Arne Duncan once went so far as to say that "the only way to end poverty is through education."
Is that correct?
I'm skeptical. As Matt Bruenig has pointed out, educational outcomes have been improving for decades in the United States, and yet poverty rates haven't really budged.
And what about internationally? Certainly, many developed countries have much lower poverty rates than the United States. Is that a result of superior educational performance?
One preliminary way to look at the evidence would be to see if countries with better academic performance also have lower poverty rates.
Out of curiosity I decided to take a first crack at that using results from the 2012 PISA, which tested 15-year-olds in reading, math, and science.
Click below to see what I found.