Fifteen-year-old students in Shanghai outperform their peers around the world in math, science, and reading on standardized tests.
Question is, does that make these students better prepared for the global economy of the 21st century? And could it be that U.S. studentswho rank 20th in science and 30th in mathare in better shape than most pundits think?
Apparently Chinese educators are a bit worried that their first-place ranking isn’t as impressive as it first appears.
“What the Chinese are very good at doing is achieving short-term goals,” Jiang Xueqin, deputy principal of the elite Peking University High School, told USA Today recently. “They’re good at copying things, not creating them.”
That could be a telling observation. Administered by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2009, the test results, released last month, reveal that students in several other Asian nationsHong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Japanalso outperformed U.S. students.
Such academic success suggests that Asia is preparing a well-educated workforce for tomorrowand poised to challenge the dominance of the U.S. economy.