Great news: Shanghai teens destroy U.S. in respected international standardized test

posted at 8:10 pm on December 7, 2010 by Allahpundit

Hey, who’s up for a little civilizational-decline anxiety on a slow Tuesday news night? Why, I haven’t wet myself like this over China since that Chinese professor ad during the campaign!

After reading this, I’m going to have nightmares like Cartman in that “South Park” episode about the Beijing Olympics.

“Wow, I’m kind of stunned, I’m thinking Sputnik,” said Chester E. Finn Jr., who served in President Ronald Reagan’s Department of Education, referring to the groundbreaking Soviet satellite launching. Mr. Finn, who has visited schools all across China, said, “I’ve seen how relentless the Chinese are at accomplishing goals, and if they can do this in Shanghai in 2009, they can do it in 10 cities in 2019, and in 50 cities by 2029.”…

“We have to see this as a wake-up call,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in an interview on Monday…

“This is the first time that we have internationally comparable data on learning outcomes in China,” Mr. Schleicher said. “While that’s important, for me the real significance of these results is that they refute the commonly held hypothesis that China just produces rote learning.”

“Large fractions of these students demonstrate their ability to extrapolate from what they know and apply their knowledge very creatively in novel situations,” he said.

Follow the link for breakdowns of international scoring in science, reading, and math. I won’t spoil the surprise about where the U.S. placed, but here’s a hint: Not second. There are a few caveats about the results, though. Duncan says he’s confident that they’re accurate and reliable, but the Times notes that the Chinese could be gaming them by letting gifted migrant students reside in the city instead of going home and by motivating them to study with nationalist appeals about how important the results would be to China’s international standing. Which sets up this immortal line from a U.S. education wonk: “Can you imagine the reaction if we told the students of Chicago that the PISA was an important international test and that America’s reputation depended on them performing well?” Yeah, imagine.

Worth noting: The spread between Shanghai and the second-place country in each category is conspicuously larger than it is between second place and third place and so on, so there is reason to be at least a bit suspicious, especially since we know how desperate China can get in international competitions. On the other hand, Hong Kong’s near the top of the board in almost every category but, again, not nearly as high as Shanghai. If the Chinese were going to cheat, wouldn’t they cheat across the board?

Exit question: Assuming no cheating, what’s the real explanation for the results? Better teacher training and more hours devoted to study instead of extracurriculars? Or the ever-present possibility that if you flunk a test designed to enhance Chinese prestige, the punishment awaiting you might be a tad more draconian than detention?


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In California, illegal immigration has an impact on school test scores.

John the Libertarian on December 7, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Yeah but our self-esteem scores are through the roof!

mankai on December 7, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Yeah? But how do the Chinese students feel about themselves? Are their schools safe from dangerous drugs like Tylenol? And how often do their schools take advantage of teachable moments, like attendance at gay weddings?

We have to keep priorities in mind.

malclave on December 7, 2010 at 8:14 PM

We think perpetual US superiority is inevitable. News Flash: It’s not. Especially with unions (esp. teachers’ unions), lawyers, leftists, & assorted other elements working hard to dismantle us.

itsnotaboutme on December 7, 2010 at 8:14 PM

We don’t have a public education system, we have a public employment system.

Meric1837 on December 7, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Here is a start :

1)Value the family so that both parents are in the household.
2)Grow jobs
3)School choice and vouchers.
4)Value education and worry less about feelings.

CWforFreedom on December 7, 2010 at 8:15 PM

On the other hand, Hong Kong’s near the top of the board in almost every category but, again, not nearly as high as Shanghai. If the Chinese were going to cheat, wouldn’t they cheat across the board?

Because China now owns Hong Kong?

AUINSC on December 7, 2010 at 8:16 PM

Academic achievement is elitist. /

dedalus on December 7, 2010 at 8:16 PM

On the other hand, Hong Kong’s near the top of the board in almost every category but, again, not nearly as high as Shanghai. If the Chinese were going to cheat, wouldn’t they cheat across the board?

Hong Kong is the most European city in China because it was owned by the British until 1997, there is a lot of opposition to the chinese government in this city. They would love to prove that they are more intelligent than Hong Kong residents

Cookies Mom on December 7, 2010 at 8:16 PM

Let me guess… We need to spend more money on education.

brewcrew67 on December 7, 2010 at 8:16 PM

I wonder if every kid on the team in Shanghai gets a trophy? Do they have a failing grade in elementary school? Are they allowed to play dodge ball?

ctmom on December 7, 2010 at 8:17 PM

As long as liberals control the schools there is no hope.

Rose on December 7, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Hey….we can make the SAT score bigger, that way our scores will be higher.

So if you score a 4000, you’re twice as smart as the kids who scored 2000 last year.

Problem solved. Next?

BobMbx on December 7, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Exit question: Assuming no cheating, what’s the real explanation for the results?

No cell phones. No interruptions. I guess.

Electrongod on December 7, 2010 at 8:20 PM

I betcha they can’t keep pace with the scores out of Newark. At $25K per student per year their scores just gotta be awesome.

mankai on December 7, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Exit questions: Assuming no cheating, what’s the real explanation for the results? Better teacher training and more hours devoted to study instead of extracurriculars? Or the ever-present possibility that if you flunk a test designed to enhance Chinese prestige, the punishment awaiting you might be a tad more draconian than detention?

Teacher unions and governments have “dumbed down” the curriculum allowing functional illiterates to graduate with a high school diploma. How do I know? Because of the recession, a lot of these people are going back to college for retraining or to start new careers. Or most of them paying for it? Nope. Most of my students (I teach microbiology at a community college in Indianapolis) are there to keep the unemployment flowing. I always have about 10% of really dedicated students that want to do well, about 30-40% that are B and C students, 20-30% D students (like John Kerry) and the rest Fs. This semester, a have very few As, more than half of my class is failing and I have a lot of withdraws.

Thanks public education system!!!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on December 7, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Exit question: Assuming no cheating, what’s the real explanation for the results?

Results are expected from the students or they face consequences. It is really that simple.

darwin-t on December 7, 2010 at 8:22 PM

But..but our teachers get tenure.

tinkerthinker on December 7, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Hey look! Our MATH score was better than Ireland!!WooT!!

Skandia Recluse on December 7, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Get the government and big money out of education.

Inanemergencydial on December 7, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Still, how many great inventions come out of China? Gun powder was a good one, but that was 1500 years ago. What have they done lately with their huge population? They are more akin to calculators than actual thinkers.

keep the change on December 7, 2010 at 8:24 PM

In HK at least all the kids do all day long is prepare for their public exam.

That’s what it takes.

pedestrian on December 7, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Only one thing will fix this. We need to give more money to the NEA.

hawkdriver on December 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM

China needs a teacher’s union….

deedtrader on December 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM

School vouchers………….

and then ditch the Department of Education

Knucklehead on December 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Yeah? But how do the Chinese students feel about themselves? Are their schools safe from dangerous drugs like Tylenol? And how often do their schools take advantage of teachable moments, like attendance at gay weddings?

We have to keep priorities in mind.

malclave on December 7, 2010 at 8:14 PM

And are they multicultural, teaching about, for example, Mayan culture and Mayan math.

/s

Wethal on December 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM

How much do you want to bet that THEY get to fire incompetent teachers?

kurtzz3 on December 7, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Yeah but our students blow them out of the water when it comes to self esteem. Isn’t that whats really important?

Tommy_G on December 7, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Those tests are culturally biased.

They do not account for a hollistic education that cultivates a strong background in diversity, gay rights, global warming, spanish, condom use, mother nature, native American rituals, and sharing and caring.

I bet we kick their asses in those categories. Go America!

swamp_yankee on December 7, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Still, how many great inventions come out of China?

keep the change on December 7, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Right now they come to the US and do their work here. But more and more of them are returning or staying. So the switch over will be very fast when it happens. Good luck to our kids who will face that and all the debt we are leaving them.

pedestrian on December 7, 2010 at 8:28 PM

No civilizational anxiety here, AP. On the contrary, the fact that Chinese kids do well on standardized tests is a sign that my next iPod will be even cheaper.

But it will still be designed in America.

Splashman on December 7, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Hence the reason I sent my kids to private school. So they can kick ass later on.

Seriously, your kids will be working for my kids. Haaaaaaa.

Harsh huh? The Chinese are definitely thinking competition. And they intend to win.

Mr. Joe on December 7, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Hey look! Our MATH score was better than Ireland!!WooT!!

Skandia Recluse on December 7, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Only because the test was racist agaisnt the Irish. It didn’t take into account bailouts.

Example: If Paddy has three apples and four children, and gives an apple to each of his children, how many apples does Paddy have left?

malclave on December 7, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Chinese do not have the freedom to fail. The US subsidizes it.

differences.

ted c on December 7, 2010 at 8:29 PM

We have to see this as a wake-up call,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in an interview on Monday…

……TO SPEND BILLIONS MORE ON FAILURE…….AND ENRICH THE FAILED UNION LEADERSHIP in the nations schools.

DOTUS………..and his Secretary of Education!!!

PappyD61 on December 7, 2010 at 8:29 PM

I don’t assume no cheating per se. I would bet that there are standards for being able to attend schools in Shanghai. Lower performing kids probably can’t attend the same schools.
In the USA it’s almost impossible to give a kid the boot, even the absolute worst behaved ones.
“Representative Cross Section” is a relative term I think.

redshirt on December 7, 2010 at 8:29 PM

I work with a Chinese woman who now lives in the US. She’s mentioned several times that her classes were typically at least 50 students to each teacher.

frost on December 7, 2010 at 8:29 PM

How much do you want to bet that THEY get to fire incompetent teachers?

kurtzz3 on December 7, 2010 at 8:26 PM

I don’t think their teachers are all that good either. But the kids can see what will happen to them if they don’t do well on the public exam, so they study hard.

pedestrian on December 7, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Chinese do not have the freedom to fail. The US subsidizes it.

differences.

ted c on December 7, 2010 at 8:29 PM

+ 1 Trillion

Knucklehead on December 7, 2010 at 8:30 PM

yeah, but are these Chinese students learning about the important stuff like how you can spend your way to prosperity, shove your fist in some kids bum, and be a big failure and become president? oh wait, there’s no evidence of that last one.

standards.

ted c on December 7, 2010 at 8:30 PM

China needs a teacher’s union….

deedtrader on December 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM

This is in the most vital interest of the United States. Immediate subsidies must be budgeted. Damn the deficit!

Mason on December 7, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Academic achievement is elitist. /

dedalus on December 7, 2010 at 8:16 PM

Only when correlated to correctness and cost of institution.

Inanemergencydial on December 7, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Look…our youngest generation voted overwhelmingly for Obama…nuff said. The generations that follows them is more ‘made by the union label’ than that one. At this rate, most of them won’t be able to spell their own name by the time their 21. They certainly won’t be able to tell right from left.

AUINSC on December 7, 2010 at 8:33 PM

In China, kids are told over and over again that they’re lucky they weren’t an abortion, like their sister was. In American, kids are told over and over again that its their right to have one.

motivation.

ted c on December 7, 2010 at 8:34 PM

But our kids can wipe the floor with those Chinese in gender studies, “how to play well with others”, or how to have safe sex… don’t you think?

marybel on December 7, 2010 at 8:34 PM

Bet our scores would go up if we threatened to send failing students to China

Raisedbywolves on December 7, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Well… we obviously weren’t cheating off the Asian kid.

Rhinoboy on December 7, 2010 at 8:35 PM

School vouchers………….

Knucklehead on December 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Privatize every school. (Even now, private schools typically outperform public schools, with less money) Vouchers for every child. A bare minimum of government regulation–and that should be local, not federal regulation. Abolish the Department of Education, a money drain which bogs schools down with red tape and squelches innovation. Minimize the influence of the National Education Association (misnomer), which is only interested in accumulating power. The result: the poor will be able to afford good schools. And there will be as many varieties of schools as there of restaurants. If you want to send your child to a school that emphasizes history, you’ll be able to find one. Need more language arts and less P.E.? It will be somewhere.

itsnotaboutme on December 7, 2010 at 8:36 PM

yeah…but do those silly Chinese braniacs know what happened last night on JERSEY SHORE or what Lady GaGa wore in concert last night???

Didn’t think so….lots of ways to measure intelligence!

SDarchitect on December 7, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Exit question: How long can the West continue producing Media, Women’s, Queer and Black Studies graduates before the rest of the world realises that it doesn’t matter what we think? About anything.

Fortunata on December 7, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Maybe the Chinese are doing far better because there are far more Christians there that are suffering for their faith.

ted c on December 7, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Teacher unions and governments have “dumbed down” the curriculum … Thanks public education system!!! – Dr.Cwac

And WHY would they wanna dumb down the population? … So we’d fall for silly crap like “Hope and Change!” and “Yes we can!”

Teachers unions: Mission Complete!

(This is why my kids will be homeschooled)

Tony737 on December 7, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Better teacher training and more hours devoted to study instead of extracurriculars?

In China, bad teachers find themselves in labor camps(?)
In America, bad teachers find themselves in a different school [district] every couple years?

Jeddite on December 7, 2010 at 8:38 PM

They don’t have to deal with teachers relegated to “rubber rooms” just because they can’t be fired because they have a union (remember, they do this in the NYC school system).

Nuff said.

School vouchers, eliminate all public schools. 100% vouchers, and our private sector will fix this problem. Yankee ingenuity at its finest.

karenhasfreedom on December 7, 2010 at 8:39 PM

yeah…but do those silly Chinese braniacs know what happened last night on JERSEY SHORE or what Lady GaGa wore in concert last night??? Didn’t think so….lots of ways to measure intelligence! – SDarchitect

Thread winner!

Tony737 on December 7, 2010 at 8:39 PM

They are more akin to calculators than actual thinkers.

keep the change on December 7, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Exactly.

Right now they come to the US and do their work here. But more and more of them are returning or staying. So the switch over will be very fast when it happens. Good luck to our kids who will face that and all the debt we are leaving them.

pedestrian on December 7, 2010 at 8:28 PM

I contend that the lack of inventiveness/creativity/initiative is cultural and spiritual. You’re taking the Judeo-Christian work ethic and creative spark for granted. The Chinese students may bring home a product which can be efficiently mass-produced or a process which can be repeated by rote, but that’s all.

Could China every catch up to the U.S.? Maybe. If China experienced a mass conversion to Christianity and then a hundred years went by for the old ways to die off, anything would be possible.

Splashman on December 7, 2010 at 8:41 PM

maybe the Chinese are doing better because they have a lot of atheists there…/

ted c on December 7, 2010 at 8:41 PM

America’s union teachers are proud of their accomplishment.

tarpon on December 7, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Privatize every school … Vouchers for every child … Abolish the Department of Education … – itsnotaboutme

Hey … that sounds like … CHANGE!

Tony737 on December 7, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Imagine the uproar if we did this poorly in the really real Olympics.

marybel on December 7, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Why, I haven’t wet myself like this over China since that Chinese professor ad during the campaign!
=============================================

Allahpundit,please tell me you weren’t dreaming!!!!

From: Your Concerned Canadian Neighbour,haha,ahem:)

canopfor on December 7, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Unions, liberals, Democrats in control=welfare state, dependent families producing non-producing kids. “Men” impregnating inner city Democrat beneficiaries then off to the streets to sell their dope and rob whitie. Of course Asians will do better they maintain a family cultural nucleous. Latinos, Negroes=we can see the sad results everyday. Pelosi, Reid, Schumer and many more have the blood and souls of these people on their hands and the decline of this nation in their morally bankrupt hearts.

wepeople on December 7, 2010 at 8:44 PM

see the photo of those Chinese kids? They ain’t wearing their coats at their desks to save energy and prevent AGW….those kids are just doin’ it in the cold.

ted c on December 7, 2010 at 8:45 PM

yeah…but do those silly Chinese braniacs know what happened last night on JERSEY SHORE or what Lady GaGa wore in concert last night??? Didn’t think so….lots of ways to measure intelligence! – SDarchitect

Hey! And don’t forget about their self esteem! How could they possible be building up their self esteem if they’re just getting an education!

JellyToast on December 7, 2010 at 8:45 PM

While the Chinese learn math, American kids are busy learning about gay studies, environmental studies, African American studies, Hispanic heritage month and so forth. And at the end of the American school year maybe if there is time left, the kids might learn some basic math.

angryed on December 7, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Teacher unions and governments have “dumbed down” the curriculum allowing functional illiterates to graduate with a high school diploma.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on December 7, 2010 at 8:22 PM

How right you are, Cwac. Like you, I have the same problems. I teach B-Comm, O&M, Leadership, and MKT in a business division. For more than ten years, the standard for excellence has diminished exponentially. The substandard expectations are driven internally by the administration, and more broadly, by the unions and feds.

Some students enter college with subpar skills in reading, writing, study skills and a host of other subject inadequacies. Then, when the student isn’t performing sufficiently, the administration does it’s level best to bully profs into lowering standards for the course, rather than dealing with the root problem.

It’s truly a nightmare, and the higher ed problem isn’t going to be solved by another corrupt Chicago thug like Arne. Nor will the inanity of Barry’s “Race to the Top” initiative, which is all about buying more votes and Democratic donations with our tax dollars. Nothing Barry does has a damn thing to do with improving instruction and better preparing students. Nothing.

anXdem on December 7, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Yeah but we are # 1 in Womens Lit and Peace Studies.

james23 on December 7, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Education has for centuries been something to strive for in almost all Far Eastern nations/cultures. Achieving in education is a goal, and a family goal at that. Having a son or daughter perform poorly in school is still considered a badge of shame, for the child, and for the family.

In China, going back to the Confucian Age, the merit tests were a major event in a family’s life, and reputation. A son gaining acceptance to the learned class was and is still seen as a major accomplishment. A couple weeks ago I spoke with a Chinese professor who teaches chemical engineering at University of Michigan. Among other observations, he was appalled at the quality, or lack of quality, among his students, students who had gained acceptance at Michigan and yet were unfamiliar with some of the most basic concepts in chemistry. His “foreign” students across the board performed well ahead of their American peers, with an exception or two, but generally American students seemed to be at the university not to educate themselves, but to have “education” handed to them, as if they deserved it.

Therein lies the major problem with the state of education in America today. Too much time spent in the lower grades (pre-college) on subjects that have little bearing on accomplishment, but are heavy in peer interaction, self-esteem, and students also are faced with being stigmatized by their peers should they out perform their peers in any subject.

The Geeks shall inherit the Earth.

We ignore this at our own peril.

coldwarrior on December 7, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Hey! And don’t forget about their self esteem! How could they possible be building up their self esteem if they’re just getting an education!

JellyToast on December 7, 2010 at 8:45 PM

it’s funny to see what a kid can learn when he’s not filling out applications for NAMBLA or learning what a crappy country he lives in….

ted c on December 7, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Wait a tic,is this with the ONE Family thingy,ALL of the
families eggs in one basket so to speak,the family pinning
their hopes only on one child!!

Jus sayin!!

canopfor on December 7, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Department of Education
Another epic failure at the hands of the Feds.

Keemo on December 7, 2010 at 8:49 PM

How did they score on subjects like fisting and social justice. We must be better than them, right? Anyone? Anyone??

joejm65 on December 7, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Exit answer (part of it, anyway): Education is highly prized in Chinese culture. With economic reforms creating wealth, and more resources for Chinese schools, it was only a matter of time.

Just like our culture — where “going to the right school” means “going to the wrong school” for a lot of people — explains a lot about our annual humiliations in educational achievement.

RightOFLeft on December 7, 2010 at 8:50 PM

1) sample of 1500 kids. Really? That’s like a tiny town.

2) kids in China don’t do critical thinking/extrapolation. They memorize. And take what they read at face value.

3) 1 kid.

4) it’s not that much fun being a kid in China w/ parents who have surreal expectations.

My business puts me in touch w/ ppl in Bejing and Shanghi daily. They are all pretty smart/well informed ppl. However, not really any moreso than business ppl I deal with here that would be their counterparts. There’s still plenty of dumb people there, too, just like every country I’ve ever been in. We just have many different ways to reach success, be it sports, music, politics, or heaven forbid-reality shows.

di butler on December 7, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Okay, so they’re good at math & science. Massachusetts performs the best with standardized testing in the U.S. yet it’s the home of Barney Frank and 100s of others like him. In order to meet the standards of the Chinese we’d have to give up extra-curricular sports, and keep our children in school for ridiculously long hours/days/months and generally make their lives miserable. To which I say not just “no”, but “hell no”. How many Sputniks do we need? We compete at other levels with our ingenuity and creativity and other incalculable (and in some cases, uniquely American) talents and don’t need to be clones of the Chinese (or other Asians).

Buy Danish on December 7, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Yes, but let’s look at priorities in the USA. Teachers on average are very well paid, have excellent benefits and a wonderful retirement plan.

slickwillie2001 on December 7, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Has anyone seen the documentary “Waiting for Superman”. It was released a couple of months ago and directed by the same guy who made Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”. But don’t let that discourage you – the film slams the teacher’s union something fierce and promotes school choice.

Here’s the trailer. Check it out.

Oh and also, all the Armageddon, Doomsday, Second Coming of Jesus everybody stressed over after 9/11 and convinced themselves the Muslims were going to bring about the end of time. I said then, and still say now, it won’t be the Muslims that will destroy us, it will be the Chinese. 3 billion people can, and probably will, crush us.

ramrants on December 7, 2010 at 8:55 PM

They are more akin to calculators than actual thinkers.

keep the change on December 7, 2010 at 8:24 PM

No. They get the same skills out of a quality education that any race does. You’re talking about a people that have a tremendous legacy of discovery in every academic discipline. It may be comforting to imagine some deficiency in their abilities, but there’s just no basis for it.

RightOFLeft on December 7, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Here’s a better trailer for “Waiting for Superman” than the one I posted. Sorry about the double post but this one tells you more about the movie.

ramrants on December 7, 2010 at 8:57 PM

I mentioned this to people at work(a few dozen) and got a shoulder shrug reaction from most. I think that the lack of concern for education in general is part of the problem.

fastestslug on December 7, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Department of Education
Another epic failure at the hands of the Feds.

Keemo on December 7, 2010 at 8:49 PM

which has led to education “majors” instead of liberal arts and science majors who actually learn general knowledge…

phreshone on December 7, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Oh and also, all the Armageddon, Doomsday, Second Coming of Jesus everybody stressed over after 9/11 and convinced themselves the Muslims were going to bring about the end of time. I said then, and still say now, it won’t be the Muslims that will destroy us, it will be the Chinese. 3 billion people can, and probably will, crush us.

ramrants on December 7, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Well said. Though, they won’t crush us. They’ll keep us around indefinitely as consumers for their products. If not, then they’ll keep us around at least until we pay back all the money we owe them.

dedalus on December 7, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Heres an article from 2006?!
============================
Page 1 of 2
Chinese higher education fails the test
By Robert Hartmann
Dec 21 2006
===============

HONG KONG – Opinion polls in China in the past year have generally listed the country’s higher education as one of the three major targets of growing public discontent, with the other two being health care and housing.

As such, the current higher-education system is potentially a major factor of social instability. Therefore, to implement President Hu Jintao’s blueprint for building a “harmonious society”, the Chinese government must make efforts to deal with
the crisis facing higher education.

In China, where learning used to be highly esteemed because of the Confucian tradition, university graduates were once regarded as “heaven’s favored ones” who would never worry about employment. But in recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for university graduates to find jobs. This year, quite a number of university graduates have taken jobs as housemaids, security guards or unpaid trainees. Even so, half of the more than 4 million graduates remained jobless months after leaving school.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/HL21Ad01.html

canopfor on December 7, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Unexpected/

hillbillyjim on December 7, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Why should we assume no cheating?

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on December 7, 2010 at 9:06 PM

1) Our current public education system is without a doubt a flaming hot mess — mostly because the liberals have been in charge of it for 30 years. They’ve done to public education what they’ve done to Detroit, Los Angeles, DC, etc. Where liberals lead, destruction, disaster, and misery follows.

2) I don’t believe a single word coming out of China. Come on, people. They’re the ChiComs. They lie. Constantly.

3) International testing comparisons like this are absurd because there is no other country — no other country — that attempts to educate all of its citizens in the same schools through age 18, and requires by law that they all be tested in standardized testing. If we could separate out the test scores, reporting only the best and brightest like virtually every other country does, we’d perform very well in these comparisons. As it stands, though, we’re comparing our idiots with their geniuses. Ridiculous.

Rational Thought on December 7, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Why should we assume no cheating?

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on December 7, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Eh.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on December 7, 2010 at 9:08 PM

Didn’t China lie about the ages of the girl gymnists?

I wouldn’t believe ANYTHING that spews from them.

stenwin77 on December 7, 2010 at 9:08 PM

Quite honestly, if the future is Chinese rather than Muslim I won’t mind at all. I know you Judeo-Christians think you have some divine right to own the future, but it’s not true.

Fortunata on December 7, 2010 at 9:10 PM

Exit question: Assuming no cheating, what’s the real explanation for the results?

No NEA.

On the other hand, the US emphasis has always been on scope — try to educate as many kids and young people as you can at every level, including many opportunities at the university level. In east Asian countries, competition to get into universities tends to be much more cutthroat. I’m not so sure that east Asian attitudes and the atmosphere it produces is something that I would like to see here.

ddrintn on December 7, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Sadly, most kids could tell you the latest “dirt” from Perez Hilton’s skanky blog, but couldn’t find Virginia, Utah, etc., on an unmarked map.

Our education system has taken a nose-dive from the moment the federal government stuck its fingers in the mixing bowl.

The NEA has got to go; their role in dumbing down our requirements for grade promotion is inexcusable. Also, the federal role in schooling our utes should be nonexistent.

We are sinking our own boat by drilling holes from the inside, and protesting loudly when someone tries to plug a leak or two.

hillbillyjim on December 7, 2010 at 9:14 PM

This topic of comparing the U.S. to Asian students happens to be a pet peeve of mine.

That’s not to say that the Left haven’t done a great job of dumbing-down our students down thanks to the unions, social-engineering, multi-culturalism and so forth. But we can change all of that without turning into Asian clones.

Buy Danish on December 7, 2010 at 9:14 PM

And WHY would they wanna dumb down the population? … So we’d fall for silly crap like “Hope and Change!” and “Yes we can!”

Teachers unions: Mission Complete!

(This is why my kids will be homeschooled)

Tony737 on December 7, 2010 at 8:37 PM

It’s all part of the Democrat/Marxist/Socialist ideology to control the population. Need proof? Remember why it was illegal to teach a slave to read. It’s the same thing happening here. Want more proof? Watch “Idiocracy“.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on December 7, 2010 at 9:14 PM

1) International comparisons like this are usually not apples to apples, between teaching to the test, selective testing, and other “hacks” to the system, it’s little more than a useless news bite.

2) On the other hand, American public education is so bad I’ve been advocating its total destruction and replacement for years. I really don’t think the system can be saved.

Even the “best” public schools do in 8-10 years what should be done in 2-3. The way we deal with our children is completely broken.

Merovign on December 7, 2010 at 9:15 PM

I’m suspicious of the Shanghai scores, but who knows. I would like to know more about the actual test. We need more info about the Chinese family, the teachers, etc, etc like AP was asking about. One thing the US has going against it is two income families. Two income homes hurt scores generally. Average IQ kids need more support to learn and score well. Since 50% of the population has average IQ’s…. you see where this is going.

The positive side is the Chinese own our debt and we are too stupid to ever figure out how to pay it back. Taste it, China.

JimP on December 7, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Quite honestly, if the future is Chinese rather than Muslim I won’t mind at all. I know you Judeo-Christians think you have some divine right to own the future, but it’s not true.

Fortunata on December 7, 2010 at 9:10 PM

They both tend to be absolutist. Judeo-Christian and with an admixture of the ideas of the ancient Greeks and partly also some ideas of the ancient Romans produced classical liberalism, which is really the only way that nation-states can operate with any real level of individual freedom.

ddrintn on December 7, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Once we get all the branches of government under control again, our first order of business should be to demolish the department of education.

It is a worthless institution and the teachers unions are putting the future of this country in danger.

WisCon on December 7, 2010 at 9:24 PM

If we could get the PC craptastic vomit out of the classrooms and replace it with fundamental education from grade one, this trend would reverse itself in an amazingly short period of time.

Of course, the problems with making teen pregnancy a desirable option to many underprivileged kids via gubmint giveaways cannot be overstated. This is the fruit of the entitlement tree, dropping like worm-eaten apples.

hillbillyjim on December 7, 2010 at 9:25 PM

That’s not to say that the Left haven’t done a great job of dumbing-down our students down thanks to the unions, social-engineering, multi-culturalism and so forth. But we can change all of that without turning into Asian clones.

Buy Danish on December 7, 2010 at 9:14 PM

When I was a kid what we heard all the time was how advanced Soviet schoolchildren were, taking calculus courses in 7th grade and such, which was mostly true I guess. But yet their parents were standing in line for toilet paper.

ddrintn on December 7, 2010 at 9:26 PM

FACT:

1. The Chinese have more students in advanced placement classes then we have students, period!

2. Chinese students, from the time they are in first grade, are identified for their strengths and then they compete for the best schools, right through college. Failure is not an option!

3. Chinese students’ parents’ are involved up to their eyeballs.

4. Asian kids study night and day, weekends, summers, and even attend school camp…and that’s Asians in THIS COUNTRY!

5. We mainstream everyone in the same class, the bright and the dim and we teach to the dim. No more advanced placement because of the Progressives “No Child Allowed To Succeed” plan.

6. We are F’ed and it is not going to change.

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on December 7, 2010 at 9:30 PM

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