A 21st Century Education
No Child Left Behind and
Yong Zhao is the University Distinguished Professor of Education at Michigan State University, where he also serves as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. He is a fellow of the International Academy for Education and currently serves on the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council’s Committee to Review the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays International Education Programs.
Zhao received his Ph.D. in Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996. His research interests include diffusion of innovation, teacher adoption of technology, computer assisted language learning, globalization and education, and international and comparative education. Zhao has published extensively in these areas. He has been invited to lecture on issues related to education reform, globalization, and technology in more than 10 countries. He received the 2003 Raymond B. Catell Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association.
Zhao asks whether it’s sensible for American students to emulate their Asian (particularly Chinese) counterparts by adopting rigorous science and math curricula and an extended school day in order to stay “competitive” globally. While Zhao recognizes that there are fundamental problems with American public education, he praises the culture of education in this country, a culture that prizes ingenuity, entrepreneurship and individuality and celebrates personal expression for its own sake. He criticizes No Child Left Behind, asserting that standardized testing in a limited number of subjects as a way to measure performance is inadequate to meet the real challenges of the 21st century.