Good point. Why would we think our university system is so much better than our K-12 systems? The extremely average output of those systems include the students who go through the US university system.
The politics of the left and the right keep bringing our system down; K through Grad School. Conservative disavowal of science, liberal insistence on including everyone (regardless of ability) and teaching toward the bottom (so that ‘the underpriveledged’ classes can catch up) are f’ing up the system. Celebrity worship, a get rich quick mentality, and pervasive anti-intellectualism are besetting already distracted students.
We really need to put aside our belief in American exceptionalism and recognize that our educational system needs some big fixin’.
NYTimes: Americans Think We Have the World’s Best Colleges. We Don’t.