Friday, 1 February 2013

A Tale of Two Social-Systems: Comparing education in China and the USA

A Tale Of Two Social Systems. Interesting to compare and contrast two reports on the BBC today, both looking at education, one in China, one in the USA, both basing their findings on the OECD report into global education standards.

First up...
China: The world's cleverest country?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17585201

Pupils in Yuexi county, Anhui province

"The findings indicate that China has an education system that is overtaking many Western countries."...

""Even in rural areas and in disadvantaged environments, you see a remarkable performance.""...

"The results for disadvantaged pupils would be the envy of any Western country, he says."...

"Mr Schleicher says the results reveal a picture of a society investing individually and collectively in education.

On a recent trip to a poor province in China, he says he saw that schools were often the most impressive buildings.

He says in the West, it is more likely to be a shopping centre."...

Mr Schleicher says it's a philosophical difference - expecting all pupils to make the grade, rather than a "sorting mechanism" to find a chosen few.

He says anyone can create an education system where a few at the top succeed, the real challenge is to push through the entire cohort.

In China, he says this means using the best teachers in the toughest schools."


And now, the good ol' US of A...

Downward mobility haunts US education
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17585201



"An integral part of the American Dream is under threat - as "downward mobility" haunts the education system in the United States."...

""What you're seeing is the inequality of the labour market being echoed in education."

Prof Corak describes a polarising jobs market, with the very rich and very poor diverging - and a collapse in jobs in the middle ground, such as clerical or manufacturing jobs."...

"It found the US had the strongest link between family wealth and educational success - and the lowest mobility. Advantage and disadvantage were being further amplified in education.

Research manager Diana Elliott says in the US "income has a pervasive hold on mobility"."...

"The annual OECD education statistics show that only about one in five young adults in the US reaches a higher level of education than their parents - among the lowest rates of upward mobility in the developed world."...

"For a country whose self-image is based on optimism and opportunity, the US is now a country where someone with poorly-educated parents is less likely to reach university than in almost any other industrial country."...

"Today's young Americans have a below-average chance of becoming a graduate, compared with other industrialised economies."...

"But Andreas Schleicher argues that a deeper problem is rooted in the inequalities of the school system.

He says that the level of social segregation and the excessive link between home background and success in school is "cutting off the supply" between secondary school and university."...

"But it seems that the education system is no longer holding the door open to the brightest and the best, regardless of background.

The Philadelphia-based Pew research group compared the outcomes of young people in 10 western countries, in a project called Does America Promote Mobility as Well as Other Countries?

It found the US had the strongest link between family wealth and educational success - and the lowest mobility. Advantage and disadvantage were being further amplified in education.

Research manager Diana Elliott says in the US "income has a pervasive hold on mobility"."


Quite a contrast, no? And yet there are many, who really should know better, who believe these two examples are based upon the same socio-economic system, driven by almost identical political ideologies, representing the same class interests.

The facts, however, would rather tend to suggest the contrary. But then objective facts never really seem to be of interest when it comes to challenging the subjective idealism (fantasies/prejudice) of the western liblefts.

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