At a recent Town Hall event in South Carolina, audience member John Loveday asked Hillary Clinton a question. He wanted to know if she would support a longer school day or school year to keep up with India and China.
Loveday introduced himself as the principal of a charter school and claimed that his charter school offered 230 instruction days versus the traditional 180 days for public schools.
But there is a BIG difference between offered and actual days children attend class as you will discover, because Karen Wolfe did her homework and learned that Loveday is the principal of a virtual charter school, and that reveals a lot. She wrote about what she learned in a February 25, 2016 post called Joe the Plumber takes on public education.
Virtual charters might be open more days but does that mean students at home on their tablet, desktop, laptop or smartphone are logged on and paying attention while doing work for several hours each day for every one of those 230 offered days?
I don’t think so, and you will find out why later in this post.
Loveday said, “If you look at countries like India and China, they offer—they require—their high school students to attend 220 days on average. That’s 40 more than our high school students.”
What Loveday didn’t say and probably doesn’t want to you or anyone else to know is that in China mandatory education ends at age 15 before senior high school begins—grades 10, 11 and 12 are not mandatory—and millions of mostly rural Chinese students have already left the academic public education system by the end of 6th grade.
In fact, to stay and attend a senior high school—that isn’t mandatory—those want-to-be high school students willing go to school more days than public school students in the U.S. must take a high-stakes, high-stress, national test and rank among the top scorers to make it into a high school. Students who take the test and do not score high enough are offered a choice: go home or go to a vocational school and learn a trade. And even those who do make the score and get into high school have no choice of the school they attend. The high school the winners of the high-stakes, high-stress test competition in China end up in is based on their rank on the test. Students who scored the highest are sent to the highest quality high schools, etc. The best high schools end up with the best test-taking students who usually have the most supportive parents known as autocratic tiger parents.
Compulsory education in China is grades 1 to 9 but millions of rural students who live in small villages end their education at the end of 6th grade to return to work in the fields or move to a city and work in a factory, and the government does nothing to force those young children to return to finish grades 7, 8 and 9.
There are about 121 million children in China’s K – 6 public education system, but only 11.6 million will make it to college out of the voluntary senior high schools, because there is another competitive high-stakes test in 12th grade that is used to rank students that make it to college—or not.
As for India’s longer school year allegedly making India’s educational system more competitive than public schools in the United States, a few numbers tell the fact-based truth of India’s economic and education systems.
- The average Indian child spends only FIVE years in school, according to the World Bank.
- According to India’s 2001 Census, as many as 560,687,797 persons in the country are literate.There are more than 1.2 billion Indians. To discover how many Indians are illiterate, do the math, that is if you paid attention in math and know how to subtract.
- According to NBC news, “India’s hunger ‘shame’: 3,000 children die every day, despite economic growth.”
Do you think starving children are in any position to learn when they are in school—what are they thinking about, their school books or their hunger?
NBC news reported that, “A government-supported survey last month (in India) said 42 percent of children under five are underweight – almost double that of sub-Saharan Africa – compared to 43 percent five years ago.
“The statistic – which means 3,000 children dying daily due to illnesses related to poor diets – led Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to admit malnutrition was ‘a national shame’ and was putting the health of the nation in jeopardy.
“It is a national shame. Child nutrition is a marker of the many things that are not going right for the poor of India,” said Purnima Menon, research fellow on poverty, health and nutrition at the Institute of Food Policy Research Institute.
“India’s efforts to reduce the number of undernourished kids have been largely hampered by blighting poverty where many cannot afford the amount and types of food they need.”
Instead of comparing India and China’s public schools to public education in the United States, I suggest we compare the success of education in China and India to the virtual charter school industry where Loveday works.
Public Schools First says, “The vast majority of students who attend online schools are failing. According to a National Education Policy Center report, only 27.4 percent of virtual schools met federal adequate yearly progress (AYP) standards. Graduation rates are astoundingly low. K12, Inc.’s Ohio Virtual Academy reported an overall 30.4% four-year on time graduation rate with a 12.2% rate for African American students and a 24.2% rate for economically disadvantaged students (versus a statewide rate of 78%). K12, Inc.’s Colorado Virtual Academy reported a 12% four-year on time graduation rate (versus a statewide rate of 72%). There is also deep concern about the ability of these virtual charters to effectively educate at-risk or special needs students. Other concerns about virtual instruction that directly impact student achievement include.”
In conclusion, it would seem that China and India’s public education systems are much better than the for-profit—anyway you look at it—virtual charter school industry that Loveday is part of. I think Loveday was a plant and his question was scripted. The fact that Hillary Clinton did not respond with the facts in this post is enough for me to think she was in on it. I allege that Loveday’s question was planned and approved by Clinton before the event and her answer was on that same script.
Do we really want a U.S. President who doesn’t know these facts or does know them and deliberately ignored those facts during an alleged scripted question and answer session in a town hall meeting?
One thing I do know, John Loveday is a profit-mongering fraud.
HEY, LET’S BLAME IT ON THE TEACHERS AS USUAL
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”
February 27, 2016 at 15:36
Reblogged this on adaratrosclair and commented:
“In China mandatory education ends at age 15 before senior high school begins—grades 10, 11 and 12 are not mandatory—and millions of mostly rural Chinese students have already left the academic public education system by the end of 6th grade.” Hmmm.
February 29, 2016 at 05:04
Reblogged this on David R. Taylor-Thoughts on Education.
May 21, 2016 at 17:22
Lloyd, can you share the sources for your information on Chinese and Indian schools?
May 21, 2016 at 20:07
I hope this helps you find the links to the sources I used.
May 21, 2016 at 20:01
I’ve researched this topic and others for posts I’ve written for my Blogs and the links to my sources are in those posts. I have four Blogs and one is about China and another is about Education. Those posts will be on one or both of those Blogs. I’ve written and published several thousand posts for my four Blogs. If you use the search with the right terms, you might be able to find those posts and the links to my sources.
S M Andrade
June 9, 2016 at 13:28
Sounds like an opinion piece to cast negativity in the Clintons
June 9, 2016 at 17:37
Yes, it is an Op-Ed. Every newspaper does it. Then it is up to individuals to decide what they think about it, and it isn’t the only Op-Ed about the Clintons.
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