China and India rising

The Competition that Really Matters comes from China and India, argues the Center for American Progress.

While “the state of America’s children has improved dramatically in the last century,”  the U.S. advantage is eroding, the report warns.  “Educational attainment and achievement gaps that track income and race groups have become more entrenched— and more worrisome.”

Meanwhile, China and India are investing in the next-gen workforce.

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  1. They will both soon own the world. Which is bad news for people who like democracy (India at least tries, but China is openly dictatorial), free and FAIR markets (the lowest common demoninator, near slave labor, will win out in business’s eyes every time), and animals (both countries’ cultures think nothing of horrible animal abuse; in fact, in many parts of China, the food is thought to ‘taste better’ if tortured first…) This world (especially if you’re a child or a dog) has a sad future ahead…

  2. I’m willing to bet that neither country (nor most others) spends a small fraction of what we spend on the lowest 20-25% of the curve; it’s likely that many of these kids never enter school (as was formerly the case here). It’s one thing to offer life skills and job training to those capable of it; another to require babysitting (with a 1:1-1:2 staff-to-“student” ratio) of kids who will always require custodial care. We spend much more on those “students” than we do on any other group.

    I’m also willing to be that both countries make the top 20-25% of kids their priority, offering special (exam) schools and programs to maximize opportunitities for their most capable students. Entry into the college-prep programs and top schools is likely to be by exam. (every year, Japanese kids who didn’t make the cut committed suicide, for disgracing their families- probably still happens) Here, it is now common practice, even in highly-educated and affluent suburbs, for those kids to be ignored. This is done through heterogeneous grouping and full/radical-mainstreaming, while leveled classes, acceleration and programs for the academically talented are dropped – particularly at the ES level. Even top HS programs for the most able and motivated kids are under constant attack as “elitist” or insufficiently “diverse” – just read the almost-monthly whines in the WaPo about the Thomas Jefferson math/science magnet (exam) school. It – or Fairfax County- is now being sued by the NAACP for its lack of ‘diversity.” Even at comprehensive high schools, restrictions on AP class entry, by academic preparation and prerequisites, is being attacked – under the AP-for-all mantra (even if the kids are functioning at a MS-level).

    I’m not sure about China and India, but the European countries mentioned in the report intentionally send many kids to good vo-tech programs, while we now pretend that college is the best option for all; regardless of academic preparation or motivation. It is my understanding that, for decades, only those German kids who pass the entrance exam are admitted to their college-prep schools (gymnasiums, I think); the others go to vocational schools. European countries have restricted college to those who passed the national exam for a long time. In 1970, the younger of my French host sisters was studying for her “bac”, as she entered her final year at the lycee. Her older sister had not made the cut; she went directly into the workplace as a secretary.

    I think it is also true that many/most countries give the various international tests only to kids in the college-prep track, which obviously skews the results.

  3. I think you see Indians and Chinese who study in America after coming out of Indian ,Chinese schools. These kids are mostly belong to middleclass and their parents are wealthy enough to send them to UK,USA, and australia. Now only the poorer amongst them are going to India,china respectively .Still we are far behind USA and Singapore.