The Shrinking American Middle Class, Part 2

Like I posited a few days ago, “Why is the American middle class shrinking?”

Firstly, it can be argued that personal success, whether economic or humanistic, requires the acquisition of knowledge and the application of such knowledge. However, rote memorization and regurgitation on cue, skills necessary to compete in the modern American academic meritocracy, yet often devoid of higher order critical thinking skills, like comprehension and application, are insufficient for real knowledge acquisition needed to enter, for some, or for others, maintain the middle class lifestyle inherited from their parents.

In results for the most recent 2018 Program for International Assessment (PISA) test administered around the world, 15 year old American high schoolers are hugging the averages of all test takers’ educational aptitude. 

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), PISA, 2018

And, American students have not shown much improvement since in the last 15 years of PISA tests:

The Brown Center Chalkboard, Brookings Institute, April 2017

American students’ middling performance on international assessments, being outperformed by students in other economically developed nations including, China, Singapore, Macao, Hong Kong, Estonia, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Korea, Poland, Sweden and New Zealand, could suggest one possible reason for a shrinking American middle class, but there’s more to the story. 

For more information about how to navigate the complex college admissions process to prepare any student for the challenging labor market, check out Creative Marbles Consultancy

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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