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Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[19 Jun 2015 | One Comment | 3,346]

Executive Summary [full report]
Interest in learning from Asia’s high-performing education systems has grown rapidly in recent years. A flurry of research reports, media stories, and personal accounts of how Asia’s best education systems achieved their superb rankings on international league tables has been produced in the quest to improve education systems around the world (OECD, 2011) (Tucker, 2011) (Tucker, 2014) (Jensen, 2012) (Barber, Donnelly, & Rizvi, 2012). However, most of the popular observations and suggestions fail to point out the most important lessons to be learned from Asia.
The lessons from …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[9 May 2015 | No Comment | 3,645]

The year 2015 will be remembered as the beginning of a new era in Chinese education, according to some Chinese press[in Chinese]. It is the first year when a suite of policies aimed to transform the college entrance exam system or gaokao is to be implemented. The reforms are not a simple redesign of the exam, but rather a transformation of the entire college admission system. Because of the life-altering power of gaokao and the magnitude of the changes, this round of reform will likely bring transformative changes to education …

Blog, Education Reforms »

[6 Apr 2015 | One Comment | 15,389]

*Published in Society 52(2), pp 129-135, April 2015, a special issue of the journal commemorating the 30th anniversary of A Nation at Risk. This is the submitted version. For the final  published version please visit: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12115-015-9872-8
**In recognition of its significance and influence, I purposefully chose to emulate the style and language of A Nation at Risk in this paper.
“Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world” (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983, p. …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Featured »

[2 Nov 2014 | One Comment | 12,520]
Latest Book: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World

Reviews, Interviews, and News
Diane Ravitch (Nov. 20 2014). The Myth of Chinese Super Schools. New York Review of Books.

Rick Hess (Nov. 13, 2014) Yong Zhao’s Biting Critique of the Chinese Edu-Miracle. Education Week Blog.

Jay Mathews (Sept. 14 2014) Why admiring Chinese test scores might hurt U.S. schools, The Washington Post
Didi Kirsten Tatlow (Sept 14 2014) Q. and A.: Yong Zhao on Education and Authoritarianism in China, The New York Times
Ryan Allen (Oct. 7 2014). New Books in Education, Audio Interview with Yong Zhao.
Jennifer Berkshire (Oct. 6, 2014). Questioning Authoritarianism, an interview with Y. Zhao. EduShyster.
David …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization, Technology »

[1 Nov 2014 | 3 Comments | 12,466]

Originally published in China-US Focus on October 23, 2015. Adapted from my book Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World.
China’s capacity for innovation has become a hot topic for China, the U.S., and the rest of the world today. There is no question that China must innovate its way out of the “middle income trap.” But whether the country – which over the last thirty years has proven to be able to make everything – can create anything …

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[7 Oct 2014 | One Comment | 6,259]

A few weeks ago, I wrote a response to Marc Tucker’s response to Diane Ravicth and Anthony Cody’s comments on Tucker’s proposal for fixing our national accountability system. My response was posted on Anthony Cody’s blog Living in Dialogue. Tucker followed with a response, in which he sort of agrees with my critique:
If [Tucker] believes “…that our test-based accountability system ‘is not only ineffective but harmful,’ he would logically suggest that system be abandoned.  Instead he tries to fix it and the fixes include more tests, more high stakes tests, …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[13 Sep 2014 | 5 Comments | 23,209]

[This is the introduction to my latest book Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World published by Jossey-Bass in September 2014. Also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.]
In 2009 Dr. Beverly Hall, former superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools, was named America’s National Superintendent of the Year for “representing the ‘best of the best’ in public school leadership.”[1] Hall was hosted in the White House by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. In 2010, the American Educational Research …

Blog, Education Reforms, Globalization, Technology »

[2 Jul 2014 | 16 Comments | 38,002]

Last year when my son graduated from college, I asked the question “can you stay out of my basement?” as I believe an important outcome of education is the ability to live out of one’s parent’s basement, that is, the ability to be an independent and contributing member of a society.
The Common Core and most education reforms around the world define the outcome of schooling as readiness for college and career readiness. But as recent statistics suggest, college-readiness, even college-graduation-readiness, does not lead to out-basement-readiness. Over 50% of recent college …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[25 May 2014 | 10 Comments | 34,334]

“Not interested in #1 on International Tests, Focusing on Reducing Academic Burden: Shanghai May Drop Out of PISA” is the headline of a story in Xinmin Wanbao[original story in Chinese], a popular newspaper in Shanghai. Published on March 7th 2014, the story reports that Shanghai “is considering to withdraw from the next round of PISA in 2015” because “Shanghai does not need so-called ‘#1 schools,’” said Yi Houqin, a high level official of Shanghai Education Commission. “What it needs are schools that follow sound educational principles, respect principles of students’ …

Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[12 Apr 2014 | 4 Comments | 33,635]

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Part 5
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that PISA is a secrete plan of Western powers to derail China’s education reforms.  China has been working hard to introduce significant reforms since the 1990s to overcome the apparent shortcomings of its education system in order to cultivate a more diverse, creative, and entrepreneur citizenry. Such a citizenry is urgently needed for China’s successful transition from a labor-intensive economy to one that relies on innovation, …