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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 740091  
Subject: Re: Socialism in Action Date: 3/7/2005 7:24 AM
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<<We definitely have to change our education system somehwat. But I am not sure what you are suggesting here. What exactly do they do differently over there [in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Holland]?>>

I don't know, exactly, but whatever it is, they're doing it right. I do know, though, that they're not doing what some conservatives here propose, privitization and vouchers.


First of all, I don't know how exactly to measure "doing it right". Is it via standardized testing? Or is it via producing adults that can maintain and grow an economy?

<<We are a nation of immigrants, and if you look at certain sectors, perhaps a sector of Swedish immigrants, that sector may perform just as well as those Swedes educated in Sweden.>>

Are you suggesting that those countries educational success should be chalked up to genetics or culture?


At least partially, yes. But not solely genetics or even culture, but more due to heterogeneity; maybe there is a "pressure to conform" in the positive direction (i.e. to excel) in such countries whereas in many parts of the USA that pressure in in the reverse direction.

<<I think a more correct measure might be to compare the USA to a weighted average of all the places that our citizens come from...

That seems a very odd notion to me and an impossible thing to do, besides.


Yes, it would be difficult and probably not very useful anyway, but it would go a long way to show that the USA may be doing a relatively good job given the "raw material" presented to the education system.

But don't get me wrong, I am in no way a defender of the current US education system, it needs some severe reform, but I suspect that you and I may have different ideas about reform. While vouchers and privatisation may help a little, the thing that would help the most would be a simple rule that puts hard limits on the ratio of administration to direct teaching employees. Oh, and the elimination of tenure.
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