The following, as reported by Education Week‘s Sarah D. Sparks, are among the findings of the National Center on Education Statistics sixth comprehensive international comparison report that looked into not just the G-8 countries, but the G-20, including Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

  1. U.S. kids start school later, with 90% enrolled by age six, vs. 3- and 4-year-olds in France, Germany, Italy, and the UK.
  2. U.S. kids are lukewarm towards reading. Just 33% of our girls and 20% of our boys said they enjoy reading. Only girls in Italy and Russia, and boys in England, Italy, and Saudi Arabia had lower rates.
  3. The U.S. has more reading specialists than any other country, but, we had “one of the biggest drops in teacher job satisfaction of any other country since 2006.”
  4. U.S. teachers get more professional development in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) than any other country. In fact, 68% of U.S. 4th grade teachers reported receiving professional development in math alone–higher than anyone else.
  5. The U.S. spends more per student than other countries. That averages out to $11,800 per K-12 student and $25,000 per college student–yet our graduation rates are “mediocre,” and well behind such countries as Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK.