The folks responsible for the first Education Olympics are the policy wonks at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington, D.C. Michael Petrilli, who oversees national education research projects at the institute, apparently caught the Olympic bug and decided to see what would happen if, instead of competing in pole vaulting or in the 400-meter swim relay, Americans competed in academic challenges.
The only event from which Americans emerged with a gold medal was civics education. They were smashed in other events. For example, American 15-year-olds finished 30th out of 42 countries in their problem-solving abilities, and they placed 38th out of 57 countries in basic science skills, according to Petrilli's data analysis. In a (legitimate) report, the institute sums up the experience of the United States in the first Education Olympics this way: "While the physical prowess of our athletes enables the U.S. to lug home buckets of shiny medals, our academic dexterity needs some serious sweat-on-your-brow training."
Please don't think that the failures of US education are accidental. There are some very solid reasons why public education is generally atrocious in this country.
The less an individual is able to - literally - do the math, do critical thinking and problem solving, the more they will be susceptible to government propaganda as seen or heard on corporate media.