WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Further evaluation of international test rankings: Children of East Asian cleaners outperform kids of US/UK professionals

Additional analysis from global test rankings: The children of highly paid U.S. and British professionals (corporate executives, doctors, and lawyers) still perform more poorly on math tests than the kids of manual laborers in such places as Shanghai and Singapore.



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For some of the reasons I've noted in earlier posts, can anyone really be surprised?

Let's see:

Year-round schooling
Respect for academics in the popular culture
Language immersion & learning to play a musical instrument from an early age
Way fewer distractions

Posted at 7:08am on February 18, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Feb 18, 2014 8:53am
I looked at the second article. The final paragraph ended the article with this conclusion:

"Andreas Schleicher, deputy director for education and skills at the OECD, said: "This all boils down to a relatively simple message: If school systems want all of their students to succeed in school, they should give the children of factory workers and cleaners the same education opportunities as the children of doctors and lawyers enjoy."

In Delaware, our public schools offer all students [the middle-class and poor kids] the same education as they all attend the same schools, use the same books, and have the same teachers. Obviously the upper-class kids go to private schools; thus, they may have available to them a better education if they choose to absorb it.

Allan's conclusion: Year-round schooling
Respect for academics in the popular culture
Language immersion & learning to play a musical instrument from an early age
Way fewer distractions

Other than year-round school, I can agree with this. [They don't effectively use the so-called 180 days they now get, so why pay more taxes for the same result?]

One thing also missing from any of this: Those Asian societies are not as easygoing as our US society, where kids have rights and parents don't. [The public schools teach the kids in Kindergarten that if your parent spanks you, that is child abuse and you can report them and get them arrested.]

When I was a kid, back in the 1950's and 60's, parents and adults ruled, not the kids. If the school called, or the teacher sent a note home, the school was always right, and you were wrong. There would be some sort of punishment metted out. I got into trouble only once, because I got punished at school and got it far worse when I got home, as my parents' attitude was if I did something bad enough that the teacher wacked me with the yardstick on the butt then they'd show their support for her and I'll get more at home to make sure I understand: Mrs. So and So is in charge in that classroom and I will do what she says. My parents weren't the only ones, all kids I knew had parents who were the same way. Yes, there were exceptions, but they were the minority and those were the kids who usually didn't do their work, got poor grades, and flunked. Their parents didn't seem to care, so the kids didn't.

Today, kids have no respect for authority, because their parents don't. If the school calls, or a teacher sends a note home [or e-mail to the parents], more often than not the parent will claim his/her dear purer-than-the-driven- snow version of an angel couldn't have done that. That parent or parents will argue with the teacher, putting the teacher on trial. Completely the total opposite of back in my day as a kid. I know this, because I have a number of friends who are teachers and they all have this experience.

This is often overlooked in the why our kids aren't keeping up with the Asians in school, but besides those other factors Allan mentions, this also affects how well kids do in school.

Poor behavior was NEVER tolerated in the public schools I attended here in New Castle County [can't speak for other counties or states]. The teachers and principals could, and did use corporal punishment, if the offense was that bad or happened too often [It wasn't the first thing they did; you had to "earn" a spanking]. Parents had no problem; yes, there were cases of abuse, just as there are today. But the point is today, the kids can pretty much do what they want, and nothing happens, because their parents will defend their kid no matter what. The teacher is wrong, if of a different race, the teacher is a racist [be it a black student with a white teacher or a white student with a black teacher; it works both ways]. As a result, the inmates are running the asylum.

Same with homework. We always had homework, and if you didn't do it, you got a "0" or an F for that assignment. They'd flunk you and hold you back, so not doing your work wasn't an option. Today, parents will go in to argue with the teacher for daring to give their baby an F.

This sort of stuff is what's also making a difference in why Asian kids do better than U.S. kids. Asian kids know they will do what is expected and U.S. kids know they'll do what the heck they want, and who's going to make them do that work? Surely not the teacher, and sadly not the parents either.

Turn that attitude around along with Allan's list, other than year-round school, and many of today's issues in public schools will improve. THEN once that happens, folks might be willing to pony up the extra money in taxes for year-round schools, which would include getting A/C for the classrooms.

Tue, Feb 18, 2014 8:10pm
If the English were being taught by the British educational company Pearson, which has had some debacles here in the US, then I would certainly not be surprised...

Here is the list of all PISA scores..


As you can see, the numbers scored by the peasants of China and Singapore are higher than the averages for any other nation... Ranked 3rd was Hong Kong @ 561. It is too much of a stretch to believe, without conclusive evidence, that these claims are true...

It sounds like what we would have expected to hear out of Communist Russia, so Communist China may be pulling our leg as well... in saying their lowest proletarians were smarter than the smartest humans across the rest of the world... That statement most likely was for domestic consumption, more than outward propaganda....

I know students in the top echelons of the Chinese scores have tutors whose own salaries put them in the top 5% of all Chinese earners...

Tue, Feb 18, 2014 8:35pm
I'm not the least bit surprised. The Asian immigrants I've seen here are much smarter and more disciplined because they're not immersed in Western materialism.

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