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The Great Fire Wall of China

As my regular readers know, I am writing from China these days, and have been doing so four years so far. Sometimes the blog becomes inaccessible to me, making it impossible to post regularly. In fact, starting in late September 2014, China began interfering with many Google-owned entities of which Blogspot is one. If the blog seems to go dark for a while, please know I will be back as soon as I can get in again. I am sometimes blocked for many weeks at a time. I hope to have a new post up soon if I can gain access. Thank you for your understanding and loyalty.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Folly of Self-Congratulation

Strong American Schools Chairman Roy Romer is trying to raise awareness. Gov. Romer wants America to “get a political will” even though, according to one roundtable participant, 78% of American households do not have children in school. All of us need to invest in all of our children's futures.

Gov. Romer believes America needs to benchmark our country's education performance and accountability globally by annually comparing ourselves to the ten best nations. In other words, we need to stop congratulating ourselves on our good schools (like my town recently did) when 52% tested proficient this year instead of 50%. A 2% gain is great when half are not proficient in the richest country on earth?! We need to get real about the data .

Gov. Romer says this nation is simply not conscious that our expectations are too low because we are lying to ourselves. He continued, “If we put as much into education as we do athletics, we would be first in the world.” I agree. It is not money. It is commitment. The money will follow commitment. If we put as much into education as we did into the war in Iraq, we would be first in the world. Furthermore, it would not be money down the drain; it would be an investment in the future. For those who are risk-adverse in their investments, this one is virtually guaranteed to reap benefits that really will “trickle” down.

When American society finally decides it wants a world-class education system, there will be no stopping us.

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