Saturday, April 11, 2009

My National School System Is Worse Than Yours!

All this standardized testing has me exploring the validity of my sense that just about every country's residents feel they have a lousy educational system. South Korea seems on board with the idea, even though their scores are some of the highest in the world (depending, of course, on measure).

England, which also scores higher on some tests, has the sentiment (at least by one observer) that the educational sky is falling in the U.K. as well.

Germany...yup, business leaders bemoan the "educational poverty"

French pundits debate just how horrible their well-funded system has gotten..

And here's some academic starting to slam the Japanese system before the meter runs out and you have to pay to read more...

Here's a pretty (and pretty incomplete) map with expenditures as percent of GDP around the world (2003).

And yeah, that's Norway (on the map) spending a rich 6.8% of GDP (compared with the U.S. at 4.8%), and, sure enough, there's enough complaining about the Norwegian public system to start a continuing, vigorous debate on creating more private schools because the public ones ain't any good.

Lastly, here's an "Educational Index" from a Wiki page on the subject...poor Burkina Faso down there at the bottom.

So many measures, so many ways to find statistical evidence that the schools in one's country are a disgrace. Try it yourself. Type the search terms "X school system failing" where X = the country you want to see slammed. Collect bad comments on 'em all!

P.S.: Extra credit points if you find an "expert" in Country X saying "Country X is not competitive with the rest of the world in Math and Science".


ched macquigg said...

I would think that everyone can see what their own system is doing, and they have a pretty good idea what it should be doing instead. The gulf they perceive between them, probably leads them to believe that nobody could be doing things any worse.

The truth is of course, that they could.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Thanks for the perspective--self-loathing on a global level. I guess we won't be able to import teachers from other districts in the world to solve our "failing-school-problem" after all.