According to a study released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), American adults lag significantly behind other countries in their job skill sets. Young adults lag behind in literacy, math, and technology, as do middle-aged Americans. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan predictably called for more education funding, saying that the statistics “show our education system hasn’t done enough to help Americans compete — or position our country to lead — in a global economy that demands increasingly higher skills.”
The study found that Japan ranked first and Finland second in average scores, followed by countries like Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway. The United States was middling in literacy and near rock bottom on math and technology, with only 9 percent of Americans scoring in the top two out of five proficiency levels, as opposed to 19 percent in Japan.
The news isn’t all bad, though: American scores are polarized. Those at the top are at the very top; those at the bottom are at the very bottom. Native-born Americans core higher than foreign-born Americans.