Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Quiet Day at the Legislature.  New staff is still finding its way into place.  A lot of old staff is moving around.  The Capitol looks like a giant maze (and a few of us lobbyists are real rats so I suppose it fits).  All in all, it makes for a slow first week of the 2015 legislative session.

The Legislature spent the day at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs participating in the "One Minnesota" program that was put together to look at issues that may be of particular interest during the 2015 legislative session.  Below is a link to the conference.  I will be curious to see if there will be video available for viewing at any time seeing that the conference was closed to the public.


Things will pick up a bit tomorrow as the first bills of the session will be introduced in both the House and Senate.  The Senate Education Committee will be holding a hearing where it will hear from a variety of stakeholders (including SEE) on their organizational priorities for the session.  I will report on both of these items tomorrow.

Education in China.  China has certainly been a white-hot subject of conversation over the past decade and part of the interest in China stems from their education system.  Yang Zhao, a professor at the University of Oregon, has written an account of the Chinese education system entitled Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?  Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World.

American educational historian and policy analyst Diane Ravitch reviewed the book in the November 20, 2014, issue of the New York Review of Books and uses the opportunity to criticize the Chinese system and the reforms undertaken in the United States that somewhat mimic the test-heavy Chinese system.  I haven't read Zhao's book, but I found Ravitch's review interesting and it made me more likely to read the book at some juncture.  I'll let you decide for yourself after reading the review,


I also found this article from last Sunday's New York Times Magazine about a test preparation camp in China.  Very interesting.


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