Welcome to the Profit of Education website. Continuing the conversation begun in the book Profit of Education, we discuss the latest economic evidence on education reform.

Math illiteracy, here and there

I’ve made a little bar chart of math literacy levels for 15 year-olds. 6 is higher than 1, so we’d like to see big bars on the right side of the graph.

math literacy

Compare first the U.S. (red) to the other industrialized countries (green). We’re noticeably higher on the left and somewhat lower on the right. This is bad.

Next, look at the states. Florida performs way below the U.S. average while Massachusetts beats out the OECD by a lot. Obviously, one element is that Massachusetts is a wealthy state and Florida is relatively poor. Mind you, Connecticut (not shown) under performs Massachusetts despite being slightly wealthier.

Still, I wonder whether Florida and other low performing states have something to learn from Massachusetts and Connecticut. For that matter, maybe the U.S. as a whole has something to learn from the countries we compete with.

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