December 7 2012

Stuck in the Middle Again…

Vicki E. Alger

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently released a report ranking the U.S. in the middle of the global pack when it comes to educational performance.

Finland and South Korea placed first and second followed by Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Next in line were the U.K., the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland, respectively. Canada came in 10th, followed by Ireland and Denmark. On the top 20 list the U.S. came in 17th—ahead of Hungary, Slovakia, and Russia. As the International Business Times reports: 

The study suggested that countries with a greater choice of schools provided better educational outcomes than those that offered fewer choices of schools.

“For-profit private education is providing students in some of the least-developed areas of the world an alternative to poor state provision and showing the potential benefits of choice and accountability,” the study said, adding that parental pressure on educational institutes for better performance should not be seen as impediments.

“Many of today’s job titles, and the skills needed to fill them, simply did not exist 20 years ago,” the study said, adding that schools need to revamp their syllabi to provide students with skills they may need in the future due to advancements in science and technology.

More than money alone, educational success depends on parental choice and competition for students by schools.

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