We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's bogus to compare nations, really. It's apples and oranges. In America, K-12 has tons of immigrants who are not yet acculturated and do not have excellent English. And when it comes to college, America aspires to send everybody there, not just the scholarly. Why? Don't ask me. A credential I guess. Thus it makes no sense to compare with places like Finland or Singapore, or places like the UK with high bars for university entry and without mass-market schools.
not the best in the world? you've got to be kidding.
USC has the Song Girls and Trojan Football. who cares about Finland? sharks???
anyway, none of this matters, its all branding and bragging. you can go to the bestest school in the known universe and still be an unemployed shlub with a ton of student loan debt or join the Army go to a trade school and make a decent living and live a good life.
The Finns beat us in tests and it's because of their laid-back, child-friendly attitude. The South Koreans beat us and it's because of their fanatical work ethic. The British also run articles all year about how bad the schools are in comparison to the rest of the world. It's a hobby in the Anglosphere to complain about how much better things were in Ye Goode Olde Days.)
It's over 90% ethnic/racial. By state, one can take the national average caucasian score, average hispanic score, etc and multiply those by the percentage of each group in the state. The result will be within a few points of the overall state average. Once you know that, all theorising about education programming falls to the ground. Liberals love to sneer at Arkansas and Louisiana, thinking that they are sneering at stomach-scratching rednecks. Feels great. But scores of the different groups are enormously consistent state-to-state. (Not completely. There are a few points left unaccounted for.)
Similarly, Asian-Americans outscore other Asians (except maybe Singapore); American caucasians outscore all of Europe (maybe tied with Finland); American hispanics wallop all Latin American countries, ditto American blacks and all African and island nations. We have the best schools in the world. (Canada, Australia, New Zealand are about the same. Try not to see the obvious connection, because it's politically incorrect.)
Those serious points aside, frigate is spot on.
Assistant Village Idiot
The lefties noticed that people with a college degree make more money than people without, so they decided that everyone must have a college degree so they will make more money. They believe the degree causes you to make more money. That makes as much sense as noticing that soldiers with a marksman medal are better shots and concluding that if everyone gets a marksman medal then everyone will be a better shot.