Western students falling behind the East

Study looks at which nations are preparing students for highly skilled occupations and finds the US and Europe rapidly slipping.

A study released Tuesday by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that American and European schoolchildren are behind Asian countries in training students to be highly skilled workers of the future, reports the

Comparing the east and west is crucial in understanding the emerging role China will play in determining who will be dominating future job markets. China graduated 4.4 million million students last year, more the entire European Union.

More than a quarter of 15-year-olds in the United States, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and Turkey performed at or below the lowest levels on math.

The most telling finding is that family income in industrialized nations plays a huge role in determining whether students are highly skilled. Western countries do little to rectify this connection between income and opportunity. The report said this was "perhaps the greatest disappointment."


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