The Leaning Tower of Pisa, and YOU!

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, and YOU!

Outsourcing is global economic Darwinism.

If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you're putting yourself out of business. --- Lee Kuan Yew

Education is the prime tool of those who evolve and win.

Protectionism or not, we have a global economy, and it’s here to stay, with ever more transparent borders and financial systems. And that means global competition for jobs.

Increasingly, that also means global standards of education that vary wildly— giving advantage and disadvantage, widely across all national boundaries.

The USA has long been the international standard for job and income comparisons, the world economic flag-bearer.

And in the USA, one hot-button topic has been the outsourcing of jobs— especially noticable are not just factory work, but jobs of an intellectual nature, jobs requiring degrees.

These intellectual jobs have been flowing in an ever-deepening river, from America to other countries (such as India, for example). This outflow has created a raging controversy, with advocates and antagonists both pro and con.

Many American commentators claim that job outsourcing is because of lower wages abroad, while others say it’s all about politics.

But rather than rage or rant about outsourcing in America, wouldn’t it be much more constructive to look at the numbers, the “whys” or such outsourcing?

PISA

PISA is a socio-economic lens, through which we can take a long and deep look at the trends that are changing our world economies, and the jobs they produce.

What is PISA? It is a pitiless cold hard look at world students. A pure stats comparison of scores from 57 education systems— including 30 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, and 27 other countries and subnational education systems (such as Hong Kong-China and Macao-China).

How did PISA find that USA students test/compare with the students of the other 56 nations, intellectually?

Arguably, science and math are the foundational intellectual bedrock subjects of all world development.

Engineering, Medicine, all the best jobs begin with highly-developed science and math skills.

So let’s go to that area of the testing; let’s take a quick look at a summary of science and math findings from PISA 2006—

A PISA comparison—- between the scores of U.S. 15-year-old students (in science and mathematics literacy) and the scores of their international peers— revealed the following:

On average, U.S. students scored lower than the OECD average (the mean of the 30 OECD countries) on the combined science literacy scale (489 vs. 500).

The average PISA score for U.S. students revealed their status globally:

  • higher than the average score in 22 education systems (5 OECD countries and 17 non-OECD education systems)
  • lower than the average score in 22 education systems (16 OECD countries and 6 non-OECD education systems)
  • not significantly different from the score in 12 education systems (8 OECD countries and 4 non-OECD education systems)

On average, U.S. students scored lower than the OECD average on the mathematics literacy scale (474 vs. 498).

The average score for U.S. students was:

  • higher than the average score in 20 education systems (4 OECD countries and 16 non-OECD education systems)
  • lower than the average score in 31 education systems (23 OECD countries and 8 non-OECD education systems)
  • not significantly different from the score in 5 education systems (2 OECD countries and 3 non-OECD education systems)

The next PISA report is coming soon— in June 2010.

Grad2b will track the PISA trends and see how America stacks up this time against the rest of the world.

Could this intellectual variance be the fundamental reason for so much outsourcing of jobs? Not just wage variances?

Students of the USA, work harder! The rest of the world is pulling away, and leaving you behind!

And we at GRAD2B congratulate the global students who ranked highest in the PISA comparisons. Your hard work is paying off.

Students of the world, continue to work toward higher knowledge, and get those degrees!

Like we said, outsourcing is global economic Darwinism.

Bottom line of survival— Education, wherever in the world you may live, is the prime tool of those who evolve and who win!

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