Finland and South Korea top the list of 40 developed countries with the best education systems. They are followed by Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore, while the U.S. rates down at 17th place. This data is the results of Pearson’s global Learning Curve report. The rankings are calculated based on various measures, including international test scores, graduation rates between 2006 and 2010, and the prevalence of higher education seekers.
Pearson’s chief education adviser Sir Michael Barber says that the high-ranking countries tend to offer teachers higher status in society. In addition, while funding is important in strong education systems, more important is a culture that values education.
The goal of the Pearson study is to help policy makers and school leaders identify key factors that lead to successful education outcomes. The research draws on literacy data as well as figures in government spending on education, school entrance age, teacher salaries, and degree of school choice. Researchers also measured socioeconomic outcomes.