Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Look overseas for better education

There was an interesting study done recently that looks at how to improve education in the US. They looked at all manner of reform over the past few decades and found that we simply aren't hitting the mark. Even charter schools, when controlled for student background, are faring no better than traditional US schools. (We have seen the same here, but that's for another day.). Not surprisingly, the conclusion was that other countries have better models and we could do well to follow their lead.

My kids started school in Singapore, and I have worked a fair bit in Japan and Ontario, Canada, two of the other places cited in the study. While the results of this study tend to focus more on the national level changes than local changes, it starts from the same place I've been talking about for a while. Los Altos has some great schools measured against the State of California, but we need to do better. Our kids will compete globally. We need to prepare them to do just that.

It seems strange to be talking about building a better school in the middle of the budget cutting season, but we need to stay focused on that goal. I'm pleased to see that the Khan Academy continues to get great press coverage. It is one way we are trying to "Think different" (with apologies to Mr Jobs' English teacher)

Read the Mercury News article here

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