Earlier this month, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released the findings of its annual report on education statistics from across the globe. The data allows an in depth look at various indicators of the state of public schooling around the world, such as average class sizes, school budgets, teacher salaries, and matriculation rates.
Some interesting kernels of information follow:
Of the countries polled, Iceland spends the highest percentage of their GDP on education at 7.98%. Turkey spends the lowest at 2.7%.
With regard to public primary schools, Russia has the smallest class sizes averaging at 15.54 and Korea has the largest at 31.01. Among private primary schools, Russia again wins top honors with 10.16, but Japan gets the short end of the stick with an average class size of 33.
A fairly reliable indicator of a nation’s educational system is the rate of graduation at the upper secondary level. In this regard, Germany takes the cake with 99.52% of high school students graduating. Mexico clocks in the lowest rate at 42.64%. As you can see, there is a wide range between the two. Where does the U.S. fall, you ask? At a less than desirable 77.53%.
So you want to make some quick cash teaching abroad: where should you go? Well, I’d avoid Chile and Estonia where the starting salary falls a little over U.S. $10,000, as well as (paradoxically) Iceland, which falls short of U.S. $12,000. The countries to consider are Mexico, Greece, and Turkey, where the average staring salaries range from U.S. $49,902 to $41,997 respectively.
As you can see from the small tidbits provided above, there are some notable incongruities among the data. Fully understanding how such a matrix comes to be seems nigh impossible, but if you feel up to the task I recommend reading this source article from the UK Guardian, where you can also download the entire OECD report and read an expert A-Z analysis. So do some digging and let us know what you find.
Also, here is a nominally related article from today’s Seattle Times.