Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

Academic all-rounders

On average across OECD countries, around 4 percent of 15-year-old students are top performers in reading, mathematics, and science (all-rounders). Australia, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Shanghai, and Singapore have larger proportions of these students than any other country or economy. 14.6 percent of students in Shanghai and 12.3 percent of students in Singapore attain the highest levels of proficiency in all three assessment subjects. Top performers are students who perform at proficiency level 5 or 6 in the PISA mathematics, reading, or science assessments.

OECD (2010), “PISA 2009 Results: What Students Know and Can Do: Student Performance in Reading, Mathematics and Science,” Volume I, PISA, OECD Publishing, Table I.3.7, (retrieved September 12, 2013).

Anonymity, privacy, and security online

86 percent of Internet users have taken steps to avoid surveillance by other people or organizations when they were using the Internet. Despite their precautions, 21 percent of online adults have had an e-mail or social media account hijacked and 11 percent have had vital information like Social Security numbers or financial data stolen.

Lee Rainie, Sara Kiesler, Ruogu Kang, Mary Madden, “Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online,” Pew Internet & American Life Project, September 5, 2013, (retrieved September 9, 2013).

K–12 expenditures

States with the highest median current expenditures per pupil in 2011 included Alaska ($25,132), District of Columbia ($18,475), New York ($18,133), Wyoming ($16,744), and Connecticut ($15,056). States with the lowest expenditures were Utah, Tennessee, Arizona, Idaho, and Oklahoma. In FY 2011, school districts reported $607.3 billion in total revenues. The federal government contributed 12.3 percent, state governments accounted for 44.1 percent, and local governments provided 43.6 percent of all revenues.

Stephan Cornman, Patrick Keaton, Mark Glander, “Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11 (Fiscal Year 2011),” (NCES 2013-344), September 2013. National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, D.C., (retrieved September 9, 2013).

Google has teamed with EdX to host a new online learning platform called The new site will be for non-xConsortium universities, institutions, businesses, governments, and individual teachers to build and host their MOOCs (massive open online courses) for a global audience. EdX’s president likened the platform to a “YouTube for MOOCs.” EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise composed of 28 institutions, including MIT, Harvard, University of California-Berkeley, Stanford, University of Western Australia, and others. The site is set to launch in mid-2014.

“EdX Announces Partnership with Google to Expand Open Source Platform,” EdX, September 10, 2013, (retrieved September 12, 2013).

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