“Let others have the higher test scores” on international exams, says anti-reformer Diane Ravitch. “I prefer to bet on the creative, can-do spirit of the American people.”
It’s a false tradeoff, argues Brandon Wright on Flypaper. Those hard-working, high-scoring Koreans and Japanese could be just as innovative as Americans.
Bloomberg News lists the most innovative countries in the world based on factors including R&D intensity, productivity, high-tech density and percentage of researchers. The U.S. is third, but look at who’s number one.
- South Korea (score: 92.10)
- Sweden (score: 90.80)
- United States (score: 90.69)
- Japan (score: 90.41)
- Germany (score: 88.23)
Yes, it’s those cram-schooled, stress-crazed Koreans who’ve built a thriving economy out of the ruins of war.
South Korea — often ridiculed for working its students too hard and robbing them of creative, independent thought — might be the most innovative country in the world. Japan, subject to similar derision, slides in comfortably at number four.
“No trade-offs between academic performance and innovation are obvious,” Wright concludes.