We know there are a lot of Asians at engineering schools and medical schools. But check out these top undergraduate business school numbers from BusinessWeek: UC Berkeley, 54 percent Asian to 23 percent white; MIT, 37 percent Asian to 25 percent white. Even Mormon Brigham Young University has 8 percent Asians (versus 78 whites) — which is more than MIT had in 1976. I have no idea why this is happening. If you do, let us know.
Indian Americans are making their mark around Microsoft’s campus. They are the only ethnic group I’ve tracked with proportionally more awards than Jewish or Chinese Americans. The New York Times reported on Jan. 2 that the latest education fad in Japan is Indian-style schools where kids learn to multiply in kindergarten. Yet, in the Jan. 17 issue, The Times reported that although more Indian children are going to school than ever, four out of 10 fifth graders could not read at second grade level, and seven out of 10 could not subtract. Remember that when your local educracy is rallying for “world class standards.”
Those !@#$% Finns
The Feb. 29 Wall Street Journal revealed that Finland’s world-topping testing performance comes from the very “back to basics” approach spurned by “standards-based” education mania. Finnish students get just a half hour of homework for high schools and use chalkboards — with chalk. They concentrate on students who are behind instead of offering quadruple honors. Instead of cram preschools, school doesn’t start until age 7. There’s no “high standards for all” since tests rank the top college-bound half from the others who will finish with vocational courses.
The Emperor’s New Textbooks
The Finns aren’t hobbled by my sixth grader’s Connected Mathematics. Math is now a Blue’s Clues game which asks, “What do you think?”, and then asks students to “Create your own algorithm, and make sure it covers all these examples.” I never had to create and write down a method because that used to be what the book was for. The new “reform” instruction method simply cuts instruction out of the book. Only the teacher’s manual and letter to the parents hide the forbidden secret that “one possible answer is to convert to common denominators.” Every physics book states Newton’s three laws, yet students can’t find the “pi r squared” they’re supposed to learn anywhere in their books. People like Michael Paul Goldenberg of rationalmathed.blogspot.com are offended that we think something is dreadfully wrong when students have to figure out and write in all of the math they’ve deliberately left out of the textbook. I hate to sound like Barack Obama’s Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., but if most other Americans are stupid enough to buy into this, Asian parents should know better and raise a stink.