What’s He Got That I Ain’t Got?
Published by Robert Pondiscio on June 2, 2009
What do the high performing nations of the world have that the U.S. lacks? Rich, deep academic content, according to a new report.
“Each of the nations that consistently outrank the United States on the PISA exam provides their students with a comprehensive, content-rich education in the liberal arts and sciences,” writes Lynne Munson, the executive director of Common Core in Why We’re Behind, a study that compares America’s educational quality to Finland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland.
The nine nations studied differ greatly in how they deliver their broad, rich curricula. “Some have a national curriculum and standards but no tests,” Munson notes. “Others have both, and some leave everything up to the states. Interestingly, no state-based nation in our sample currently has a national curriculum or standards, though one is attempting to develop some.”
So what is the common ingredient across these varied nations? It is not a delivery mechanism or an accountability system that these high-performing nations share: it is a dedication to educating their children deeply in a wide range of subjects. [emphasis mine]
Depth, Not Delivery
My student's parents love having their kids in my class precisely because I like to get deep. Depth is necessary, unless shallowness is what you desire. Who wants shallowness? Actually, the "rich" like their subjects shallow; less rebellion.