The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) institutes a world education ranking report, PISA based on numeracy, reading and science. The PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) study focuses on skills acquired by students that enable them to live in society instead of mere curriculum testing. PISA measures outcome of schooling that indicate how well a child is prepared for adult life. The study reveals that the US ranks 18th amongst the 36 countries that were assessed.
The PISA study on the constituent level indicates the US education system ranks 14th in the world on reading skills, 17th for science and below average for mathematics.
In the early 2000 the United States slipped from its second rank in college graduation to 13th. The United States has slipped from 1st place to 9th place with respect to young students with college graduations. The OECD data reveals that the US ranking for young adults with college degrees has fallen from 12th to the 16th place. The college attainment level for young students is a mere39%.
Another study by the Educational Policy Institute which ranks the educational systems across the major European countries ranks the US 13 on indicators of affordability and an overall ranking of 4 on indicators of accessibility. Affordability includes data on education costs, total and net costs of education, whereas accessibility data includes participation rate, attainment rate, gender parity and educational equity.
In an environment that is fast becoming knowledge based, the Asian countries have far outstripped the US in terms of educational attainments, the status quo of the United States being only Average in world rankings.