The education crisis in America is a myth.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t serious reform that needs to happen in various districts and states, but the cold, hard reality is that nothing the federal government hands down to the states will ever be a cure all for individual systems’ woes. Another reality is that there are groups making money hand over fist from a crisis that has been manufactured by misleading data, media outlets, and policy makers. A glimmer of truth can be gleaned from an article in the New York Times, which you can read here. Published just yesterday, the article sheds light on how countries such as China are actually looking to our American classrooms for guidance on how to teach and prepare students past primary school, specifically in the sciences.
The article asserts that China’s educators are looking to our classrooms to model our hands-on approach to learning science. The article also explains to readers the highest stakes test Chinese students take and why many parents are sending their children to America for high school. What’s the problem China officials are seeing? Their students can memorize the facts, but they don’t know how they apply to the real world, and they are unprepared to think critically. Sound familiar?
Education can be a problem anywhere, but to state what I’ve said before, we shouldn’t be trying to keep up with other countries’ test scores; rather, we should be leap frogging them in innovation. How do we do that? Continue to push students to think critically, work in dynamic teams, and foster the soft skills so desperately needed in a global market!