Check out this recent Friedman piece:
The more I travel, the more I find that the most heated debates in many countries are around education. Here's what's really funny -- every country thinks it's behind.
"We have a creative problem in this country [India]."
"We must allow our students to ask why, not just keep on telling them how."
It's interesting that Tom Friedman is syndicated in Venezuela.
Today's NYT has an article about Wu Man, a Chinese musician, in which she confirms Friedman's reporting:
"She's a 21st-century musician, meaning she knows something deeply, and not only playing the instrument. She can work with anybody in a short time. She can figure out what somebody knows, what they don't know. People say she's put the pipa on the contemporary page."
This after wondering whether she would be able to keep up her career in the United States. "I had initially been prepared to give up music," Ms. Wu said. "I thought I was going to end up studying computers like my friends."
For a sample of America's strategy in education, read Technically Foolish:
This proposal is drawing national attention as visionary, though it is more remarkable for the manner in which it neatly illustrates the problems with how we think about technology and schooling.
Absent in Michigan, and often elsewhere, is serious thought about how technology might help cut costs or modernize educational delivery.
There is no reputable analysis suggesting that the billions invested in technology have enhanced the productivity or performance of America's schools.
Everyone can use another degree, right?
"People think I'm crazy when they hear I'm getting my second master's degree at 27," says Krumm. "But I felt the degree was necessary to switch the direction of my life."
And now for something completely different:
Georgia is about to become the first state to approve the use of the Bible as a textbook in public schools.
But if you thought America was in bad shape, check out France:
The point of the new labor law is to encourage businesses to hire young people without worrying they'll be stuck with them forever. Youth unemployment has been one of France's biggest problems for 30 years. A quarter of those under 25 are jobless; that figure surpasses 40 percent in the troubled suburbs. It's an enormous failure: young people have never been better prepared or educated than today, yet France offers them hardly any future apart from temporary jobs and unpaid internships.
No one in France wants to be "flexible"; stable jobs are the best paid and the most prestigious. It's telling that the students at the elite grandes écoles have been slow in joining the protests: promised a better future than the graduates of the less illustrious universities, they figure that flexibility doesn't concern them.
Scrambling to Learn: Roundup on Education