know how to read them correctly. And the media, which has shown over and over again that it can't do even the most basic analysis, is playing along.
Tino Sanandaji takes the 'formers to task:
So similar to my comparison of GDP levels, let us compare Americans with European ancestry (about 65% of the U.S population, and not some sort of elite) with Europeans in Europe. We remove Asians, Mexicans, African-Americans and other countries that are best compared to their home nations. In Europe, we remove immigrants.Read the entire thing - it's well worth it. I do, however, have to respond to this:
The results are astonishing at least to me. Rather than being at the bottom of the class, United States students are 7th best out of 28, and far better than the average of Western European nations where they largely originate from.
The mean score of Americans with European ancestry is 524, compared to 506 in Europe, when first and second generation immigrants are excluded. So much for the bigoted notions that Americans are dumb and Europeans are smart. This is also opposed to everything I have been taught about the American public school system.
Similarly, the left claims that the American education system is horrible, because Americans don’t invest enough in education. The left has no answer when you point out that the United States spends insanely more than Europe and East Asia on education. According to the OECD, the United States spends about 50% more per pupil than the average for Western Europe, and 40% more than Japan.I have an answer: a large part of that expenditure in the US includes providing health care and retirement benefits to teachers and other public school workers. But in every other OECD country, those expenses are provided to all citizens nationally. So the US has to report those expenses on human welfare as part of its education spending, while other countries do not. That makes a huge difference.
I am still waiting for some academic to do a comparison on spending that takes this into account. Tino, have you started on you dissertation yet?