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The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (4 comments)

  1. there are two significant differences between Europe/Japan/Australia/NZ and the US:

    1. – they have national curricula and national testing

    2. – they teach language holistically so that critical thinking is imbued in words and thoughts … not good enough to write good language.. it has to articulate relevant concepts and topics ….

    we teach language – not critical thinking… and it shows up in lower test scores on NAEP and in international comparisons.

  2. International comparisons are largely worthless because the US stopped having vocational high schools some decades ago. Foreign statistics are from their college-prep high schools. American stats are from our general purpose high schools.

    But when I was in grade school, my teachers (nuns) OF COURSE graded for English grammar and penmanship when I wrote a paper for history class. I was amazed to discover that at my children’s school (rated one of the best public schools in Virginia) did NOT cross-teach and grammar, punctuation, and spelling were completely ignored in grading papers in all subjects except English.

    I read an article last week about the fact that most MBAs who graduate from colleges in India are unemployable because they lack critical thinking. An analyst who hasn’t been taught how to Analyze problems is of course worthless. So the problem of expanding schools and failing to expand education of the students is not just an American problem.

    1. ” International comparisons are largely worthless because the US stopped having vocational high schools some decades ago. Foreign statistics are from their college-prep high schools. American stats are from our general purpose high schools.”

      you would say this about ALL other countries from Europe to Japan to Australia?

      but you’d be wrong anyhow because the standards are based on NAEP which measures 4th, 8th and 11th grades and the deficiencies are in reading, math and science – across the board.

      Europe has 2 tracks – college prep and vocational but BOTH of them have rigorous standards for core academic reading, math, and science.

      Only 1/3 of our kids score “proficient” in these areas and that’s by NAEP standards which is US not international.

  3. Vic Volpe

    We fail to inspire kids (and even the rest of our workforce for that matter). Listen to Burt Rutan and Dr. Tyson. See blog: Economics Without The B.S.
    http://vicpsu.blogspot.com/2013/01/economics-without-bs-leadership-that.html

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