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American Student Performance Slips Again; China Is Number One

American students now rank average or below average when compared to kids in other countries—14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math.

It's official: Other nations are far better at educating their future citizens.

Every three years, the Program for International Student Assessment, known as PISA, is administered to 15-year-old students by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This year, high school students in Shanghai led the pack, with American students ranking average to below average by when compared to their global peers (full report, PDF).


In speaking to the Associated Press, Education Secretary Arne Duncan didn't mince words, stating that the results are "an absolute wake-up call for America." And adding that "we have to deal with the brutal truth. We have to get much more serious about investing in education.''

The Financial Times, in asking why Chinese schoolkids are so good, attributes its success to the recent implementation of various school reforms, namely:

"The initiative shown by teachers, who are now better paid, better trained and keen to moldtheir own curricula. Poor teachers are speedily replaced. China has also expanded school access, and moved away from learning by rote."

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Yesterday, President Obama, addressed a group of community college students, invoking the Soviet Union's 1957's launch of Sputnik, which after beating us into outer space, led to an increased investment in domestic science and education funding.

“Fifty years later, our generation’s Sputnik moment is back. In the race for the future, America is in danger of falling behind.”

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But what if America has already fallen behind and our drop in global education rankings is but the latest indicator? Will this finally serve as our badly needed wake-up call—or is it already too late?

Thumbnail (cc) via Flickr user Extra Ketchup; infographic via The Economist

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

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"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

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