UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Historically, the high level of the productivity of the American workforce has been a key driver of the country's prosperity. Productivity is tightly linked to educational attainment.
Through programs like the GI Bill, Pell Grants, and the subsidized student loan program, the U.S. greatly expanded access to a college education. At the close of World War II, the Census indicates that only about 5 percent of the adult population in the United States had attained a bachelor's degree. By 2015, the Census tells us that 30.6% of all adults have attained an undergraduate degree.
However, the rest of the world has been rapidly closing the gap, and in some cases, surpassing U.S. educational attainment. For example, the U.S. Department of Education reports that at grade 4, the U.S. average mathematics score in 2015 was higher than the international average, but was surpassed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Northern Ireland, Russian Federations, Norway, and Ireland.
Third grade reading proficiency meets or exceeds state averages in all St. Croix Valley counties, while eight grade math proficiency scores exceed their state averages in all but one of the counties.