Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hong Kong Protests China Version of Common Core

 Here is a short break from @AFT coverage even though it links up given the support the AFT/UFT give the common core which will include more testing. I'm working on a video report on the contradictions inherent in the much ballyhooed AFT testing reso.

See Leonie's critique of the ed deform TNTP report -- TNTP is loaded with former Tweedies:

The "Irreplaceables"; another flawed report from TNTP

and her piece on testing in the NY Times: NYT Room for Debate 

Here are 2 messages on the Hong Kong story, the first from a NYC teacher traveling in China and Leonie.

Please feel free to share this with our comrades. Hong Kong people seem to get it right. They are also the only ones worldwide with a vibrant OWS movement camped in the courtyard of the HSHB bank in Hong Kong that refuses to be disbanded.

 NYC Teacher in Shanghai


In Hong Kong thousands Protest plan to impose Chinese national Curriculum

Meanwhile kids of elite attend exempted priv schls

Sound familiar?

Leonie Haimson

NYC Parent Steve Koss who spends a lot of time in China commented:

Middle and high school students are fleeing China's education system by the thousands, heading for Australia, Canada, the United States, and even England or other European countries (although they generally prefer English-speaking countries). I don't have the statistics at hand except for some numbers from private schools in the US (up from just 65 students in 2005 to 6725 in 2010, per Bloomberg Info Svcs), but I know the numbers are exploding in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. 

The costs for this pre-college foreign education are HUGE, 150,000 to 250,000 yuan annually in a country where the average middle class family might earn 100,000 yuan in a year. But the benefits are worth it for these families: escape from a system in which one's entire future is based on high-stakes testing and the pressures on students are incredible -- exactly the things the Obama administration and the ed deformers are promoting most heavily. My wife is Chinese, and her cousin sent her high-school-age daughter to Canada for one year of high school, and now she's planning to go to Macalaster College in Hamilton, Ontario for undergraduate studies. She can get a good Western education without having to enter the unbearable national competition for college entry, the infamous gaokao (pronounced gow-cow) that ranks every high school senior in the country based on a single, three-day exam. And, of course, this says nothing about the problems of vast numbers of Chinese students who excel at rote book learning but lack even an ounce of creativity, inquisitiveness, or passion for learning.

The dirty secret in Chinese education is not Hong Kong, it's the massive flight away from the system and into foreign middle and high schools by parents who are savvy enough and financially capable enough to get their kids out of it. I suspect that Hong Kong parents are more worried about being co-opted into that rote learning, high-stakes-test-based measurement system than they are of their kids being "brainwashed" by political propaganda in the classroom. I know that would be my biggest concern if I lived there.

Steve Koss

I do want to add my own experience with Chinese students when I refereed a robotics tournament in Tokyo a few years ago. Chinese kids seemed so desperate and competitive -- when I issued one ruling against them they went wild -- one kid blaming the ruling if he doesn't get into a good school. Here are some posts from 2008 on norms robotics blog.

The opinions expressed on EdNotesOnline are solely those of Norm Scott and are not to be taken as official positions (though Unity Caucus/New Action slugs will try to paint them that way) of any of the groups or organizations Norm works with: ICE, GEM, MORE, Change the Stakes, NYCORE, FIRST Lego League NYC, Rockaway Theatre Co., Active Aging, The Wave, Aliens on Earth, etc.

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