Tag Archives: EuropeanUnion

The Reality of American Education – Part 3/3

MYTH: “American Universities Are Being Overtaken.” (concerning research and development)

Wildavsky’s ANSWER: “NOT SO FAST.

He says, Asia’s share of the world’s research and development (R&D) spending grew from 27 to 32% from 2002 to 2007, led mostly by China, India, and South Korea.

However, R&D spending worldwide massively surged in the last decade from $790 billion to $1.1 trillion, up 45 percent, and in 2007, the U.S. spent $373 billion (up from $277 billion in 2002) on R&D, which was very high by global standards totaling more than all Asian countries’ combined ($352 billion was spent on R&D in Asia).


Wildavsky’s ANSWER: “Maybe, but don’t count on it anytime soon.”

While the global academic marketplace is without doubt growing more competitive, the United States doesn’t have just a few elite schools as most of its foreign competition does, and the U.S. spends about 2.9 percent of its GDP on postsecondary education, about twice the percentage spent in 2006 by China, the European Union, and Japan combined.

In fact, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), eight of the top ten universities are in the US and so are 54 of the top 100, while the US State Department recognizes 194 independent countries around the globe.

If this three part series of posts sparked a curiosity to learn more on this topic, I urge you to take the time and click over to Foreign Policy magazine‘s Website and read all of FP’s Think Again: Education written by Ben Wildavsky.

It’s always a good idea to discover the facts before you form an opinion or believe what someone writes in a Blog. In today’s Internet dominated world, opinions without reputable and reliable facts to support them are worth as much as sterile dirt, which is why I usually link to the sources I use for facts.

After reading Wildavsky’s piece in FP, it is obvious that America’s schools are not failing and have never been failing and are actually either holding steady or slowly improving.

That DOES NOT mean the US should stop working at improving the public education system.

Considering the handicaps and competition teachers in the U.S. public schools face to gain the attention and cooperation of the average child and/or adolescent, the facts says American teachers are doing an incredible job.

Imagine what would happen if the average American parent was actually involved with his or her child’s education as much as the average Asian-American parent (such as Amy Chua of Tiger Mother fame). If you are interested in learning more of Amy Chua, I recommend reading her oldest daughter’s Blog, a new tiger in town, who is now attending Harvard — ranked number one by the ARWU.

Return to The Reality of American Education – Part 2 or start with Part 1


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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