It would be ironic if America's world-wide cultural domination ? music, fashion, film, technology ? included its dumbed down school ethos. That's what it looks like is happening in South Korea, as the government there announced the country's abandonment of Saturday school. This is just after Sam Dillon reported (in the New York Times) that American schools, wracked? by budget woes, are cutting class time back even more:
After several years of state and local budget cuts, thousands of school districts across the nation are gutting summer-school programs, cramming classes into four-day weeks or lopping days off the school year, even though virtually everyone involved in education agrees that American students need more instruction time.
This could be the perfect storm for the Save Our Schools marchers, who might want to add this chant to their July 30 Washington protest repertoire: Dumber Down and Dumber Dee!? Dumber Down and Dumber Dee!
In all seriousness, I hope the folks rallying in oppressively muggy D.C.? later this month? ?for justice in education? include in their request of our education policymakers something tangible for the tens of thousands of American children not being educated by our current system. If we need to solve poverty first, then I would hope they please desist with the calls for more money for schools.? If they want more money for schools, then I would advise that they quit with the solve-poverty-first mantra.
--Peter Meyer, Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow