Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Interesting Thought Experiment.  Although I don't always agree with its perspective (especially on matters of business and finance), I truly value my subscription to The Economist.   In my more cynical moments, I've always believed that if we successfully taught critical thinking to students and gave everyone a subscription to The New York Times and The Economist, the rest of the news media would go out of business.  But that's not where we're at, so onward we go.

When I was paging through a recent issue of The Economist, I came across this article and thought it would make a great thought experiment.  It seems that Great Britain's education secretary Michael Gove is a bit outspoken and is speaking outside the realm of his office, causing some problems for British Prime Minister David Cameron.  It doesn't appear he's reached the level of mad-quotability of Martha Mitchell (anyone under 55 is probably going to have to hit Wikipedia for the tortured relevance of that reference), but that's not the angle of the article that piqued my interest.

If you head to the fourth paragraph and erase all the names, you'll find the discussion strikingly similar to the discussion we are having in the United States surrounding education reform initiatives.  Higher standards, school choice, and criticism of unions is all there reminiscent of the discussion currently taking place on this side of the Atlantic.

Even in his wildest moments, I doubt United States Education Secretary Arne Duncan would wander into as many verbal thickets as Gove seems to with regularity, but Duncan does sidle up close to some of the territory Gove has staked out in his attempt to reform British education.

Anyway, make your own judgments and if you have $150 lying around, I strongly recommend a subscription to The Economist.

Article on British education secretary Michael Gove in The Economist:  http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21604179-tory-education-secretary-stirs-strong-feelings-largely-his-credit-michael-gove

PS--Here's another link on the debate over British education reform policies that was published at The Economist's website shortly after the article linked above:  http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2014/06/education-reform-1?zid=316&ah=2f6fb672faf113fdd3b11cd1b1bf8a77

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