The Onion Expertly Satirizes Panic Over International Test Results

Posted by Liz Dwyer


Heard about how America's in danger of losing her global dominance because students are scoring poorly in reading and math on international tests? Well, it turns out there's a new—and completely unforeseen—crisis for education reformers to freak out over. A full ten percent of U.S. high school students are graduating without basic object permanence.

Yes, folks, our friends at The Onion have been on a roll lately with their satirization of education issues—see their report on a college grad who loves his alma mater despite having loads of student loan debt and no job prospects—and this mocking of the hand-wringing over international test score results expertly keeps their streak going.

Indeed, researchers found that students "lack the crucial knowledge that things don't just disappear if you're not looking at them." How are children in China performing? It turns out the majority of Chinese kids learn object permanence by the time they turn two. American teens even perform worse than monkeys and dogs. But don't worry—at least our students are doing better than magpies.