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Attainment and Skills – New Evidence from OECD

Today, OECD released their Survey of Adult Skills (also called PIACC or Pisa for adults). There is a lot of data – 466 pages worth – but I’ve already come across some interesting and relevant findings. For example, you may recall that in the US, attainment rates for young adults (25-34) are only a little higher than for older adults (55-64), while in Korea attainment has increased dramatically. This study shows young Koreans have the second highest literacy and numeracy levels in the world, while their older adults are the third worst. In other words, increased attainment reflects a real improvement in skills. But we have a big problem. As the report puts it, “American 55-65 year-olds perform around the average, but young Americans rank the lowest among their peers in the 24 countries surveyed.” This proves that as the US falls behind in attainment, we are also falling behind in learning and skills.

Tracy Chen

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