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The Reality of American Education — Part 1/3

03 Jul

Tired of reading endless criticisms of just about everything global, I dropped my weekly subscription to The Economist magazine (TE).

To me, it seemed that most of TE’s staff does not have the intellectual ability or knowledge to write with depth, which might explain why they hide behind anonymity. Over several months, I only remember reading one piece that was well researched.

Instead, I shifted to Foreign Policy (FP) magazine, which comes once every two months, and from what I’ve read so far in a few issues, the writing and ability of its staff is on a much higher level than The Economist.

Maybe that’s because FP has more lead-time to research, think, write, revise and edit before the next issue comes out.

The idea for this post came after reading FP’s Think Again: Education. The writer was Ben Wildavsky, a senior scholar in Research and Policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the author of several scholarly books.

Knowing who wrote what you are reading is a big leap from TE, which is probably wise since what TE publishes is often insulting, biased and flawed.  In fact, writing in anonymity often leads to lazy, biased and sloppy writing littered with inaccuracies.

What Wildavsky does in FP magazine is debunk the myths about the American educational system, and he does an excellent job.

MYTH: “American Kids are Falling Behind”

ANSWER: Wildavsky says, “Not Really”, and explains, “the U.S. education system … doesn’t look to be failing so spectacularly.

“The performance of American students in science and math has actually improved modestly since the last round of the (PISA) international test in 2006 … and reading scores … are more or less unchanged since … 2003.

Continued on July 4, 2011 in The Reality of American Education – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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