We keep hearing the same thing, over and over again: Our kids' schools are slipping behind. We're not keeping up with the rest of the world. Our kids won't be able to compete with kids from competitive countries like Singapore and Finland. Is it true? How do we know? Well, now, there's a tool that lets you find out exactly how your own child's school district compares with schools around the world. Are you ready to face the numbers?
The Atlantic has a school ranking interactive map you can use to look up your kids' school district to find out how it ranks globally... gulp! First find your state, then your county, then your district. And then, start to panic. Or feel proud?
The "Global Report Card" interactive map compares math and reading scores. Is it sick that I was relieved to find my local district is not actually in the interactive map? (Ignorance = bliss!) Then the map tells you how your school would rank if it were dropped into another country. And that's when things get really depressing. I mean, what on earth is Canada doing in those schools to produce such spectacular results?
The discouraging thing is that even schools in wealthier suburban areas aren't scoring nearly as high as the top-ranking countries. But... this is all based on math and reading scores. Does that really give us the whole picture?
If you've ever seen the documentary Waiting for Superman you may have learned that we aren't first in anything academic, but we do rank highest in "self esteem." You could see that as hilarious and delusional. (OUCH!) Or you could see it as our own particular strength. USA! USA! USA! But you know what? Confidence is great, but it sure looks like our schools still need to do a better job educating our kids.
How does your kids' school district measure up with other countries'?
Image via Elizabeth Albert