After the Easter Break we’re back at school. Yee ha!

I read a fantastic article by David Warlick about the United States Secretary of Education’s comments regarding competing with India and China. Warlick’s blog post, found here, made me pretty much laugh out loud, but was a pretty sad indictment of America’s education system. Perhaps most of North America’s as we in Canada increasingly buy into that system.

The particular folly that people like America’s Secretary of Education fall into regarding his understanding of Friedman’s “The World is Flat” is that he mis-reads the implications. Yes, it is scary that India is producing 1000 top level engineers for every one that is produced in America, but that isn’t the point. Making students stay in school longer won’t make more engineers. Making students take standardized tests doesn’t make them perform any better. What is needed, however, is teachers who are passionate about their areas of teaching, curriculum that is relevant and sound and freedom to work within that framework.

I like Warlick’s comment about apple pie. “First of all, you’re not going to win the blue ribbon at the county fair by leaving your apple pie in the oven longer.”

Exactly. You make good apple pie with great ingredients and attention to detail, not extra time in the oven. Now, we’er talking about children’s lives here and overdoing them in the oven of school isn’t going to do them any good either.