Why does China have the best schools?

Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times wrote about a recent study on education around the world that shows China was at the top of the list followed by other Asian countries. How did the United States do? We came in 15th in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in math. Is it because they fire bad teachers? They have a socialist system that doesn’t fire people easily although they do move some bad teachers to other jobs such as gym teacher if they don’t improve with more training. The reason they do so well is education has been made a top priority and that explains why they excel in education. We say that getting an education is important but often we don’t make it a priority. The Chinese culture highly respects teachers and high achieving students. You can be sure that the level of parental support and involvement is high.

There is one area that the Chinese admire in American schools and that is creativity. They envy our ability to allow students to be creative.

Kristoff thinks the reason they gave education such a high priority is “Confucian reverence for education that is steeped into the culture.”  Americans are not about to become followers of Confucianism, however we need to create a culture in America that has a reverence, respect, and support for education. Then our scores will improve.

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