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US ranks low in International education rankings.

Original post made by Parent on Nov 26, 2012

I found this article today on BBC and tried looking for a similar article in a US site but was unable to do so. Finland leads the table and the US is only ahead of ex-Iron curtain countries.

Web Link

This worries me and it should concern us all. The fact that the US media is not reporting on this worries me even more.

Comments (6)

Posted by Ducatigirl, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm

It is shameful. There are countries in Africa that rate higher than we do. There are only four countries in the world besides the US that do not pay for higher education, and all of them, I believe are in sub-Saharan Africa.

There is a great book about the education reforms in Finland that propelled them to the number onbe spot. It is called "Finnish Lessons", by Pasi Sahlberg. The amazing part is that Finnish schools have no homework and plenty of exercise.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Let's not go here again. This has been widely reported by US news outlets since the first Reagan administration.

Our top public high schools produce test results on par with top public high schools anywhere in the world.

Our average public high schools produce test results that are not so great. Head over to East San Jose or Fresno and it's pretty scary.

The best predictor of high school scores is family demographics. Highest degree attained and family income.

There's nothing in this, or any other report, that suggests Paly and Gunn need to increase pressure on anyone. Not that the OP was suggesting more academic pressure is a good idea.


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Well said, Anonymous!

The intention of this thread was to provoke. The original poster should look to help the rest of the country instead of insinuating we have poor education here in Palo Alto.


Posted by Ducatigirl, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm

That is the amazing thing about Finland. Paly gives hours and hours of homework. Finland gives none, and gives lots of breaks and physical activity. Yet, their results are superior and the kids actually like school. Too many PAUSD students HATE school, and are really put off when they go to college and find it is so much like Paly, after being told that college is NOT just a big high school.

I do not have personal experience with Gunn, but I do know that Paly is no the top dog anymore. Other school districts, such as Los Gatos, Willow glen, Campbell, have similar scores on smaller budgets, but more parent involvement. Even lowly Fremont is approaching Paly scores due to parent involvement, in spite of meager budgets.

Palo Alto notwithstanding, most of the rest of the counry is in a shameful state, educationally speaking, because parents are not well educated due to the expense of a college education, and parents are short on time because many families are working three to four jobs between two parents BECAUSE of their lack of education, to make ends meet. Not only that, childcare usually takes up most of one salary, and, good as it may be, does not replace a parent's care. But simple economics make that decision.

It is not fair to blame parents for an economic situation they did not create, but the government bears some resposibility. Higher education is far too expensive. Craig Barrett, former CEO of Intel, has been trying to impress this on Pres Obama, to no avail.

It does not help that tech icons such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg brag about their lack of education, as if it were not necessary. They are exceptions, not the rule, and shouldbe treated as such. Graduate degrees are necessary for most of the up and coming jobs of the future, all employers know it, and this is why they hire foreigners, not Americans,


Posted by curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm

"...tech icons such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg brag about their lack of education..."

Uh huh, but I bet they wouldn't hire themselves into their own companies.


Posted by Jan tenny hutch, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Did you read the story, ducatigirl? We are 17th and there are no African nations ahead of us. I also would like to know about you're claims re Paly students. Do you conduct exit interviews? Do you follow up with them when they are in college? You have made these claims over and over but never provide evidence.


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