Reason Magazine has an article, Stupid in America, Why your kids are probably dumber than Belgians.
But the title misleads. That's not stupid in America, it's just ignorant. The educational system sucks. The individual students aren't stupid, they just aren't being taught what Belgians are taught.
I'm all for school choice. I agree that the government's "monopoly" on elementary and high schools is a stupidity. Any legislated monopoly is a stupidity because monopolies will find the path of least resistance for anything. And in those valleys that lead down to the plains and the sea there isn't much excellence to find. The excellence is on the mountain tops, or out in space.
So there's stupidity there, and the title can be accurate, but the article trolls for readers by painting the students stupid and focusing on that in the title (although the rest of the article does a pretty good job).
On the other hand, I'm not an American (thank the Lord for that) and I don't have any standing in that debate. Don't really care much about it, either except in the way that a weak educational system in the USA keeps the people insular, uninterested in the world at large, and prey to venal government and fundamentalist preachers who prefer their flock dumb or dumber, the better to fleece them. A majority of such sheep make the world a far less safe place because they're so easily led into destabilizing wars.
If they would war only among themselves it would be a pity, but not such a great problem. It would then be a self-correcting problem which hurts only themselves. Unfortunately, the United States tends to kill off foreigners at a very high rate since they won't keep their stupidities to themselves and insist on exporting them to others.
Stay at home, America. Perfect yourselves and leave the rest of us alone.