Even the liberal New York Times piled on recently, in a story titled "Death Knell for the Lecture: Technology as a Passport to Personalized Education."
The focus of the story was actually the promise of internet teaching--but to make internet teaching sound like the solution you had to first identify the problem. In the first paragraph, then, we learned that among developed countries the United States ranked 55th in quality of elementary math and science education, 20th in high school completion rate and 27th in the fraction of college students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering.
Bad schools and bad teaching, obviously.
The point was simple: We needed to replace bad teachers with superior internet lessons. Or we needed to replace bad teachers with cardboard cutouts or mannequins or maybe lamp posts. Whatever. We're 55th among developed nations!
It makes you wonder, though. What do these kinds of lists actually prove? I decided to do a little sleuthing.
If we use the same simple approach, we uncover a variety of chilling problems that demand immediate internet action. Online cops, anybody? In a recent survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development the United States finished dead last (cheap pun absolutely intended), 32nd out of thirty-two advanced nations, when it came to murder rates. And we're dead last by six feet and a mile. The Netherlands fell to tenth with one murder per 100,000 population. Finland finished one step above us, in 31st, with 2.5 murders. The United States landed in the morgue with 5.2 murders per 100,000 population.
Clearly: worst cops in the world.
According to another chilling survey we ranked 30th out of thirty advanced nations in obesity rates. So what do we learn from studying this chart?
We learn that America has absolutely the worst dieticians in the civilized world. Online dieting advice probably represents the last hope for fat people in the District of Columbia and all the fifty states.
|Maybe we should jail more teachers?|
Thank god we live in the United States of America, with the best jurists in the world--maybe in the universe! We lock up 743 people for every 100,000 in population.
That's what simple lists prove--and when I get the first Pulitzer prize ever awarded to a blogger, you can say, "I knew him before he became a famous celebrity and his head got all swelled."
And the first time I meet Lindsay Lohan at some big Hollywood party, you know what I'm going to say? "Baby, you need to think seriously about emigrating. Yeah. Liechtenstein would be cool."
For even more chilling statistics please go to: "Numbers Don't Lie: Our Teachers (and Doctors) Are Failing."
If you're a teacher (or a teacher's friend) consider spreading the word about this blog, or becoming a "follower" (not in any cult-like sense).
I intend to speak for all good teachers whenever I can.