RossMcGovernRossMcGovern

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American schools value self-esteem over academics

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The Economist’s Washington correspondent wonders why his offspring are being taught swimming so well and maths so badly. His children’s experience of school in America is in some ways as indifferent as their swimming classes are good, for the country’s elementary schools seem strangely averse to teaching children much stuff.

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RossMcGovern
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According to the OECD’s latest international education rankings, American children are rated average at reading, below average at science, and poor at maths, at which they rank 27th out of 34 developed countries. This is not for lack of investment. America spends more on educating its children than all but a handful of rich countries.
3 mths
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Does the self-esteem culture not riddle American sports as it does American schools?
3 mths
mslynn.johnson
mslynn.johnson followed this discussion
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For decades American high school students have tested highest in world on self-confidence, while being mediocre in math and science. Of course, we also rush into burning buildings to save people. Self-confident people make good heroes.
3 mths
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If individual states are to manage the provision of public education, why are we surprised by the extreme lack of uniformity in result, especially in the disciplines of math and science? About half of our population only accepts the authority of one book, and views formal academic learning as evil. It's easier to teach self-esteem than it is to teach objective and numerical fields. The same way it's cheaper and easier for the Left to push social justice ideology (words) than it is for them to actually put forward systematic policies that legitimately improve lives.
3 mths
albertemeka.okonkwosiyabonga.fataedwards.sharon
albertemeka.okonkwo, siyabonga.fata, edwards.sharon and 7 other people started following this discussion
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In the modern world being able to lie confidently in front of lots of people is probably more important for getting the most well paid jobs so they're probably doing the right thing.
3 mths
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What about English? I been educated in America and I always been reel good at English. It be one of my best subjects up in school.
3 mths
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Then why is American GDP growth so much higher than all other developed countries? Maybe test scores don't matter?
3 mths
Host
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Too much self esteem produce donald trumps...
3 mths
Host
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Too much self esteem produce donald trumps...
Make American Smart Again.
3 mths
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too much focus on pure academia is self destructive....we need well rounded individuals to take on Life with all its complexities during war and peace.
3 mths
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No surprises here...
3 mths
Host
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Methodology is always flawed when dealing with macro-stats across countries. Very little attention is paid to the differing education streams that is found in other countries when compared to the USA. i.e. vocational students and other not College Prep students are siphoned off at O and A levels. Even in the USA the stats are not always reliable. Heck even within a State AP scores are not always reliable metrics. One county requires all of its AP kids to take the test. Another makes it optional. The one that requires full testing has lower average scores. The one that makes it optional has higher pass rates and scores. Which then has the better AP program? When these other factors are accounted for...the US is pretty much on par with the developed world. Could we do better? Probably, but it isn't as crazy bad as it is always made out to be.
2 mths
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