A couple of weeks ago, CNN brought up a discussion over how the US has been slacking behind countries like South Korea, Finland, and even Poland on education. Very interesting, weird, and interesting again.
Reportedly, high school students from countries like South Korea and Finland did much better on math than those from the US. I could remember during the last year, my undergraduate university in the Southern US lowered the requirements on math so that more people could graduate. However, the school where I am currently working on my master’s in the Midwest is trying to bar it up on math. Both are public institutions, however, quiet different policies despite the mere 6-hour-drive from one to the other.
The battle over math really moved on to a debate over if sports could escalate the quality of education or oppress it. Finland and South Korea topped on students’ performances, and neither country focused as much on sports as American schools have been doing. A reasonable argument was that high-profile schools would sacrifice students’ academic performances in order to recruit those who were physically gifted. However, many have also argued that sports could coach students to be responsible and hardworking.
No matter how bad American students have been doing on math, America has the most best brains based on the total number of Nobel Prizes winners since 1901. (I do concern that American schools do not care enough about English and world literatures.) Did the American education start getting worse? Should math be seen as more important? Is this a crisis?