They said ..

14th December 2007 at 00:00
'Our 15-year-olds are now among the worst at maths in the entire OECD' - Boris Johnson.We say ...

Cripes. The mop-haired London mayoral candidate has put his foot in it again. Boris Johnson went on the attack in The Daily Telegraph over Britain's poor results in an international maths test for 15-year-olds. He described the scores as the "latest disaster in British classrooms" and said they threatened "economic catastrophe for the whole of society".

Britain's performance was lower than in previous years, but Mr Johnson was wrong to say that pupils here are among the worst in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development group.

The Programme for International Student Assessment declared the UK "not statistically different from the OECD average" at maths, in which it ranked 24th of 57 participating countries and 18th of the 30 in the OECD.

Mr Johnson said that "without a basic feel for numbers, people will continue to make choices that are both individually disastrous and disastrous for society". A basic grasp of averages is also useful.

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