A new study of future math teachers around the world gave Americans a grade of "C" when it comes to being smart in math, by math teacher standards. Which is just fine. Until you see who beat us.

I mean sure, we're not overestimating ourselves, we expect to get beat by most of the Western European nations, and the economically advanced nations of Asia, and probably India and China and, I don't know, Brazil, if those were even included in this study, which they weren't. But our future middle school math teachers also scored lower than their counterparts in

1. Russia
2. Poland


How do we expect to maintain our superiority in jokes denigrating the Reds and their allies if we cannot even beat them on an algebra quiz? When they're all supposedly drunk on the vodka and naturally unintelligent, according to years of American jokes? Yes, we did triumph over our enemies in Chile and Oman, but it's a hollow victory for American smugness, all things considered. On the plus side, we're still tops in mobile meth lab production. Which is more popular than math, anyhow.

[NYT.Pic: Flickr]