Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's Official: American Adults Are Dumber Than Average

Test taker proves to be smarter than his instructor, turns in an A+ example of outside-the-box thinking!
h/t @ShmooReport
by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
 
The study is called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies and it tested 166,000 people aged 16 to 65 in more than 20 countries.  It found that in math, reading and problem solving, American adults scored below the international average.

I can’t say this is surprising, after all, the public allowed the big banks that destroyed the economy to gift themselves trillions in the aftermath of the financial crisis with barely a peep in response. You don’t have to be a problem solving genius to figure that one out. Finally, there is some proof behind our long-held suspicions.

From the Associated Press via the New York Post:
WASHINGTON — It’s long been known that America’s school kids haven’t measured well compared with international peers. Now, there’s a new twist: Adults don’t either.

In math, reading and problem-solving using technology – all skills considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength – American adults scored below the international average on a global test, according to results released Tuesday.

Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test. Beyond basic reading and math, respondents were tested on activities such as calculating mileage reimbursement due to a salesman, sorting email and comparing food expiration dates on grocery store tags.

Not only did Americans score poorly compared to many international competitors, the findings reinforced just how large the gap is between the nation’s high- and low-skilled workers and how hard it is to move ahead when your parents haven’t.
Yes, it’s called feudalism.
The study, called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, found that it was easier on average to overcome this and other barriers to literacy overseas than in the United States.

Researchers tested about 166,000 people ages 16 to 65 in more than 20 countries and subnational regions. The test was developed and released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is made up of mostly industrialized member countries. The Education Department’s Center for Education Statistics participated.

Americans scored toward the bottom in the category of problem solving in a technology rich environment. The top five scores in the areas were from Japan, Finland, Australia, Sweden and Norway, while the US score was on par with England, Estonia, Ireland and Poland. In nearly all countries, at least 10 percent of adults lacked the most basic of computer skills such as using a mouse.
The above is somewhat surprising given the amount of time Americans spend glued to their iPhones for Facebook updates about what their cousin ate for breakfast. I can tell you one category in which Americans surely beat all global competitors. The art of mercilessly stampeding into one another like animals at Wal-Mart on Black Friday to purchase plasma televisions. Take that world.

Full article here.

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http://youtu.be/cy2f4RnStlg

"Grundtvig is our man for this time. He's still relevant," says Clay Warren, a professor of communication at George Washington University and author of The School for Life: N.F.S. Grundtvig on the Education for the People.

Nikolaj Grundtvig, a 19th century Danish educator and a contemporary of Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard, helped pioneer the folk high school, an adult educational institution that is common in Scandinava. The school does not grant academic degrees but rather fosters intellectual thinking and discussions through community engagement.

Warren sat down with Reason's Nick Gillespie to discuss his book, the educational philosophy underpinning Grundtvig's work, as well as Grundtvig's emphasis on individual potential and development.

About 11 minutes.

Edited by Amanda Winkler. Camera by Joshua Swain and Todd Krainin.

Visit http://reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions. Subscribe to ReasonTV's Youtube channel for daily content like this.

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