We all read that the literacy rate in Detroit is 47%.

Well, today's Wall Street Journal informs us that the literacy rate in sub-Saharan Africa is 61%.  Check here, for instance.

But the United States overall spends far more on education than sub-Saharan African countries do.  Even if you control for GDP per capita, we spend twice as much per student.

And of course, in unadjusted dollars we spend a staggeringly higher amount.  Education spending in Detroit was $11,100 per student in 2008.  Education spending in, for instance, Ghana was $205.  (Calculated from spending based on GDP here; and GDP per capita here.)  But the literacy rate in Ghana is 65%...