What We Need to Save Education:Bold Leadership Yong Zhao, Ph. D University Distinguished Professor Director, US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence College of Education Executive Director, Confucius Institute Michigan State University email@example.com
Tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of the day that I signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law. And since that day we've come a long way, fewer students are falling behind. People are beginning to get used to the notion that there's accountability in the public school system. Look, I recognize some people don't like accountability. In other words, accountability says if you're failing, we're going to expose that and expect you to change. President George W. BushJanuary 7, 2008
4 in 10 high schools in state fail to meet federal goals (Detroit Free Press, December 1, 2007) U.S. treading water in reading Bloomberg News ServiceRussia, Hong Kong and Singapore shot to the top of 45 countries and provinces participating in a fourth-grade reading test, while England fell below the United States, according to results released yesterday. (Honolulu Advertiser, November 29, 2007) U.S. Students Fall Short in Math and ScienceTeenagers in a majority of industrialized nations taking part in a leading international exam showed greater scientific understanding than students in the United States—and they far surpassed their American peers in mathematics. (Education Week, December 4, 2007)
bureaucratization of education discrimination cheating narrows curriculum kills creativity demoralization
Campbell’s Law The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it was intended to monitor.
One of psychology’s open secrets is the relative inability of grades, IQ, or SAT scores, despite their popular mystique, to predict unerringly who will succeed in life. . . At best, IQ contributes about 20 percent to the factors that determine life success, which leaves 80 percent to other forces. ---Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
The First International Mathematics Study (FIMS) • Year data collected: 1964 • Target Population: 13 year olds • Participating Countries: Australia, Belgium, England, Finland, France, Germany (FRG), Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, United States. • US finished second to last (Sweden)
Jefferson told us where to look to see if a nation is a success.He did not say to look at test scores. Instead, he said to lookat “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”--Keith Baker (2007)
40 years later: Wealth FIMS scores in 1964 correlate at r = -0.48 with 2002 PPP-GDP. In short, the higher a nation’s test score 40 years ago, the worse its economic performance on this measure of national wealth
40 years later: Rate of Growth • The nations that scored better than the U.S. in 1964 had an average economic growth rate for the decade 1992-2002 of 2.5%; the growth rate for the U.S. during that decade was 3.3%. The average economic growth rate for the decade 1992-2002 correlates with FIMS at r = -0.24. Like the generation of wealth, the rate of economic growth for nations improved as test scores dropped.
40 years later: Productivity • There is no relationship between FIMS scores and hourly output, r = -.03. In 2004, the average hourly output of those nations that outscored the U.S. in 1964 was 3.4% lower than U.S. productivity, though the three nations with higher hourly output all had higher test scores than the U.S.
40 years later: Quality of Life • The average rank on the Quality of Life Index for nations that scored above the U.S. on FIMS was 10.8. The U.S. ranked seventh (lower numbers are better). FIMS scores correlated with Quality of Life at r = -0.57.
40 years later: Democracy • On the Economy Intelligence Unit’s Index of Democracy, those nations that scored below the median on FIMS have a higher average rank on achieving democracy (9.8) than do the nations that scored above the median (18). Once again, the U.S. scored higher on attaining democracy than did nations with higher 1964 test scores.
40 years later: Livability • An alternative to the Quality of Life Index, the Most Livable Countries Index, shows that six of the nine countries that scored higher on FIMS than the U.S. are worse places to live. Livability correlates with FIMS scores at r = -.49.
40 years later: Creativity • The number of patents issued in 2004 is one indicator of how creative the generation of students tested in 1964 turned out to be. The average number of patents per million people for the nations with FIMS scores higher than the U.S. is 127. America clobbered the world on creativity, with 326 patents per million people. However, FIMS scores do correlate with the number of patents issued: r = .13 with the U.S. and r= .49 without the U.S.
Baker, Keith (2007).Are International Tests Worth Anything? Kappan, October, 2007
Imagination is more important than knowledge. It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. Albert Einstein
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals. Martin Luther King
In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards. - Mark Twain
The emergence of two new worlds Global Local-Physical Local-Physical Virtual
World Population Distribution Toy Exports Royalties and License Fees Exports World Wealth Distribution
As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village. Marshall McLuhan, 1964 “Honey,” I confided, “I think the world is flat.” Thomas Friedman, 2005
Goods Global Free Flow Global Integration People Money
It’s a Big Job to Make the Mini: Global Supply Chain Tutoring companies figure: If low-paid workers in China and India can sew your clothes, process your medical bills and answer your computer questions, why can't they teach your children, too? Washington Post, 2006 Therefore we need to move into niche areas where they will not be able to completely replace us for quite some time. ---Lee Kuan Yew, 2007
Yao Ming and Herbert Hoover: Global Trade of Talents In the global economy, our students career are global. Where can they find employment depends on their niche talents.
Today, Indian engineers make $7,500 a year against $45,000 for an American engineer with the same qualifications. If we succeed in matching the very high levels of mastery of mathematics and science of these Indian engineers — an enormous challenge for this country — why would the world’s employers pay us more than they have to pay the Indians to do their work? They would be willing to do that only if we could offer something that the Chinese and Indians, and others, cannot.--New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce (2007). Tough Choices or Tougher Times
Daniel H. Pink (2005).A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age
Information Age: L-Directed Thinking Sequential Literal Functional Textual Analytic Conceptual Age: R-Directed Thinking Simultaneous Metaphorical Aesthetic Contextual Synthetic A Whole New Mind Asia Automation Abundance
Essential Aptitudes in the Conceptual Age • Design • Story • Symphony • Empathy • Play • Meaning.
McDonaldization and Starbucks in the Forbidden City: Global Consumerism Our students are affected by global forces, cultural clashes, and different value systems.
Climate Change and the Bird Flu: Global Elephant in the Local Bedroom The predicted effects of climate change over the coming decades include extreme weather events, drought, flooding, sea level rise, retreating glaciers, habitat shifts, and the increased spread of life-threatening diseases. These conditions have the potential to disrupt our way of life and to force changes in the way we keep ourselves safe and secure. . . Projected climate change will seriously exacerbate already marginal living standards in many Asian, African, and Middle Eastern nations, causing widespread political instability and the likelihood of failed states.... The chaos that results can be an incubator of civil strife, genocide, and the growth of terrorism. The CNA Corporation, 2007
Global Citizenship The completely untraveled person will view all foreigners as the savage regards a member of another herd. But the man who has traveled, or who has studied international politics, will have discovered that, if his herd is to prosper, it must, to some degree, become amalgamated with other herds. --Bertrand Russell, 1950
According to Howard Gardner, pre-collegiate education need to encompass the following skills, abilities and understandings: • Understanding the global system • Knowledge of other cultures and traditions, which should be an end in itself and a means to interact with others civilly and productively • Knowledge of and respect for one’s own cultural traditions • Fostering of hybrid or blended identities • Fostering of tolerance and appreciation across racial, linguistic, national, and cultural boundaries
Effectiveness of Technology in Education Report to Congress : Test scores were not significantly higher in classrooms using the reading and mathematics software products than those in control classrooms. In each of the four groups of products-reading in first grade and in fourth grade, mathematics in sixth grade, and high school algebra-the evaluation found no significant differences in student achievement between the classrooms that used the technology products and classrooms that did not. http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pdf/20074005.pdf
Software's Benefits On Tests In Doubt: Study Says Tools Don't Raise Scores --The Washington Post Major Study on Software Stirs Debate: On whole, school products found to yield no net gains --Education Week
Virtual marriage & 2nd Life: Socializing virtually Anshe Chung has become the first online personality to achieve a net worth exceeding one million US dollars from profits entirely earned inside a virtual world. --Business Week, May, 2006
Gold-farming and digital produce: Digital farmers market
Real-money trade of virtual items (RMT) “I estimate the total worldwide RMT volume to reach 2,090M” Virtual Economy Research Network: http://virtual-economy.org/blog/how_big_is_the_rmt_market_anyw