admin wrote:Much of my interest in science came from reading Asimov.
The problem with American education is a failure of will, coupled with a totally local school system. We college professors are timid souls, who hate to give anyone a failing grade, and so people are passed who have no business being passed. Nowhere is this more true than in the colleges of education. The ed students have the lowest entering test scores, the highest grade point average of any department, and the lowest exit test scores. In short, our teachers don't know shit.
Then, if somebody does make an improvement, it is strictly local, because every school board is an independent power unto itself. Most people run for the school board because they want to keep taxes low.
The federal government has tried to help with their No Child Left Behind program, and it has done a tiny bit of good -- in drilling kids to answer questions on multiple choice tests. So, all of my college students know the names of the rivers in Mesopotamia and who invented the cotton gin, but many of them don't know their multiplication table and can't add fractions. And they don't know beans about science, and have a lot of trouble with agreement of subject and verb.
hegemon wrote:American universities are still among the best in the world. The problem with American education is that there is one educational system for the well to do and a very different educational system for the lower half. For example, in the state where I live, Tennessee, in Washington county, a prosperous county in the Eastern half of the state, 98% of the grade school and high school teachers meet the state qualifications. In Selby county, in the Western part of the state, only about 30% of the grade school and high school teachers meet the state qualifications. The school system excuses the use of unqualified teachers on the grounds that they cannot hire qualified teachers for the salary they are allowed to offer. The Selby county school system is mostly Black, with most White parents either sending their children to private schools or home schooling.
jdalton wrote:Once again, I agree with Hegemon. I am not an expert on universities but I have either attended or taught in schools in Canada, the U.S., Britain, and Taiwan. You could make a very good case that some of the best grade schools I've seen were in the U.S. and Britain. but on average Canadian schools are much better. The vast majority of them do not, for example, have unqualified or underqualified teachers, spend obscene amounts of time giving and preparing for standardized tests, or leave children to go hungry all day at school.
I can only assume that an Oxford or Harvard education is as high quality as it is highly valued. But nobody who had the choice would choose to attend Tower Hamlets College (a typical B-grade school in East London) instead of the University of Northern British Columbia (a typically B-grade school in Canada). I know which one I'd choose, anyways.
Besides, I've met plenty of foreign students attending Canadian universities. Generally they have chosen Canada because it is equally well regarded as the U.S., cheaper, and for some reason they believe it is a safer country (I'll reserve judgement on whether or not it actually is).
EDIT: Most of the best researchers into education, by the way, have always been American. if Canadian schools are better, it is only because they are more likely to use this American research when teaching kids.
SaintLucifer wrote: I would suggest one thing. Go check with any of our Canadian universities. Ask them who is paying for the education of those foreign students you speak of.
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