We should wake up to the rest of the world..

100% of French schoolchildren are learning a foreign language. That’s also the case in Austria and Norway. Poland and Spain aren’t far behind.

  • The median among European countries is 92% across primary and secondary school, according to Pew. In the U.S., that number is 20%.
  • New Jersey is the only U.S. state where more than half of students are learning a second language. Wisconsin, Maryland and Vermont are next at around one-third. The rate is just 9% in Arkansas, New Mexico and Arizona.
  • No sorpresas: Spanish is by far the most popular foreign language taught in the U.S. In Europe, it’s English.

Another global educational disparity is examined in this week’s Economist: the length of summer breaks…

  • “Their length ranges from three weeks in South Korea to three months in America, Italy and Latvia. … studies have found that children regress over the summer even in Belgium, Britain, Canada, Germany and Malawi, all of which have much shorter summer breaks than America’s.”