Is It Fair to Compare the US Education System With Those of East Asian and European Countries?

Car Guy asks:

Would it be fair to compare the US education system with that of countries such as Japan, South Korea and Germany?

People are always comparing US test scores with those of all Asian countries in East Asia and nearly all White countries in Europe. When the US falls behind say Finland, Taiwan or Singapore, rightwingers screech that the US public school system is failing and therefore we need to dismantle it in various ways such as charter schools, vouchers, defunding, etc.
These comparisons are all false due to differential IQ’s between ethnic groups in the US and those of other nations.
Japan and South Korea = pure East Asian. Higher IQ (105) than white majority US (98).
Germany = all White. German IQ is ~103; US IQ is 98. The US is only 66% White, and the rest is largely Black and Hispanic with much lower IQ’s than Whites. Totally unfair comparisons with all of them.

US Ethnic group
Whites           103
Hispanics         90
Blacks            87.2*

*Black estimate is my estimate. Others would put it lower at around 85. The White and Hispanic estimates seem to be pretty much valid. There may be some upward movement on the order of 1-2 points in both Black and Hispanic IQ’s in the last few decades for unknown reasons.
As you can see, Blacks and Browns score much lower on IQ’s than Whites, pulling the whole US average down, which will be reflected on test scores. Due to differential IQ’s US students will tend to score poorer than those of all White European nations and all-Asian Asian nations.

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0 thoughts on “Is It Fair to Compare the US Education System With Those of East Asian and European Countries?”

  1. Robert, there is a way to compare the American education system to east Asian ones in a fair way. I imagine that in Sailor’s analysis, he looked at the PISA scores of east Asians in America. If they are higher than east Asians in east Asia, you can (maybe) conclude that the American education system is better. See? Likewise with white Americans and white Europeans. I think that is probably how Sailor established that the American system is better.

  2. I think I might have actually read that article by Sailor and he was critcising Obama’s conclusion that the higher PISA scores in China were evidence of a better education system there. I think east asians in America did even better.
    If you don’t factor in differential IQs, you come to Obama’s conclusion, but if you do, maybe you come to the opposite conclusion. It makes sense for Sailor to make this kind of analysis as he is concerned with IQ and race.
    Hopefully, the article I am remembering was in fact by Sailor. I read an article like that somewhere anyway.

  3. Lindsay
    Could you predict what the European or East Asians scores would look like if they included the scores of votech students?

  4. New commenter/regular reader here.
    Just how pure East Asian are the Japanese? Aren’t they heavily mixed with aboriginal Ainu/Jomon peoples?

      1. Why would the IQ of the Ainu have a lowering effect? For all we know, they probably had a higher IQ than the Yayoi.
        Why do people always seem to associate “low IQ” with aborigines?

      2. “They are about 50% Ainu”
        That seems a bit high. I always heard the Ainu were a small minority, and most of them were admixed with Japanese. Is there a source I could look at?

        1. They are basically bred out. When the Yayoi showed up 2,300 YBP, there were nothing but Ainu on the whole island. The Yayoi conquered the Ainu slowly over millenia and also simply interbred with them. The mixture of Yayoi and Ainu created what we now know as “Japanese.”

  5. Chinese in the UK score about 107.5, including a quantitative score of 109.6 and a non-verbal score of 112.1.

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