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U.S. Teens Lag as China Soars on International Test


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
U.S. Teens Lag as China Soars on International Test - Bloomberg

Fifteen-year-olds in the U.S. ranked 25th among peers from 34 countries on a math test and scored in the middle in science and reading, while China’s Shanghai topped the charts, raising concern that the U.S. isn’t prepared to succeed in the global economy.
The Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation & Development, which represents 34 countries, today released the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment. For the first time, the test broke out the performance of China’s Shanghai region, which topped every country in all academic categories. The U.S. government considers the test one of the most comprehensive measures of international achievement.
Do you think this is a cause of concern? Or you don't believe these test/numbers mean anything.



Eye see what you did ther
They don't mean anything. India would probably be somewhere close to China because we have the same methodologies. We just work harder and are trained that way. You raise a child saying that he won't get a good job unless he studies, he won't get married unless he gets a good job and he'll just suck at everything unless he studies and force him to study most of the time, he'll obviously end up studying hard for these exams. He's unlikely to have all round development. Check out the video below. It's hilarious and unfortunately true.

YouTube - Indian schools suck!


Registered Member
I was just reading a book that was talking about this (and other topics). I recommend it to everyone. It's called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

It's theorized that Chinese do better in large part because of their culture of rice farming. Rice farming is significantly harder than many other types of farming, and thus they have a culture of being willing to put in extra time and effort.

Consider the life of a peasant in eighteenth-century Europe. Men and women worked from dawn until noon two hundred days a year, which works out to twelve hundred hours of work annually.


If you are a rice farmer in Southern China, by contrasty, you didn't sleep through the winter. In the short break marked by the dry season... you busied yourself with side tasks. You made bamboo baskets or hats and sold them in the market. You repaired the dikes in your rice paddy, and rebuilt your mud hut. You sent one of your sons to work in a nearby village for a relative... Working in a rice field is ten to twenty times more labor intensive than working on an equivalent sized corn or wheat field. Some estimates put the annual workload of a wet-rice farmer in Asia at three thousand hours a year.
The book also talks about the difference between high and low income students in America - the issue doesn't seem to be the quality of education. The lower income students actually learned slightly more during the school year. The problem is that middle and higher income students tend to engage in activities that help them learn/retain information during the summer. They read, they go to summer camps, etc. Poorer kids often don't do those things. It's the time OUT of school that makes the difference.