Thursday, August 07, 2014

We Lose

Today I spent quite a bit of time talking to a physics teacher from Lebanon.  He works 13 hours a week because he has many years experience.  New teachers work 20 hours a week.  His students stand when he enters the room and say "thank you sir for teaching us" when they leave.

Teachers are respected and graduation rates are high.  Students graduating are prepared for university study.  He could not believe the stories I told him about Packemin, especially when I told him it was one of the best in the city.  He could not imagine a school where students were pushed to use calculators and get answers by plugging multiple choices into calculator.  He was astonished to hear how kids with 70 IQ's were suddenly passing all their exams.

The  people in charge of education in the US should be ashamed.  We might be graduating more students now but our students can't compete with those in the rest of the world.  But, nothing matters except making sure schools keep improving test scores and administrators keep getting bonuses for doing this by any means possible.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you move to Lebanon? Im sure its a great place to live. Unfortunately,(or maybe fortunately) your blog would have to shut down.

Anonymous said...

I support you and your blog, and I agree that it is not a good thing to simply pass students so that administrators look good, get bonuses, etc. However, I think that this idea that our students can't compete with those in the rest of the world is not as straight-forward as it seems. Take a look at a few posts on Diane Ravitch's blog, and see what I mean:

And, by the way, when it comes to higher education, foreign students are beating down the doors to get into our universities . . . not the other way around. The great majority (in the 80% range) of students of a relative of mine who teaches a math-related subject at a very prestigious graduate school have been Chinese--from China, here on student visas. American math, science, and statistics students are not running to China for their graduate degrees.