"If we want US children to be better than the children in other countries
they need to learn all these other children learn and then some more, not
Unfortunatelly, that does not happen.
The schools are destroying this country. The principals and teachers are
guilty of this crime against the children and the future of this country.
I would jail them for their incompetence, it is not acceptable they get
paid for teaching children and fail so miserably.
They do discipline and lining up and shushing the children and focus on
anything but study. They waste time with all kinds of useless procedures
and very little time is devoted to real learning.
Unfortunatelly generations of chidlren are destroyed by these people and
who is going to stop them? I am a parent, my children are being harrassed
under my eyes and there is nothing I can do, I can not take them to
another school, the principal is being rude to us and abusive to the
children and pretty much we can only put them in a private school. We do
not have the money for that. So, how exactly can parents change the
system, can anyone tell me? Who listens to the parents, what organisation
fights for our right as well, and for the wellbeing of our children?
We complain in vain, nobody cares. The principals and teachers have too
much power and they do not need to care. They abuse their power and we can
not do anything. How can this be happening? What kind of twisted reality
is upon us? Everyday we here on the enws how bad the schools ar and what
abuses and ridiculous things are happening, and what is the result?
Nothing changes. Waste of time. All talk and no power and consequence.
"This is not true. The educational system in Korea and Findland are not
better than the United States educational system. This a rumor spread by
and incorrect studies done by companies that receive profilts for
producing such reports in order to excuse the moving of US jobs overseas.
I have had many friends from both of these countries. And, I have seen
school transcrips. People should stop spreading these lies. If their
educational systems our better then they should be the most powerful
country in the world. They still don't have nuclear weapons and a method
to deliver them. Stop this NONSENSE. I could go on and on with proffs. "
"I was educated in Europe, my kids 5 years in Canada and now we are in US.
US schools are missing one big factor. DISCIPLINE. Any other country focus
first on discipline, respect and focus in school that's why they are more
succesful. In US everybody is trying to please kids too much and there is
a missing point. Bad behavior? Sorry there are some consequences! In
Canada my kids had Code de vie on the wall ( Expectations for the right
behavior in the class ) and a big signs all over the scholl - Respect. If
there are strong rules than there are no suprises what is next if the rule
is broken. Everybody behaves than better and we can focus more on
academics than just trying constently please 'bad' kids.
In Europe we had to stand up when teacher eneters the classroom, lift up
our hand in the order to get permission to talk, we had higher expectation
to fill. There was stronger authority and better respect to teachers. In
US schools teacher is the last person anybody listens to."
"I absolutely agree with this phrase: Parents need to be more involved in how
we make decisions about which teachers parents want
My child attends to one of the most recognized schools at North Texas Ã¢â‚¬Å“
Heritage ElementaryÃ¢â‚¬Â�, and when I requested an specific Teacher for the
next term, this was the answer:
Thank you for your email. I do not accept specific teacher requests.
I will keep your information on file when considering class placements for
the 2010-2011 school year.
So, per you opinion : We need to change this Ã¢â‚¬â€� we need to be more actively
How do we get this accomplished, the system works toward the opposite way.
"The implication of Dr. Hanushek's statement about the importance of
parents is stunning. Without saying so outright, he opines that we cannot
count on school districts to ensure that all children have the best
schools and effective teachers. Parents have to ensure that that happens.
I think he is absolutely correct. And there is something fundamentally
wrong with that being the case. No wonder there is such interest in
finding ways to circumvent 'system.'"
"As a Canadian statistician with experience as a testing director in
American schools, I have had opportunities to compare systems across the
Prof. Hanushek is correct that the two countries' school systems have much
But there are two key difference that researchers do not factor into
Number one is labor. In Canada, a teaching job is highly-prized. It
attracts the brightest college students who are paid extremely well. Where
I worked in Fairfax, VA teachers were also paid very high wages -
comparable, or better than Canada. But high wages are available only to
teachers in a few high income American communities: like the Long Island,
NY school districts.
In Canada, teacher salaries are set at a provincial level. So a teacher at
a West Vancouver public school (the hidhest-income postal code in the
nation) earns the same (approximately) salary as a teacher in Turtle
The number two difference is health. The Psychological Corporation creates
separate norms for IQ tests like the WISC, because Canadian students'
average score is higher than American students' score. The Japanese noted
a similar artifact and inferred that a score difference proves that
Japanese are inherently more intelligent than Americans.
Canadians are more modest - and less racist.
Canadian children at the lowest income levels have much better access to
health care than similar SES students in the US. How many children in
Southeast DC suffer hearing loss from untreated otitis media? What did you
ask? The agriculture analogy is that two identical corn seeds will differ
if the environment intrudes. A disease-free corn stalk tends to be much
taller and more robust than a fungus-infected shoot that is ignored.
Just these two confounding variables limit the validity of conclusions
about Canadian versus American schooling. There could well be other issues
to consider. The health variable has never been controlled in PISA or
other international studies like TIMMS. Researchers might argue that the
health variable should not be controled - it is an artifact of American
society. But the presence of non-random variance casts doubt on
conclusions about school systems, curricula, teaching, and the economics
of funding a program.
Better research would consider all variables where national systems
President Obama recently praised South Korean public schools because
Koreans have high achievement. But public schools cannot be credited with
that achievement. South Korean students spend more hours per day in
cramming tutorials than they do in public schools. I interpret that
information as damning Korean public education.
And better research would also identify cross-border variables that are
similar. Prof. Hanushek is again correct that, in most American states, it
is pretty much impossible to fire an incompetent tenured teacher. Canada
may have better scores, but the tenure situation is identical - the job is
for life. A Canadian teacher who is rude to parents, insubordinate to the
principal, and uncaring to children cannot be fired if that person has
been granted tenure by a public school board. It doesn't matter if
students fail every test and the teacher ignores the curriculum. And in
some places, tenure is automatic after only one year (really 9 months).
At a minumum, useful research into Canadian and American school systems
would compare regions where labor laws are similar. We won't even get into
the issue that Canada does not have private elementary and secondary
education as America does.
In Canada, every pulic school superintendent sends his (it's still pretty
much all male - just like the US) kids to public schools. In the US, I
always ask senior public school officials if their own children attend the
public schools under their management. The answer is typically, 'No.'
From my Canadian perspective - where private schools are almost unkown - I
inferred this decision as a face validity issue. Like Groucho Marx, they
don't want their kids in any school that is so bad it would hire a person
The reality is more complex.
A high school principal earns at least $150,000 in wealthy districts like
Fairfax, VA. The Americans' decision to send their children to private
schools is based on status. As a friend explained, 'Above a certain income
level, no one in the country sends their children to public schools.'
So, despite the seeming consideration, President Obama's children were
never going to attend DC public schools. The president and Mrs. Obama earn
more than that 'certain income level.'
A high school principal in Danville, VA might send his kids to the local
public school, but his decision has more to do with his income: away from
the white suburbs, he doesn't earn anywhere near $150,000 per annum.
Much could be learned from US/Canadian public school comparisons - if
funding was available to conduct investigations that met standards for
scientific research. Most conclusions I read are just that - conclusions.
People far removed from the original research extrapolate policy
consideraions that are only tenuously connected to weak evidence and could
be contradicted by the influence of uncontrolled variables. What is worse,
factors that may introduce non-random variance are rarely acknowledged by
researchers. In some cases, it is unclear whether researchers have
recognized that those factors exist.
Unsupportable conclusions provide poor evidence for adopting a system from
a foreign country."
"While these kinds of international comparisons have some value, that value
is limited. And I'd agree without moving out bad teachers as quickly as
possible -- within the first 3-4 years. Then, work like to dickens to
retain the good teachers, and place them where they are most needed. But,
I'm not at all convinced that a country like Singapore is one we'd like to
emulate. For an eye-opening view of that modern city-state, read Chapter
21, Night Train to Singapore, in Paul Theroux's travelog, Ghost Train to
the Eastern Star. If one is into totalitarian, self-proclaimed benevolent
dictator governmental regimes, then Singapore is a good model. That's not
our model -- as flawed as it is. "
"I have two comments:
(1) I agree that bad teachers shouldn't stay in the classroom. Teaching
should be a professional job, and in the professional world, you don't get
to stay in your job very long if you're not good at it. If you are that
person, that reality can stink. Maybe you studied for years to achieve
this goal and it turns out you're not particularly good at it. But it is
better in the long run for EVERYONE (yourself included), if you are not in
a job that you're not good at.
(2) I think the reason more Americans don't look at the PISA study is
just our 'U.S.-centric' attitude. We think everything great was invented
in the U.S. (a generalization, I know...but there's some truth to it). We
spend a lot of time trying to invent the right answers ourselves instead
of considering what the other nations in the world are doing and what
could work for us, even in a modified way."