Singapore parents push math

U.S. students are below average in math skills, according to PISA, while Asian countries excel. Parents’ attitudes, beliefs and behaviors make a difference, concludes a study of parents in the U.S., England and top-scoring Singapore.  From Curriculum Matters:

Parents in Singapore are far more likely than those in the United States and England to engage a math tutor to help their child, they’re more likely to get assistance from teachers and others in how to help their child, and their children more often take part in math competitions and math/science camps.

. . .  75 percent of Singapore parents said it’s important to provide math learning opportunities outside the school curriculum, compared with 53 percent in the U.S. and 49 percent in England.

Compared to Singapore parents, U.S. parents are much more confident they can help their children in math, noted the study, which was conducted by Eduventures for Raytheon. “Whether this U.S. confidence is well-placed is hard to say, but the report suggests that one explanation may be that the middle school math curriculum is more advanced in Singapore than in the United States.”

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  1. It has been made fundamentally clear in the last forty years that Asian and many European countries (families) “value” education more than Americans. America’s biggest problem is the “entitlement” of education and a firm belief in the ability to get by in striving for mediocrity. There is little competition for the privilege of education and little understanding of the overall value of these basic skills. The problem is that the culture and thus the schools and thus the international rankings are in no risk of changing at anytime in the foreseeable future. And I’m not fatalistic, as I still believe in the value and contributions of our top 30%. America is not, in regard to these test scores, a Nation at Risk. That said, our attitude still is not good.