PISA day


Scores have been released for the 2012 PISA tests of most of the rich OECD countries and some poorer countries. North East Asians on top as usual, then Europeans, then various kinds of Third Worlders. The 2012 test emphasizes Math, while 2009 emphasizes Reading in which the U.S. scores well, so the U.S. is trailing most Western Europeans and appears to have regressed back toward its long term mean after a high-scoring 2009. Finland fell back to Earth after a long spell on top of Europe.

One interesting is on p. 10-11 which gives math scores for some subregions of various countries, such as Massachusetts, Connecticut and Florida in the U.S. (No surprises there in terms of rank order of those three states.) Also broken out are Australia, Italy, Spain (isn`t Extremadura the coolest name?), Mexico, and Brazil. 

The Italian results are pretty funny. The top four are Trento, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, and Lombardia. The bottom scorers are names familiar from gangster movies: Campania (Naples), Sicilia, and Calabria (the toe of the boot).

The highest scoring Mexican state is Aguascaliente in north-central Mexico. From Wikipedia:

More than two thirds of the local population of Aguascalientes is 78% European descent, mostly Spanish and French with settlement of French troops in the Valley of Huajucar during the Second Mexican Empire. Many Hidrocalidos trace their lineage back to Germany and the Netherlands, due to the settlement of various Mennonite communities, but also Italian, Russian, Polish, Swedish, German, Greek, and Romanian due to the high number of refugees who came to the state during World War II, 19% mestizo (mixed Amerindian-European), 2% Asian (mostly Japanese and Korean due to the rapid growth in Nissan production with the opening of a new factory in the state. .[10]

Second place in Mexico was Nuevo Leon (Monterrey). From Wikipedia:

Regarding ethnicity, the state has one of the highest white populations, a trend very apparent in Mexico`s northern region. The majority of the people within the state are of Spanish, French, or German descent. Mestizos are also dominant in the state.

Third was Jalisco (Guadalajara).

Lowest scoring Mexican state is Guerrero on the Pacific (Acapulco), which has a high-proportion of non-Spanish speaking Indios.