Facts about Education — China and the world versus America – Part 1/3

July 28, 2011

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

To me, it seemed that most of TE’s staff does not have the intellectual ability or knowledge to write with much depth. I only remember one piece that was well researched and written that impressed me.

Instead, I have 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 TE.

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

This isn’t the first post I wrote due to something I read in FP. The first came after reading Chicago on the Yangtze, and the post that followed was Bo Xilai’s 32 Million.

This post is from reading FP’s Think Again: Education. The journalist 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 is a big leap from TE, which is probably wise since what TE publishes is often insulting, biased and flawed.  However, it is better to know who wrote what since writing in anonymity may lead to lazy, biased and sloppy writing.

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

MYTH:American Kids are Falling Behind

ANSWER: To this myth, 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 this (PISA) international test in 2006 … and reading scores … are more or less unchanged since … 2003.”

Continued on July 28, 2011 in Facts about Education – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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