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Times tables

I'm often vaguely amused when buying things in Spain. Ten stamps please; the stamps are 32 cents each - out comes the calculator to arrive at the 3.20€ - the basis of a decimal system seems to have escaped the shopkeeper. Two packets of cigars please 2.50€ a go, calculator time again or, this morning, 1.50€+1.20€ at the paper shop - more work for Texas Instruments.

Yesterday the report of the Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development released its report on educational performance in 65 countries. Shanghai (China must be a big place to survey) was top in maths, science and reading comprehension whilst Kyrgyzstan was bottom. Spain was below the OECD average in all three areas coming in the mid 30s. I noticed that Castilla y Leon, the authority that Maggie was teaching in at the time of the survey, did much better than Murcia, the region she teaches in now. The Spanish news reports all used words like mediocre.

I suppose that explains it then


  1. There was a very interesting debate on the subject this morning in Onda Cero. There will also be another one in El Gato al Agua, in the Intereconomia channel if you and Maggie are interested.
    Why Shanghai and not China? Because, according to what they said this morning, most chinese still dont have access to education, only the elite groups in Shanghai. Education is free up to the age of 8. Therefore, the study was only able to take into account the schools in Shanghai, which apparantly is better off than the rest of China.


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