The NYTimes in its wisdowm assigned the review --and a featured podcast -- of the new book by New America Foundation fellow Amanda Ripley to another NAF fellow -- Annie Murphy Paul.
This is a clear conflict of interest and should be protested to NYT Ombudsperson Margaret Sullivan by tweeting @sulliview or email her at public@...
podcast here: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/23/book-review-podcast-amanda-ripleys-the-smartest-kids-in-the-world/
This is predictably a glowing review of a very controversial thesis in which Ripley argues the Korean ed system --, in which students sleep in class b/c they have spent hours after school in expensive "cram schools" that families spend 40% of their disposable income on -- and which causes huge stress on kids, is better than the US system because all this competition makes Korean kids stronger and more able to compete in a global economy.
I guess she doesn't count all those Korean families who choose to uproot themselves and move to the US to escape the awful educational system, or the kids who committed suicide in the process. here is an excerpt from the NYT review:
Academic pressure there is out of control, and
government officials and school administrators know it — but they are no
match for ambitious students and their parents, who understand that
passing the country’s stringent graduation exam is the key to a
successful, prosperous life.
Ripley is cleareyed [sic] about the serious drawbacks of this system: “In
Korea, the hamster wheel created as many problems as it solved.” Still,
if she had to choose between “the hamster wheel and the moon bounce that
characterized many schools in the United States,” she would reluctantly
pick the hamster wheel: “It was relentless and excessive, yes, but it
also felt more honest. Kids in hamster-wheel countries knew what it felt
like to grapple with complex ideas and think outside their comfort
zone; they understood the value of persistence. They knew what it felt
like to fail, work harder and do better. They were prepared for the
modern world.” Not so American students, who are eased through high
school only to discover, too late, that they lack the knowledge and
skill to compete in the global economy.
Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson