It is no secret that the prime example which proponents use in the argument to raise scores via standardized tests is China. Upon the first results of international test scores released that included China (see the article here), the New York Times touted the communist country’s “stunning” results that were ahead of the pack.
With this information coming from the New York Times it should be no surprise that these results are seen in a favorable light. What is inexcusable is what the article leaves out which are the mitigating factors that contribute to the high scores.
Persons who are more than happy to jump on the “American kids are stupid” train also have a predisposition to ignore factors (and too willingly accept whatever the latest craze in education may be) but for those willing to argue against this mindset, here are the “forgotten” facts.
It is Illegal to Have More than One Child in China
What does this mean and what does it have to do with test scores? It means that for every child enrolled in the school system there is at least two or three at home who are denied an education. These kids are sent to work in a labor-oriented vocation (agriculture or manufacturing pirated products) that does not require an education. To use an analogy, I teach martial arts. Teaching in those conditions would be the equivalent of removing all of the students who do not have a black belt and thus lowering the number of students enrolled in the program. The level of skills of those left in the program would skyrocket (since the focus would be on them) and everyone would have a black belt! Education for a select few. read more »