It always annoys me the way these things are reported in the press. The actual report has some interesting comparisons between education in the UK and other OECD countries.
Education systems in the Far East have done as well as ever – though the reasons for this are complicated (for instance: China’s data excludes immigrant children and doesn’t look at performance in rural parts of the country).
Follow up: Found an interesting documentary on 4OD looking at the culture of ‘super tutors’ in Hong Kong. It examines the enormous pressure that children face to perform well in school exams and how rich parents pay a fortune to tutors in order to secure their children an advantage.