What has really happened is that we have destroyed a generation of children by putting too much pressure on them in elementary school, especially early elementary school, forgetting children learn by play, and eliminating arts education. Arts education teaches children creative thinking. Our kids were always the most competitive because they could think.
In the idiotic search for college prep, we have eliminated Home Ec and Shop from middle school and high school. We're raising a generation of kids who can't do anything, who only know how to take tests, who are helpless in the real world.
My dad taught graduate physics at the University of Wisconsin. He always found that the best students were kids raised on farms, because they knew how to do things.
We've become obsessed with the test results of foreign students, not seeing that those students were neurotic droids. We decided to make our kids neurotic droids as well.
Test results have nothing to do with what will make our kids internationally competitive. We have destroyed the world's best education system in the misguided attempt to imitate foreigners.
Now that we have destroyed our youth we are doomed on the international market. Sorry. It's too late.