A Great Irony Revisted

This week end, I was sent a cartoon – courtesy of Kenji Matsudo, Assistant Superintendent, Madeira City Schools – which captures the essence of one of my recent blogs.  Madeira is involved in the grass roots initiative to provide Ohio’s citizens with a stronger voice in shaping statewide education policy.  In my blog, I pointed to “a great irony” that is now taking place in education.  While leaders of the education reform movement in our country are trying to model our education system after countries whose students have historically outperformed America’s students on high-stakes tests, some of those very countries are trying to make their education system more like ours.  For example, internationally known scholar and author, Dr. Young Zhao, explains that even though China has an effective system to prepare students to pass exams, unless the Chinese only want obedient, compliant and homogeneous workers, they know they have to shift the emphasis of their educational system.  According to Dr. Zhao, the West is where China is working to find the inspiration it desperately needs for this new educational focus.  With Kenji’s permission, below is the cartoon and his insightful commentary:


2 Responses to A Great Irony Revisted

  • Another irony here in Michigan. Our State Legislature passed a law that requires colleges that are offering an “alternative teacher certification program” to model it after and existing program even if they are the model being used by other colleges in the US. Grand Valley State University has a strong alternative certification program but is required to find another that has been established. On the k-12 “irony” scale, the Michigan Governor has proposed that 3rd grade reading proficiency is necessary for success as adults. This was on the heels of a House Bill that said any 3rd grade student who is not reading at a proficient level as determined by a State sanctioned test, must be retained. Now our Governor wants to establish an advisory council outside of the “politics of education” to give recommendations on the best practices of getting kids to read well. He believes non-profits and the private sector would drive the discussion and the solution set. Public education is being attacked and privatized.

    • You’re right. Public education is being attached and privatized. The problem is that most parents and community leaders are unaware that it is happening. In Ohio, superintendents are beginning to step up to the plate and are alerting their citizens about what is happening. While this only occurring in isolated instances, it appears that it is beginning to catch on with a growing number of superintendents.

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