December 3, 2013

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.

For more postings devoted to analyzing PISA scores, click the Labels: PISA below. 


countenance said...

Sailer, (or anyone else, for that matter),

Tell me why I think there's something not quite right about PISA. One of the stories in one of our local yokel TV eyeball news websites this morning was that Vietnam > USA on PISA. Yet, there are far many more Vietnamese that would immigrate to the USA given the chance than the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see that Puglia, the heel of Italy, is up there with Sweden.

slumber_j said...

Spanish subregions mirror Italian ones in the general performance decline from North to South.

Dutch reader said...

Vietnam is the one Southeast Asian nation with the strongest ethnic and cultural ties with the Chinese. Sure, more Vietnamese would migrate to the US than the other way around - same with the Chinese. Let's see how that goes a few more decades from now. Anecdotally, the few Vietnamese individuals I know here in the Netherlands - former boat fugitives or their offspring in most cases - are doing very well in business and - in the case of their children - in pursuing higher education. They are the Southeast Asians most similar to the Northeast Asians that are topping the lists.

Anonymous said...

The Italian regions with the fewest immigrants come in the lowest.

JWS said...

Northern Italians have much in common culturally with their intelligent neighbors in Switzerland.

5371 said...

The argument from numbers who "want to immigrate or emigrate" is a really stupid one. Know which country has the most would-be immigrants according to these surveys, in proportion to its own population? Saudi Arabia.