I have moved “my history of the left” book to backburner and focused on my day job as a source for my writing: education. I am writing a book on educational pedagogy and a lot of my notes for it are going to be posted here.
Fascinating, I discovered this for this essay book I am writing on ed: So one thing I am finding out from studying education is that US, France, and UK actually run in a tight packet in race-down on education. US sometimes is at bottom, but sometimes the UK and France slip beneath the US. All have tried various reform: for example, Labour government’s early 1990s “scientific management” reform was the back-bone for Texas’s standards based reforms in the late 1990s, which because basis for US NCLB and even for the implementation of “Race to the Top” and “Common Core” after the UK government abandoned those reforms as a failure. Lately the US slipped lower than the UK and France, but also it has hit over 50% kids in poverty from the long “recovery” and from the rich abandoning public schools. Now, here’s the outlier that I was trying to figure out, if it is school systems to blame, why do Canada schools do so well? Teaching is a competative job there and they over train teachers, but so was the states for a while and that didn’t matter. Some of the highest paying states in the US are still low preforming too, so that isn’t it either. You know what the US, France, and Uk that Canada does: high levels of poverty, including rule poverty, and entire demographic groups which are subsumed with a history of poverty, which Canada does have, but only with First Peoples. I have not looked up the Canadian “success rates” with First Peoples students, but I suspect that it would map simiarly to the impoverished students across the three countries mentioned.
Now poverty doesn’t explain all of it. There are outliers, but then again, we have focus on more than test scores too. Furthermore, some of the rubrics of poverty are quite imprecise. I once tried to unpack this for German schools and I could not find the statistics clearly even in German except for immigrant groups who did not track well. Lastly, a lot of times we are merely comparing test scores or PISA scores, but other more long-term measures make all this more complicated. Diana Ravich recently pointed that out in the comparison between countries.