China is Taking Education Very Seriously

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

What was she talking about?  She was referring to a New York Times article on December 7, 2010, “Top Test Scores from Shanghai Stun Educators.”

It is disheartening to look at where the USA falls when compared to students in 65 other countries who took the 2009 PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) test.

Science = Shanghai, China was first on the list,  USA is 22nd (below Slovenia and Poland).

Reading = Shanghai  was first on the list, USA was 17th.

Math = Shanghai was first, USA was 31st.

Congrats to China as we note that USA students are falling behind on a international scale.  What does this mean for the future of our country?  What can we do?

Education starts at home.  Parents–role model. Encourage your children to study, and work with them. I remember my father helping me type my school papers on our manual IBM typewriter.

Consider discussing college essays years before they are needed, such as in middle school. Learning to write, and write about yourself and your goals and interests has been proven to be a way to help students build and maintain their competitive edge.