A Trump Truth

This is not about DeVos’s approach of creating a class-based system where well off kids have private schools or the Teacher’s Union model of education based on an assembly line, but developing a system where the public schools give all kids the opportunity to compete in a global economy.

In the fusillade of Trump’s miasma, there are some truths.  One is that we need to change how our schools work.

Trump’s assertion that U.S. taxpayers don’t get enough bang for their relative buck, when our students’ test scores are ranked worldwide, checks out. The most recent numbers put the United States at third for government spending on education, behind Switzerland and Norway but American students’ scores are at best mediocre. In math, American 15-year-olds ranked No. 26 out of the 34 countries participating in a study of education in the first world.

The US  needs to look at Germany, Norway, South Korea, Finland, Singapore, Canada, and even China.  These countries are passing us, especially in the ability of kids at the top.  The US benefits from brain drain, the very immigration Trump demonizes. 

One factor is the difference in the teaching profession.  In these countries teachers are highly-educated, well-compensated, and recognized not just for classroom skills but for knowledge. This is a major failing of the US system where ed school credentials determine who gets to teach and advancement is by seniority not merit. 

These countries also differ from the US in that they lack a massive college industry where anyone and everyone with money can found a college and pretend to prepare kids to be educated for jobs the country doesn’t have.


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  1. Mark Adams #

    Actually Trump does not demonize brain drain from other nations, in fact that kind of immigration is welcome, and the example, people immigrating in with skills that the US needs.

    There are a lot of differences, such as Germany, and many other governments are able to tell parents your child is below average and is unqualified to go to university, here is the tech school or trade school track he or she will follow. In America all students are above average, and outside of Lake Wobegon real math says this is impossible. These other countries use real math to determine futures of students, and ability counts more than aspiration.

    Also in other countries teachers, diplomats, engineering are where the bright kids go unlike the US where it is lawyers, CEO, and MBA’s where the bright kids set their sights.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    It’s only welcome if they’re white.

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