Growing up we were meant to believe (in my parts of the world) getting an American qualification was easy as pie. Having embarked on the CFA deisgnation i have found myself struggling to the amazement of my friends who think ‘American education’ is not something even worth pursuing because it is so easy therefore useless. They do not understand why i decline nights out with big booty (insert) to study so hard for an ‘American qualification’.
Curious though, how representative is the CFA designation of the general American education standards we were meant to believe were such a breeze.
Education in USA is very different even within a given state. A public school in the city might have a poor education, but you can take a placement exam and get into a public gifted schools. Now there are more charter schools popping up and those have different levels of quality. Then there are private schools independent of the district you actually live in. So overall you can get a different education from someone living on your same street depending what path you take.
US education just offers greater accessibility. If you were in the bottom 20% of students in the US, you would still be given opportunities to go through school and perhaps even college. If you were in the bottom 20% of students in Zimbabwe, your opportunities would probably be more constrained. In this sense, the US system can be considered more forgiving.
However, at the same time, the US system provides ample (limitless?) opportunities for the best students to maximize their quality. Going to the best high school in the US is extremely stressful, and it goes with little question that the best US universities excel beyond those in any other country.
Your impression that US school can be “easy” is not entirely incorrect. However, consider that the US education system is also tiered and diverse, just like US society.
Developing countries tend to equate education with a child’s ability to memorize crap
Ask a kid from India/China, what is bajillion times bajillion is and they will spit out a gazillion straight from memory. Ask them to write an essay about math and they will look at you like a deer in a headlight.
^ You sound like one of those “discovery” learning folks. And you’re probably wrong. Look at the OECD education results in problem solving (non math). Singapore, Korea, Japan and China are tops. Canada is the leading non-Asian country. The US is about 20th on the list. Anyway, education in America is pretty much like everything in America. If you’re born into wealth, you’ll get the best education in the world. If you aren’t born wealthy, its a roll of the dice with most coming up losers. Private school are great in the US. Public ones are so-so, depending on where you’re at.
Exactly. I would be interested in what the results would be if the you excluded the southern US entirely. There is no way China is educating and testing the $1B peasant farmers that still live in the country. I, like some others on here, have lived in China and I"m sure everyone can agree that the typical education level of somebody working a rice paddie is not really world class.
You’re right. China tests by city and only includes Shanghi and Hong Kong. I’m not claiming these stats extend to rule areas. The US would do better excluding g the south, but in general democratic countries shouldn’t be judged by just picking pockets of the population. Korea and Japan do outperform the US and they test their entire populations. As do many European countries. And these are dynamic problem solving tests, not something that can be memorized (the Asians do absolutely outperform hugely in memorization, but also in problem solving, though relatively less so). I have no doubt an American going to a top tier private school would likely outperform a public school Korean at problem solving, but that’s not how society should be evaluated. If Americans want to be competitive (not to mention just), their education system needs to provide a reasonable level of quality to all. And to the ignorant that claimed Asia doesn’t invent anything, I suggest you toss out any Sony, Samsung or LG products you might have around…
It really is apples and oranges though. Show me a developed country with the diversity of the US. Oh wait, there isn’t one. I’m willing to bet that the majority (if not all) of the countries ahead of the US are relatively homogenous.
I also find it very interesting that the countries that have a history of using testing as a means of advancing in civil service (Northeast Asia) also tend to do well on the current system of testing. Maybe they are, whether by nature or nurture, simply better test takers? In the US there are tons of kids who frankly suck at taking standardized tests. I like tests because i"m pretty good at them, but I also know that standardized tests do not necessarily reflect a body of knowledge gained through education.
I am referencing the OECD 2012 PISA Creative Problem Solving ranking. I’m on my phone so can’t link but you can find it easily with Google. And in terms of a developed country with the diversity of the US? Canada would be one. I’m not saying the US is a failure, but steps need to be taken in all Western countries to strengthen our education systems for all if we want to compete in a knowledge based economy with the next generation in Asia.
What does it really mean to have a “superior education system,” anyhow? Some eggheads who have spent their lives in education and construct puzzles and games to quiz others who have been taught in the same artificial-world, theoretical manner come up with some test, and then proclaim one region of the world is better at “problem solving” than another region of the world, as if the whole history of problem-solving in the world can be mapped to these quizzes…it’s bullshit.
The fact is, smart people are smart people regardless of where you are in the world. The really smart ones will figure out how to optimize their experience within a shitty educational system and still come out on top. The real question after the “quality of education” is how one’s life is expressed after their education, and for that I would ask, where is business better? What region of the world is best at fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, and at protecting the fruits of said entrepreneurial activities?