Skills Slowdown

Americans aren’t generally aware of this fact, but overall educational attainment in the United States is slipping slightly at the same time that other rich countries are improving. Thus “While the U.S. ranks second internationally in the percentage of adults over age 55 with a bachelor’s degree, we rank 11th among the percentage of younger workers who do so.” The slippage tends to be masked by the fact that, for now, our substantial lead in those older cohorts outweighs our smallish disadvantage in the youngest cohort, but obviously that’s not going to last forever.

The College Board has a report on turning this around that correctly observes that addressing the decline requires us to start long all the way back in early childhood, with better preschooling, as well as addressing direct college access issues related to affordability and so forth.