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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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

So I take it that it doesnt matter to you who owns you as a slave. And show me the future. I know Who holds it.

abcurtis on December 8, 2010 at 10:06 AM

You’re not under the impression that China is an ethnically homogeneous nation are you?

Even the ‘Han’ majority are really a collection of different cultural groups.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Look – America was once a homogeneous nation, but not by ethnicity. (at least not for very long) We drew our unity from two sources: taking the best of the immigrants (ie; ‘creaming’, and so what? it worked!) and a national identity as Americans.

But we’ve discarded both ideals. Now anything on two legs that can make it over the border can become a citizen, and we’re rejecting the “melting pot” for the “salad bowl”. We now have freedumb and duhhh-mocracy for all…and then wonder why stuff like this happens.

Dark-Star on December 8, 2010 at 10:07 AM

For anyone looking for a sample of the PISA test these 15 yr olds take, here it is.

Also, check out the TIMSS test (international test) kids take in 4th and 8th grade.

I suspect most of you would not score as high as you think you would on a 3rd – 4th grade test. It’s a test 8 -9 year olds take…how hard could it be, right? You, however, are a product of the American education system. So give it a try and report back here how well you did.

I’ll start – I scored an 88% on the 3rd-4th grade test…and I have my MBA. 8 year olds in China are smarter than me.

ramrants on December 7, 2010 at 10:20 PM

92%

ConDem on December 8, 2010 at 10:10 AM

And the American expatriate is the manager… Shouldn’t that tell you something about what is going on here?? If China was the be all and end all, then the Chinese engineers should be working for a firm run by Chinese executives.. now shouldn’t they?

That’s because it’s an American company and I founded the team. The layers of managers below me are almost entirely local hires, with a few Chinese returnees.

Well my daily interaction tends to disprove this. Although I’m glad you don’t because it is obnoxious as hell.

Maybe that’s because you’re just talking to friends who do mock interviews.

I don’t think that linguistic and cultural differences preclude people from getting work done by the deadline. Or making meaningful comments during a class/ group meetings. Or knowing that you shouldn’t just copy out of Wikipedia. Frankly, I’m thinking that it has nothing to do with “cross cultural issues” and everything to do with the Chinese education system. I don’t think it prepares students for graduate school, which focuses more on soft skills than on the ability to recite memorized formulas. If it did, then the oh so awesome Chinese students who did so much better on the English standardized GMAT test than I did would be eating me for lunch.

Illinidiva on December 8, 2010 at 9:57 AM

I think your view is limited by the fact that you’re in an American school in America. Assuming English is your first language, how do you think you’d do in a Chinese university?

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 10:10 AM

But we’ve discarded both ideals. Now anything on two legs that can make it over the border can become a citizen, and we’re rejecting the “melting pot” for the “salad bowl”. We now have freedumb and duhhh-mocracy for all…and then wonder why stuff like this happens.

Dark-Star on December 8, 2010 at 10:07 AM

We agree

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 10:11 AM

If it did, then the oh so awesome Chinese students who did so much better on the English standardized GMAT test than I did would be eating me for lunch.

Illinidiva on December 8, 2010 at 9:57 AM

You sound a little bitter here.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM

You sound a little bitter here.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM

No $hit, Sherlock? Having your nation’s children pwned (and not for the first time) by a rival that is already eating your economic lunch can be rather embittering.

…or inspire a swim up De Nile, as demonstrated by some posters.

Dark-Star on December 8, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Sorry but talk about a red herring. The country which on the world stage of the Olympics gave you the Milli Vanilli moment for poor little Yang Peiyi, (too unattractive to be seen), false front quickly erected in front of dilapidated stores and houses, underage gymnast Yang Yun, bans on all traffic in order to clear the skies of pollution…it goes on and on. Focus less on where China is and more on where Finland, Japan and Canada are and you have a reason to be worried.

PatriotPete on December 8, 2010 at 10:30 AM

bans on all traffic in order to clear the skies of pollution…

PatriotPete on December 8, 2010 at 10:30 AM

I feel compelled to point out that this, like the 1-child laws, are being made out of desperation and not repression.

Dark-Star on December 8, 2010 at 10:32 AM

PatriotPete on December 8, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Come to China and spend some time. Come back a few years later. You’ll realize they are becoming a real, very significant challenge.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 10:42 AM

I can hear the chorus from all those education “experts” now.

TQM38a on December 8, 2010 at 10:42 AM

For generations now, students have been forced to waste time in garbage courses that have no use in their future, just for the sake of standardized test scores now.

Waste of student time, educators time, taxpayer’s time.

Moesart on December 8, 2010 at 10:53 AM

OT: SpaceX has just successfully launched the first Dragon capsule into orbit

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/002/status.html

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 11:03 AM

That’s because it’s an American company and I founded the team. The layers of managers below me are almost entirely local hires, with a few Chinese returnees.

Hence my point.. it isn’t a Chinese company. When the Chinese start inventing the Internets and developing the newest pharmaeuticals, then I will take seriously the fact that they are oh so awesome and we will be bowing down to them as our intellectual and cultural superiors.

Maybe that’s because you’re just talking to friends who do mock interviews.

Or perhaps to classmates from China who actually use that phrase on a daily basis.

think your view is limited by the fact that you’re in an American school in America. Assuming English is your first language, how do you think you’d do in a Chinese university?

Yes, because attending a school abroad really changes your ability to get work done on time. And frankly these students are supposed to be good students per their application and the assumption is that they would get their work done on time and contribute to the program. If not, there are quite a few domestic students that would get the work done on time. These students didn’t get in because of the Chinese performed better on a stupid standardized test, i.e. the GMAT, which has nothing to do with real life.

You sound a little bitter here.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM

You better believe that I am… I didn’t get into the MBA program I wanted to go to (Northwestern) because some Chinese student got that spot. I then go to my second choice school and find out that the Chinese students who got in to the program aren’t that smart and that a simple, uneducated American like myself can outscore them in real classes.

Illinidiva on December 8, 2010 at 11:05 AM

I’ve spent two years teaching in Taiwan. Not China, probably a similar situation. Students in Taiwan spend HOURS and HOURS studying, both at school and then at cram school. It was not unusual for the middle school students to be at school from 7 till 5, and then at cram school all evening.

tikvah on December 8, 2010 at 11:06 AM

I believe in open-competition … America is an exceptional nation – but only for as long as Americans believe it, and strive toward exceptionalism. When that ceases to be the case – then the next “King of the HIll” should proudly take his place. This is the way of the world. Yin / Yang … and maybe this will be a catalyst for Americans to get off their asses and lead again.

HondaV65 on December 8, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Hence my point.. it isn’t a Chinese company. When the Chinese start inventing the Internets and developing the newest pharmaeuticals, then I will take seriously the fact that they are oh so awesome and we will be bowing down to them as our intellectual and cultural superiors.

There are Chinese companies doing very well in our industry. I believe you’ll start bowing within the next 5 ~ 15 years.

You better believe that I am… I didn’t get into the MBA program I wanted to go to (Northwestern) because some Chinese student got that spot.

Illinidiva on December 8, 2010 at 11:05 AM

I see. I was starting to wonder if one of the Chinese students stole your boyfriend or something.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 11:14 AM

For anyone looking for a sample of the PISA test these 15 yr olds take, here it is.

Also, check out the TIMSS test (international test) kids take in 4th and 8th grade.

I suspect most of you would not score as high as you think you would on a 3rd – 4th grade test. It’s a test 8 -9 year olds take…how hard could it be, right? You, however, are a product of the American education system. So give it a try and report back here how well you did.

I’ll start – I scored an 88% on the 3rd-4th grade test…and I have my MBA. 8 year olds in China are smarter than me.

ramrants on December 7, 2010 at 10:20 PM

100%.

That was supposed to be hard? How the hell did you score only 88%?

Unreal. I weep for this country.

nukemhill on December 8, 2010 at 11:20 AM

If “large fractions of these students demonstrate their ability to extrapolate from what they know and apply their knowledge very creatively in novel situations,” isn’t that bad news for the authoritarian government of China? Wouldn’t such a government prefer a docile nation of semi-educated proletarians who excel at rote learning?

It would seem that Communist China is teaching its younger generation to weave the intellectual rope with which to hang its government leaders.

Tantor on December 8, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Yeah, they may beat us in Math, Sciences, and all that useless junk.

But we beat them in Self Esteem and embracing MultiCulti Diversity… You know, the important stuff

LegendHasIt on December 8, 2010 at 12:03 PM

There are Chinese companies doing very well in our industry. I believe you’ll start bowing within the next 5 ~ 15 years.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Should diva take Chinese language lessons while in grad school?

ladyingray on December 8, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Should diva take Chinese language lessons while in grad school?

ladyingray on December 8, 2010 at 12:20 PM

I doubt diva could handle Chinese :(

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 12:37 PM

So I take it that it doesnt matter to you who owns you as a slave

Over the top much? Why do you Westerners think you’ll always be dominant? It’s only been true for 400 years, taking Europe as a whole, and much much less than that for the USA. Things change.

Fortunata on December 8, 2010 at 12:38 PM

It is a good thing the US has a decent supply of Jewish kids or we would really be screwed!

Mr. Joe on December 8, 2010 at 12:42 PM

A few things. Firstly, these international tests are the same ones that produce results showing our healthcare system as the worst in the world, so I believe it as far as I can throw it.

Secondly, japan also crams the importance of testing into their kids, and what’s the suicide rate look like? A whole lot higher than ours.

Thirdly, you’re taking the Chinese “model”school and comparing it to all of ours. So all those inner city communities that score 400s get equal weight. While it’s not a good thing, if you wanted an accurate comparison, come out to long island and put a fee districts here against sock-economic equivalents overseas. Wed rub the tables.

Rainsford on December 8, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Why is it so hard for some of the posters here to accept that americans aren’t all that smart. Aren’t you the same posters that believe (in many cases correctly) that our education system is a joke? Why should the joke we call public schools produce anything other than punchlines.

snoopicus on December 8, 2010 at 12:54 PM

if you wanted an accurate comparison, come out to long island and put a fee districts here against sock-economic equivalents overseas. Wed rub the tables.

Rainsford on December 8, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Shanghai vs NYC? Any day of the week!

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Though I don’t doubt that Chinese students are better at math and science than American students, the comparisons used are just absurd. One city, China’s most advanced, is compared to entire countries, and the Shanghai schools used are competitive, whereas most of the US schools are open enrollment. Maybe we should compare the private school students in Greenwich to all of China.

SD on December 8, 2010 at 2:16 PM

I doubt diva could handle Chinese :(

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Unlike you I want the U.S. to win and stay dominant and I want us to be able to win the old-fashioned American way rather than having to become China (rote memorization of formulas for all). You sort of sound alot like Tom Friedman with your undying China praise.

Illinidiva on December 8, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Chinese kids do better for a reason, and this little video from Eric Liang, in itself a genius level accomplishment, explains why!

MTF on December 8, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Unlike you I want the U.S. to win and stay dominant and I want us to be able to win the old-fashioned American way rather than having to become China (rote memorization of formulas for all). You sort of sound alot like Tom Friedman with your undying China praise.

Illinidiva on December 8, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I want that too. But it doesn’t happen by pretending China is not a real, credible challenge that needs to be met. The old-fashioned American way was to meet challenges with realism.

Bury your head in the sand if you want, but China is a real challenge.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 2:47 PM

MTF on December 8, 2010 at 2:41 PM

They are A-sian, not B-sian…and heaven forbid. never C-sian. Yep, ‘splains everything. :-)

coldwarrior on December 8, 2010 at 2:49 PM

MTF on December 8, 2010 at 2:41 PM

LOL!

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Why is it so hard for some of the posters here to accept that americans aren’t all that smart. Aren’t you the same posters that believe (in many cases correctly) that our education system is a joke? Why should the joke we call public schools produce anything other than punchlines.

snoopicus on December 8, 2010 at 12:54 PM

I believe that the American education system is uneven and that kids at the bottom (in the inner cities) are getting screwed over by the teacher’s unions. However, I also believe that th elite students in U.S. probably measure up to or even beat the Chinese students, because those schools are more about critical thinking and application than just plugging in numbers.

Illinidiva on December 8, 2010 at 2:51 PM

OT again: A small American company has just today done what the entire PRC didn’t accomplish until 1999

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi9ljTW3GEQ

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Illinidiva on December 8, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Not just in the inner cities…try taking a look around at suburbia lately, and rural America…pretty bad off as well.

The decades old lure of the video game and MTV has done its damage. The power of the NEA and the various state and local teachers unions have done their damage as well.

Not sure which elite students in America you may be talking about. I’ve lived in the DC area, lived in the Midwest, and overseas, and my kids (five of them) attended all sorts of schools at home and abroad. Thank heaven they are all grown now. But they work with or supervise more recent products of our public education system, and even they know how poorly prepared recently graduated students are for the real world. Can’t do simple math…like totalling up postage or freight charges, can’t balance a cashbox at the end of a shift, can’t understand why “things” cost so much when government produces everything (true story) and a lot more.

There are serious problems and have been for several decades within the US education system. And for decades we have tried to ignore them, and try to tell ourselves that we are the most exceptional nation on earth thus our students are and will forever be better than others, and the usual stuff. In the meantime, look around the globe. European schools are more close to ours insofar as putting out graduates who can handle the real world…but Asia…from Seoul to Singapore, Mumai to Shanghai…they get it.

Ever wonder how China and India became economic superpowers seemingly overnight? It wasn’t because our jobs were sent offshore, out sourced. Nope. They are economic powerhouses because a a couple decades or so ago they decided that is what they wanted to be, what they had to be and they worked on it, one classroom of kids at a time.

Perhaps it is time we, here, took the same tack?

coldwarrior on December 8, 2010 at 3:06 PM

I suppose if we took the averages of students at Stuyvesant High and Bronx Science as the representation of inner city student academic achievement on pisa tests these results would look significantly different. China, with nearly twenty percent of the world’s population, would show dramatically different results if the average of all students were considered which is why I would look at places like Finland, Japan and Canada as a yardstick to measure against.

PatriotPete on December 8, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Took the test and scored 100%! I have the BIG BRAIN!. Bring it on, Chinese 3rd graders!

Bigurn on December 8, 2010 at 3:16 PM

I would look at places like Finland, Japan and Canada as a yardstick to measure against.

PatriotPete on December 8, 2010 at 3:15 PM

As long as there’s Finland America shouldn’t be concerned. Let’s carry on!

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 3:28 PM

So what, the Chinese came out on top of this testing thingie….the US won the international pizza prize.

USA! USA!! U-S-A !!!

coldwarrior on December 8, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Ever wonder how China and India became economic superpowers seemingly overnight
coldwarrior on December 8, 2010 at 3:06 PM

And also because they started to dismantle the socialist policies that had crippled them for so long. But yes–in terms of hunger for education, you have to see for yourself how much the people value it, and I have, in India. Even the poor know that it’s the way their children will do better than they did. Compare how much they achieve with what ours do, even with all the resources thrown at them.

Fortunata on December 8, 2010 at 4:15 PM

List of Chinese inventions

While it is Wikipedia, sources for each are provided.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 8:15 AM

Yes, it’s well known that the Chinese are a very talented, inventive people. But a list of Chinese inventions has about as much relevance to the educational system there as a discussion of Edison or Whitney does for the American educational system. Public education is not necessarily the mother of invention in any society. Education has been prized for millennia in China, but yet they’ve also shown a penchant for authoritarian, centralized government.

ddrintn on December 8, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Ever wonder how China and India became economic superpowers seemingly overnight?

coldwarrior on December 8, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Mercantilism. It’s not that much of a mystery.

ddrintn on December 8, 2010 at 4:50 PM

California schools probably teach more about the glories of Communism than Chinese schools do.

I’m sure we’ve got the edge on them in Aztec dancing, though.

Django on December 8, 2010 at 4:59 PM

California schools probably teach more about the glories of Communism than Chinese schools do.

I’m sure we’ve got the edge on them in Aztec dancing, though.

Django on December 8, 2010 at 4:59 PM

But do Chinese auto shop classes show how to install unpainted body kits with double-sided tape, and screw in clear ‘altezza’ taillights?

Inanemergencydial on December 8, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Yes, it’s well known that the Chinese are a very talented, inventive people.

That didn’t seem to be clear to all if you read back.

But a list of Chinese inventions has about as much relevance to the educational system there as a discussion of Edison or Whitney does for the American educational system.

ddrintn on December 8, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Agreed

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Sorry but if getting world renowned math scores means I’d have to force kids to study 12 or more hours a day, every day,they can keep their math scores. If you ask me, that’s a form of slavery…actually a form of minor cruelty.

jeanie on December 8, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Sorry but if getting world renowned math scores means I’d have to force kids to study 12 or more hours a day, every day,they can keep their math scores. If you ask me, that’s a form of slavery…actually a form of minor cruelty.

jeanie on December 8, 2010 at 6:33 PM

The number of hours studying isn’t important. The practical result is all that matters. I’m sure your kids will be fine.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 6:57 PM

jeanie on December 8, 2010 at 6:33 PM

What if kids are so well taught that they enjoy learning?

slickwillie2001 on December 8, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Sorry but if getting world renowned math scores means I’d have to force kids to study 12 or more hours a day, every day,they can keep their math scores. If you ask me, that’s a form of slavery…actually a form of minor cruelty.

jeanie on December 8, 2010 at 6:33 PM

We can worry about ‘slavery’ (what nonsensical drivel) when foreign students aren’t wiping the floor with ours every year.

Dark-Star on December 8, 2010 at 9:54 PM

What if kids are so well taught that they enjoy learning?

slickwillie2001 on December 8, 2010 at 7:19 PM

I really, really hate to say this…but that’s just not realistic.

Once you get past 8th grade, it’s not really possible for learning to be all that enjoyable because the subject matter becomes increasingly complicated. Oh sure, there are some cute mnemonics (like Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) but they only cover a few concepts.

Now of course there’s plenty of room for teachers to make the material more or less bearable in general. But the painful fact is that most serious learning in life is dull and requires repetitive motions of one sort or another. So is one’s job for that matter (assuming you can get one), especially the bottom-rung stuff. You simply have to muscle through it.

Dark-Star on December 8, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Once you get past 8th grade, it’s not really possible for learning to be all that enjoyable because the subject matter becomes increasingly complicated.

Dark-Star on December 8, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Dark-Star is exactly wrong again. Learning starts to become fun in 8th grade.

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 11:24 PM

China has a homogenous population, their special needs children are probably sent to the hospital to serve as transplant fodder, and the teachers are allowed to discipline the unruly.

zoyclem on December 9, 2010 at 7:43 AM

China has a homogenous population,..

zoyclem on December 9, 2010 at 7:43 AM

What does that have to do with it? Do think they summed the scores? American kids are just not as well educated. Face the facts.

DarkCurrent on December 9, 2010 at 7:54 AM

As long as there’s Finland America shouldn’t be concerned. Let’s carry on!

DarkCurrent on December 8, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Perhaps you should read the entire comment before making childishly snide remarks. China routinely “pads their results” so as far as giving their numbers legitimacy, you can have at it. I would not use their teaching system or methodologies as the ones to examine critically in an effort to improve ours. But then that logic has escaped you so far. If this was a list of trusted reporting of the data, China would be at the bottom.

PatriotPete on December 9, 2010 at 9:39 AM

China has a homogenous [sic] population?

Never been to China? Never studied China? Don’t know squat about China?

It has come a long way since Mao. And no longer the China of the 1940′s movies era…“The Good Earth” included.

coldwarrior on December 9, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Perhaps you should read the entire comment before making childishly snide remarks. China routinely “pads their results” so as far as giving their numbers legitimacy, you can have at it. I would not use their teaching system or methodologies as the ones to examine critically in an effort to improve ours. But then that logic has escaped you so far. If this was a list of trusted reporting of the data, China would be at the bottom.

PatriotPete on December 9, 2010 at 9:39 AM

You can pretend that American students falling behind the Chinese in fundamentals is a fiction if that makes you feel more secure.

I’m telling you from direct experience it’s a real fact.

DarkCurrent on December 9, 2010 at 10:13 AM

In college in the 1990′s, I dated and then lived with a girl who got her math degree in Shanghai. She was brilliant.

I’d be shocked if test scores weren’t astounding in that fire pit where any loss drops people down multiple social levels (where the lower ones are mercyless and hopeless.) It’s a breeding ground for supermen. I hope that as the nation settles down, higher values return to dominate and it becomes a breeding ground for superheroes.

elfman on December 9, 2010 at 10:27 AM

You can pretend that American students falling behind the Chinese in fundamentals is a fiction if that makes you feel more secure.

I’m telling you from direct experience it’s a real fact.

DarkCurrent on December 9, 2010 at 10:13 AM

I think it’s an inevitable product of sharing the wealth following success. Why go through the pain of a hard education when you can party through a soft degree and be assured of a compfy government job. One day China will suffer it.

elfman on December 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM

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

They kicked every other nation’s ass economically.

elfman on December 9, 2010 at 10:54 AM

They are more akin to calculators than actual thinkers.

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

I’m sure that’s what Europeans said about Americans 100 years ago. There’s only so much money for 70′s style Silicone Vally free thinkers in such a desperate society, but that will change.

One of my Chinese roommates said about Americans, “If it has two steps, they call it logic. If it has three, they call it philosophy.” We’re not supermen; we were just briefly at the pinnacle of a supersystem.

elfman on December 9, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Look…our youngest generation voted overwhelmingly for Obama…nuff said.

AUINSC on December 7, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Really… What do they call the generation that overwhelmingly voted for FDR four times? Don’t sell them short.

elfman on December 9, 2010 at 11:10 AM

The Chinese culture devalues females almost as blatantly as Islam.

hillbillyjim on December 7, 2010 at 10:10 PM

That’s huge overstatement. After living with Chinese roommates for several years and dating a Shanghai girl for a year, I never saw a hint of this. The girls are adored and respected almost as much as they are here. Like in most Asian nations, women tend to be submissive in the country side, but there are a lot of dominate women in the cites.

elfman on December 9, 2010 at 11:28 AM

That’s huge overstatement.

elfman on December 9, 2010 at 11:28 AM

In Shanghai culture women rule.

When I first came to Shanghai in 1990 to meet my future in-laws, I noticed dad did all the cooking and cleaning while the women chatted and watched TV.

Living in Japan at the time, I thought that was a little strange but I figured he just liked doing it.

Later I came to realize it’s common in Shanghai.

DarkCurrent on December 9, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Another example of the honesty of the Chinese government, I especially like the part where they state it was a “peoples” award, but that no real voting ever took place…http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101209/lf_nm_life/us_china_nobel_confucius

PatriotPete on December 9, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Another example of the honesty of the Chinese government, I especially like the part where they state it was a “peoples” award, but that no real voting ever took place…http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101209/lf_nm_life/us_china_nobel_confucius

PatriotPete on December 9, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Another example of the honesty of PatriotPete. The article provides no evidence that the Chinese government was even involved, but does say that the supposed award wasn’t even covered in the mainstream Chinese media.

DarkCurrent on December 9, 2010 at 12:06 PM

“In Shanghai culture women rule…

Later I came to realize it’s common in Shanghai.

DarkCurrent on December 9, 2010 at 11:43 AM”

Hmmm, that explains why she seemed to have all the Chinese men in the computer lab on a leash. It might also explain why I could never fully crack into her psyche, while sensing her tweaking mine. I thought it was just something particular to her. She was an interesting girl, a brilliant mathematician while being the antithesis of a nerd. And that Shanghai Dialect gave her an accent that was almost as soft and sexy as French rather the the usual staccato of native Mandarin speakers. I just wasn’t willing to support her idly catching up on her lost “teenage freedom” while I worked 60 hour weeks in a new job. I eventually had to push her out of my apartment for acting as if I worked for her.

elfman on December 9, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Now that the PISA results are out we have to hear a lot of BS from educationists (mostly lowlifes who should be kept away from children) and politicians who have too much to lose by telling the truth.

Despite all the talk about “a wake up call” (as if the results were really surprising) and learning from the Asians, there is no political way this country can implement the educational methods of the east Asian countries: they insist on having only high quality teachers (already ruled out here by the teacher’s unions), and highly demanding academic standards with the same curriculum for all – guaranteed here to get all kinds of discrimination and disparate impact “civil rights” lawsuits from the NAACP and other minority advocacy & shakedown groups.

The ugly fact is that if you examine the supplemental tables of the report (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011004_1.pdf ) showing the racial/ethnic breakdowns you’ll see what has been demonstrated continuously ever since standardized tests were invented: statistically we have in America essentially two different student populations in terms of average academic achievement, Caucasians & east Asians (group A) and everybody else (Group B). Group A is doing fairly well in comparison with the rest of the world, and its clearly group B mainly responsible for the poor USA position.

I believe very much improvement could be made if we followed the educational strategies of brilliant reformers like Michell Rhee but that is politically impossible nation wide. Her methods are centered on putting only the students first. Putting the students first?! HA! what is a laugh, no way in the USA, too many political and economic interests to fight. After all the useless boondoggle “education summits” and new technological tools to be touted & tried, the overall USA PISA results are doomed to be continually embarrassing. That’s life in our democratic food chain.

Chessplayer on December 9, 2010 at 1:39 PM

I’m lazy & not going to read all the comments here.
Has anyone brought up how not all Chinese kids are going to school in all of China?
I know that in places like India, only the few determined are actually taking the test.
Other countries are cherry picking their results in this fashion.
The US does not.
Also, I would imagine that in these places, for some, life sucks so terribly bad that parents drive their kids hard to excel.
Expecially with China’s one-kid policy, those parents gotta make sure these only children grow up & excel to carry on the family’s good reputation.
Of course I totally agree American children for the most part are lazy & spoiled & ungrateful.
They are the spawn of the people who gave us politicians like Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Rangell, Dodds, etc.

Badger40 on December 9, 2010 at 2:10 PM

One day China will suffer it.

elfman on December 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM

This.

their special needs children are probably sent to the hospital to serve as transplant fodder, and the teachers are allowed to discipline the unruly.

zoyclem on December 9, 2010 at 7:43 AM

This.

Americans are nothing like the Chinese, nor the Japanese, nor Indians etc.
The Chinese are no smarter than we are, but they obviously have been applying themselves better, like the Japanese have in school.
Anyone who has ever taught kids knows that they fear reprisal from their parents. Not necessarily you, the teacher.
Billy gets an F, he shouldn’t be allowed to stay out late, have his iPod, play games etc.
His a$$ should be at home studying to get better grades.
And it used to be that when a kid messed up in school, the parent was the 1st to say “Billy, what did you do?”
Now the parents ask Billy what that bad mean old teacher did to make him do a bad thing.
As a HS teacher, I have determined that parents mostly suck.
They think I’m here to fill their kid’s head full of knowledge without them making that kid do anything to help in that effort.
I have parents who insist it is not their job to help teach their kids to do anything.
It is the school’s job to teach their kids everything.

Badger40 on December 9, 2010 at 2:20 PM

It is finally becoming apparent the ‘Me’ mentality, fostered by the left, is eroding the hegemony of US.

MSGTAS on December 10, 2010 at 9:20 AM

I suppose if we took the averages of students at Stuyvesant High and Bronx Science as the representation of inner city student academic achievement on pisa tests these results would look significantly different.

PatriotPete on December 8, 2010 at 3:15 PM

You do know that Stuyvesant, Bronx Science , Brooklyn Tech, Boston Latin are filled with children of recent Asian Immigrant families.

It is comforting to note that, despite doing poorly on pisa tests, American and British students top the world in pis drunk tests.

bayview on December 10, 2010 at 7:39 PM

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