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[6 Mar 2011 | 4 Comments | 26,073]

A Bold Education Experiment: What We Should Learn From China
World’s longest high-speed rail networks, fastest trains, fastest computer, second largest economy, and #1 standing in international tests are just more recent evidence many outside observers cite to show why the rest of the world should learn from China’s education system and what helped make “the Chinese Tiger Mom” story a best seller. But as I have written on this site and in my book, Catching Up or Leading the Way, the glorification of China’s education is ill founded and attention …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[15 Jan 2011 | 35 Comments | 212,329]

You must be joking, Professor Chua: An open letter to the Chinese Tiger Mom
Dear Professor Chua,
By now, your Wall Street Journal article Why Chinese Mothers are Superior has circled around the globe and you have appeared on many media outlets. Undoubtedly you are aware of the firestorm the article has created everywhere. Frankly I was at first appalled by your article because I have read your book Days of Empire, in which you suggest that tolerance is the force that helped build great empires. But in this article, you seem …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[4 Dec 2010 | 6 Comments | 31,369]

The value of Chinese college degree: $44 per month according recent statistics. “China’s college graduates on average make only 300 yuan, or roughly $44, more per month than the average Chinese migrant worker,” writes a Wall Street Journal blog article citing data released by the director of Institute of Population and Labor Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Coincidentally, another story (in Chinese) that is spreading in Chinese media and online space is that a post-graduate degree (masters) is worth less than what a nanny makes.
It is no …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[26 Sep 2010 | 15 Comments | 22,232]

I received an invitation to NBC’s Education Nation summit last week (September 20) by email. The letter has a date of July 22, 2010 and I was told it was sent via USPS. Somehow I never received the letter in the mail. I became aware of the invitation only through an email response to Leonie Haimson (for Parents Across America), who has been writing to NBC recommending me on September 19th. The invitation asked me to call a number and confirm my participation. Upon confirmation, “editorial team will reach out …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[14 Sep 2010 | 5 Comments | 12,013]

Don’t Romanticize Testing in China
A number of people alerted me to an article in the New York Times entitled “Testing, the Chinese Way.” The article suggests more testing for American students based on the author’s over-generalized and romanticized experience with her children’s testing experience in a Western school that happens to be located in China.
In fact, I am not opposed to the types of “tests” or formative assessment the author describes: “the tests felt like so many puzzles; not so much a judgment on your being, but an interesting challenge.” …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[2 Apr 2010 | One Comment | 12,742]

#1: In an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, education historian Diane Ravitch discusses:
What could be wrong with promoting charter schools to compete with public schools? Why shouldn’t we demand accountability from educators and use test scores to reward our best teachers and identify those who should find another job?
And she predicts:
Having embraced the Republican agenda of choice, competition and accountability, the Obama administration is promoting the privatization of large segments of American education and undermining the profession of teaching. This toxic combination is the latest Big Idea in …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[30 Mar 2010 | 11 Comments | 532,120]
A Discussion on China’s Recent Education Reform on CCTV 9

When I was in China recently, I was asked to commend on China’s new education reform plan on China’s national TV network (China Central TV — or CCTV). The program is in English. While there are manly proposed reform measures, one of the most significant is reform on college admissions, which has to do with the infamous gaokao. I wrote about the reform plan in a recent post and here is the TV program.

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var params = { ‘allowfullscreen’: ‘true’, ‘allowscriptaccess’: ‘always’, ‘wmode’: ‘transparent’ …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[24 Mar 2010 | 10 Comments | 27,950]

In front of me are two documents that could significantly affect the future of the world. I am not exaggerating because these two documents are plans to overhaul education in two of the most powerful nations in the world: China and the United States. If the plans are executed as intended and outcomes achieved as expected, the future will see China moving closer to being a center of innovation and the US? – a nation of test-takers, like China today.
China released the second draft of Guidelines for Mid and Long-Range …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[12 Feb 2010 | 5 Comments | 13,170]

I was interviewed yesterday by a reporter from Deutsche Welle asking me about a recent study of stress and depression of Chinese elementary school students. One of the questions was why.
“Two reasons, “ I said, “first there is intense competition among students. In China, what is considered good or successful is a comparative judgment. That is, it is not so much how well you do but how much better or worse are you compared with your peers. And the students are constantly reminded through all kinds of means of their …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms »

[23 Nov 2009 | 3 Comments | 16,919]

China’s Peking University (or Beida) has been under fire for trying to answer the nation’s call for more innovative and creative talents. In an attempt to attract more “unusual or extraordinary students” who may not do well on standardized testing, in this case, China’s infamous Gaokao (College Entrance Exam), Beida, one of the two most sought-after universities, decided to admit a very small number of (less than 3%) students based on recommendations of high school principals. Although these recommended students would still take the College Entrance Exam and go through …