Recently an organization tested the skills of high school equivalent students in the 20 most progressive nations on this planet.
Chinese students rated first, U.S. high school students were at the bottom. There may be a number of reasons why. The U.S. craves entertainment.
It cannot help but be noted that high school athletic activities has grown greatly over the past several decades. Pick up any local newspaper in the U.S. and you'll observe this.
These athletic activities require a great deal of time, energy and resources to the detriment of academic endeavors.