Sunday, October 27, 2013

American adults score below average on worldwide test measuring math, reading and problem-solving

By Associated Press and Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 09:13 EST, 8 October 2013 | UPDATED: 12:24 EST, 8 October 2013

It's long been known that America's school kids haven't measured well compared with their international peers, but now there's a new twist: its adults don't either.

In math, reading and problem-solving using technology, American adults scored below the international average on a global test, according to results released on Tuesday.

Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the U.S. in all three areas. The findings were equally grim for many European countries.

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.

All the skills tested are considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength.

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.


Among the other findings:

- 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 U.S. 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.


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