亚洲必赢626aaa.net亚洲江山占满世界最大范围学校排行前5,美利坚同盟军教育部对STEM的讲授

亚洲必赢626aaa.net 7

亚洲必赢626aaa.net亚洲江山占满世界最大范围学校排行前5,美利坚同盟军教育部对STEM的讲授

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from
http://www.ed.gov/stem

Source: https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2018/01/economist-explains-8

Intro. [Recording date: July 15, 2015.] Russ: Our topic for today is
the Millennium Development Goals, especially related to education
around the world, and how we might think about the best policies to
improve wellbeing and the role education plays in that. We’re going to
draw on work that Rick has done with Ludger Woessmann, and we’ll put a
link up to the study you’ve done on the topic. And to get us started,
tell us what the Millennium Development Goals are and why they
matter–if at all. Guest: In 2000, the United Nations and UNESCO (United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) set out a
range of goals that they thought would help to guide countries and
development agencies in their policies. The goals were supposed to be
met by 2015. Russ: This year. Guest: And they ranged from issues of
health to poverty to inclusion of females, and the one that I pay most
attention to is that all kids in the world should have basically an 8th
or 9th grade education by 2015. Now, they’re important because they
actually seem to influence both what development agencies do and the way
countries respond. Russ: Just fascinating. There’s some desire to “meet
the goals.” They don’t want to look like a failure–I guess that’s part
of it. Guest: Absolutely. And in fact there has been a large effort to
have an annual report on both how individual countries are doing on
separate goals and to provide narrative on better development
policies. So, they’ve been producing reports for the last 15 years on
what’s been going on around the world in terms of development. Russ: So,
here it is, 2015. How are we doing? Guest: Well, in 2014, they suddenly
realized we weren’t going to meet the goals. Russ: It’s getting close.
Hope reigns eternal, for a while. And then it starts to die.
Guest: And so in 2014, they started having new meetings about what would
be post-2015 development goals, and these were large international
gatherings around the world to try to hammer down a new set of
goals that would be met by 2030. They sort of have a thing about every
15 years, having a set of goals. Russ: Well, 15 years is long, and I
have to think we’ve got plenty of time and also to think, ‘Eh, it’s so
far in the future, we can just–.’ Yeah. Guest: Well, it could be. But
they work very hard at this, and in May of this year, May 2015, there
was a large international gathering in Inchon, Korea to try to hammer
out
the final version of their post-2015 goals. This version is to
be enacted at the U.N. (United Nations) in September of this
year. Russ: So, how did we do–or how are we likely to do in 2015 in
reaching the goals that were established in 2000, that every child in
the world would have an 8th or 9th grade education? Guest: Well, I think
that you have to conclude that there was remarkable progress in
terms of the quantity of schooling that people were getting: how many
kids were in the classrooms and how much school they were completing
between 2000 and 2015. Particularly in South Asia and Africa, and to
some extent Latin America, we saw some fairly dramatic increases in
school attendance and in school completion. Russ: But there will be an
actual number. Like 73% or 46%, right? Guest: Absolutely. Russ: And
where is that number likely to fall? Guest: Well, I know it depends
basically on the wealth of the country. So, for the developed
countries of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development), that number is above 95%. Russ: The OECD being the United
States, Europe, Canada, Japan? Roughly. Guest: And we’ve added,
some added countries now: We’ve had Chile and Mexico and Turkey, are in
there also. But it’s basically the club of developed countries, is the
OECD. If you get down to what the World Bank calls ‘middle income
countries,’ you see that maybe 80% of their kids will have completed 8th
or 9th grade education. Up from probably about 60% in 2000. So
there have been these– [?] Russ: Big increase. Huge increase– Guest:
but there is still, by this standard, a ways to go. Russ: And knowing,
having read some of the report and having talked to you about this issue
before, there was a ‘but’ that you didn’t get to in your summary. You
said ‘there have been some incredible gains in the level of education,
the number of people sitting in classrooms.’ So, what’s the ‘but’?
Guest: The ‘But’ is a huge but. Lots of kids had butts in chairs. They
were sitting in classrooms. But they didn’t learn anything. Because we
have separate measures of math and science and reading that have been
given to a large number of countries now internationally, including
developing countries. And we see that amazingly little learning by some
of the kids that had 8 or 9 years of education. Russ: Yeah. And we’ve
talked about this on EconTalk before, with previous guests. And the
challenge that we as economists typically are measuring something called
years of schooling–which we assume perhaps naively till recently was
related to growth of knowledge, what we call human capital. And it’s
dawning on us that perhaps there’s not a lot of human capital
accumulation going on, despite the hours that are spent there. Guest:
That’s absolutely the case. Once you have measures of what kids are
learning, you see that years in the classroom is a very imperfect
measure of the skills of people in different countries, in particular,
because the difference between, say, kids in Peru and kids in Singapore,
in terms of measured test performance translates into maybe 5 years’
difference in [?] schooling. So that two kids– Russ: That looks the
same. Observationally. Guest: That looks the same. So, two kids in the
9th grade, if you call Singapore, the 9th grade–in Peru, they’re in the
4th grade by Singapore standards. So that simply recording how much time
people are spending in the classroom does not in any way give you
information about whether they have the skills to compete in today’s
international world.

  媒体斯洛伐克语会带我们一块儿念书 BBC
撰稿人在通信世界大事时常使用的单词和短语。

The United States has developed as a global leader, in large part,
through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers, and
innovators. In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where
success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do
with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be
equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather
and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the
types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology,
engineering, and math—subjects collectively known as STEM.


Russ: So that raises the question that, when we think about the
Millennium Development Goals going forward, if we said I’m going to put
you in charge of those goals, obviously one way to set the new goals is
to say we’re going to keep the old goal. Which is within reach to
getting every kid to have an 8th or 9th grade education. And we’ll just
get close to 100%. I assume that’s not what we’re doing. Guest: That’s
not what I would like to do. At the meeting in Inchon, Korea in May of
2015, the proposed goal was entirely, everybody getting an 8th or 9th
grade education, with no mention of quality. Now, fortunately, a number
of people are beginning to realize that you can’t ignore quality. And so
there was pushback at meetings. Russ: Were you at that meeting? Guest: I
was not at that meeting. Russ: What kind of people are are the meeting?
Are these education ministers from the countries we are talking about?
Guest: There are education ministers. There are finance ministers. There
are all kinds of people. Because the Development Goals span lots
of different areas. But the Vice President of the World Bank for
Education was there. The Head of the Education Section at the OECD was
there. The Head of Education for UNESCO was there. So these are
high-level people with all of their people to carry their materials for
them at the meetings. So it was a very large meeting. But these are
serious people who are trying to get some consensus.亚洲必赢626aaa.net, Russ: But
when you say there’s just some pushback against this goal of just years
of education as a crude and unsatisfactory proxy for human capital
accumulation
, who is pushing back? Who is representing and lobbying
for a subtler or richer appreciation of what’s going on? Right
now? Guest: I think it’s now a fairly broad group. There are
representatives of the World Bank that I believe now fully believe in
qualitative goals for education. There are representatives of the
Asian Development Bank that have the same perspective, that you
have to mention quality even if you stick with attainment goals.
The people from the OECD and the developing agencies like the Department
for International Development of the United Kingdom are there, and they
also are now quite aware of the difference between years of schooling
and learning. Russ: So, I just want to mention the episode I was
thinking of in the back of my mind is Lant Pritchett’s, and his work
that we’ve talked about here before on that disconnect between people in
school versus actually learning something.

  A teacher and children in a classroom

亚洲必赢626aaa.net 2

House prices are steady, unemployment has dropped, recession has been
avoided. This was not meant to happen

Russ: So, what should we be doing? What do you recommend? Talk about
what your work has been in this area and what it suggests should be a
better goal? Or a strategy, more importantly, obviously. Because the
goal itself is not the ultimate. Guest: In a larger sense, Ludger
Woessmann and I have been working on issues of economic growth and how
that relates to the skills of people. And also on earnings of
individuals and how that relates to skills now for a dozen years. And
recently put together a book on this subject called The Knowledge
Capital of Nations, which tries to look at the relationship with growth.
But because of the published 2015 Development Goals and because of this
meeting in Inchon, the OECD contacted Ludger and me to see whether we
could provide some better guidance on quality. And over the last spring
we put together a small book called Universal Basic Skills, where we
essentially propose keeping the 8th and 9th years of schooling standard,
but that somebody at the end of that schooling should be able to meet a
level of basic skills which can be defined now by the tests that are
available. As we’ve discussed in the past, there have been international
tests of math and science now for 50 years. But recently, since 2000,
the OECD has, every three years, tested kids in a wide variety of
countries. These are called the PISA tests. Which stands for the Program
for International Student Assessment. Every 3 years they take a
math problem, a math problem that’s aimed at 15-year-olds, which is
about the 8th or 9th year of schooling–so it’s the right level. They
take this math problem; they translate it into local languages and march
it around the world. Russ: One problem. You say a math problem. You are
thinking philosophically. They have set of math problems. Guest:
They have a set of math problems. Russ: Okay. For sure, getting that one
right when your whole future, you whole country’s self esteem is
r
iding on it, it seems too much. Guest: Yes, indeed. So, but let me
give you one problem, to give you an idea of what the standard we
propose is. We propose what’s caused what’s called Level 1, which for
math means if you are given all of the variables and all of everything
you need to solve a problem, you can solve it. So, an example would be
that the people flew from Washington, to Inchon, Korea, and that
airfare cost them $4600 dollars. If the exchange rate between the
dollar and the euro is 1-to-1.1, how much did this ticket cost in euros?
And so the idea would be, that’s a Level 1 problem, or a problem similar
to that, that people at 15 could reliably solve that problem.
Well, it turns out that lots of kids age 15 can’t; and including 24% of
U.S. students age 15 can’t reliably solve problems like that at Level 1.
But it gets up to much larger numbers as you talk about developing
countries. And what we propose in this work is that the post-2015
development goal gets and 8th or 9th grade education and can solve a
Level 1 problem. Which to us seems to us like what you might call
functional literacy
in today’s world. In order to compete in an
increasingly international labor market and product market, people have
to be able to solve some very simple problems like that. Russ: So, I’m
not sure that’s true. Let’s talk a little bit about that. I’m also
curious about Level 2 and 3. But that particular problem is something
you’d want to solve if you are going to be an effective tourist, and
spend your money carefully and wisely. It’s not obvious to me–in many,
many jobs, virtually no mathematical sophistication is
necessary. Obviously in either the United States or in a poor country.
On the other hand, there are many jobs where it’s essential; and Level 1
would be trivially unhelpful. Before we go on: How many levels
are there? Guest: There are 6 levels. Russ: Six levels. So, what would
be a higher level type of problem? Guest: I don’t have any readily
a
vailable examples. Now, there was ones that require you to make
some inference, or make– Russ: make a connection. Guest: a connection,
between the information you are given and the problem that you are
trying to solve. So they would require direct inference. But not too
much more. That they have to be able to extract the relevant
information and use that. Russ: [?] You might not know what the
exchange rate is, or you have to find it. Guest: Yeaah. Applying
basic algorithms to solve problems. So, coming back to, just as
an aside to your problem of being a tourist–I said that 24% of
U.S. students couldn’t reliably solve that Level 1 exchange rate
problem. I actually mis-stated亚洲必赢626aaa.net亚洲江山占满世界最大范围学校排行前5,美利坚同盟军教育部对STEM的讲授。 that, because 44% of U.S. students
can solve similar problems to that. But 54% of U.S. students cannot
solve an exchange rate problem. Russ: Right. Because they’ve never gone
overseas, they’ve never– Guest: No, that’s not right. It’s that all
international transactions are in dollars. And we never have to worry
about exchange rates in the United States. But other countries do. Russ:
For sure. Obviously that’s a culturally biased question, against
U.S. students. Which–obviously I’m joking about it a little bit, but
it’s a serious problem, I assume, when you make these
problems–translating them into the domestic language is not
sufficient in many of these cases, I presume. Guest: Absolutely.
And that’s why, I think they actually test reading. But I fail to see
how you can actually get comparable reading problems that you can
get a good estimate of the difference in people. But math
problems seem much more straightforward and [?] science problems.

  Why are some schools in Asia top of the class for learning?

Science is more than a school subject

亚洲必赢626aaa.net 3

Russ: So, going back now to the, the goal and the policies. So the goal
would be you have to get a certain number of people to get a passing
grade or a certain level of achievement that certifies you
effectively as literate--mathematically or numerately or
reading-wise. And the question is, I guess–I guess there’s two
thoughts. One is you might be, with that standard you will of course
teach to the test. Which maybe is a very good thing; we are talking
about very fundamental levels of proficiency. And then the
question is: How valuable is this going to be? And I know you’ve looked
at that. So let’s talk about that. Guest: This is going to be
extraordinarily valuable. And we’ll come back to teaching to the test.
In some sense, you want people to teach to the test in terms of– Russ:
the right test– Guest: having these basic skills, if they are measured
well. The work that Ludger and I did here follows on [?] analysis of
economic growth of countries and what the implications are. What
we’ve done in the past is to show that essentially growth rates around
the world are almost entirely dependent upon the skills of the
population, and where skills are measured by performance on these
international math and science tests. So that we can explain in 75% of
the variation of growth rates across countries by simply knowing
measures of the math and science ability of the population. So, these
tests have a big impact on growth rates; and it’s growth rates that
determine wealth of a country in the future. It’s economic growth that
makes you better off today than your parents were. And if you don’t have
growth, you are very much different than your parents. So to give you an
example– Russ: In most human history [?] growth [?] parents. Guest:
So, yeah, no, exactly. If you look since 1960 and you contrast what has
gone on in East Asia versus what has gone on in Latin America, the
average person in East Asia today is 9 times more wealthy than an
average East Asian in 1960. Whereas in Latin America, they are 2
and a half times better off than 2 generations ago in 1960. Russ: Big
difference. Guest: And this is all a simple manifestation of what
growth rates or compound interest does for you. Russ: So the
fundamental question is: Is the connection between–there’s sort of a
number of links in this chain. We have test scores as a proxy for
skill/knowledge–ability, human capital. Obviously the test scoring in
and of itself has nothing to do with growth. It’s just merely an attempt
to measure effectiveness of past education for the students. So we have
that. That has to then link to economic outcomes. The presumption then
is that people have more knowledge or are going to be more effective.
And I guess my question would be reverse causation. Is it also not the
case that richer countries are going to have more education? They are
going to have more skills that will be measured by the test. But maybe
they are really not so important. What I have in mind is, an issue we’ve
talked about before–you know, it’s funny–I always wonder whether
listeners are frustrated when we go over topics that we’ve talked about
in the past. You’ve been on many times, Rick. We’ve talked about many of
these issues before. But I’ve forgotten almost everything we’ve talked
about. So I assume many of the listeners have as well. And not only
that; I’m much smarter than I was the last time we talked, because I’ve
listened to–I’ve talked to Lant Pritchett and I’ve talked to James
Tooley. And so I like to come back to these topics and chat about them
again. Because I find that’s actually the way education takes place.
Guest: This is the bane of teachers, because I have given you all of
these pearls in the past and they’ve gone away. Russ: Yeah. Guest:
Disappeared. But I’m always willing to come back and talk about these,
because those are the right questions. Russ: And these are the
fundamental questions that don’t have easy answers, and so for me it’s
very useful to think about them again, in a new way. So, go ahead.
Guest: So, let me rephrase your question slightly. One way to put in
your question is: If a country found a way to improve its schools and
the achievement of its population, could it really expect to have higher
growth in the future and better economic outcomes? And that’s the
fundamental question. Russ: So, make me more like Finland–make my
education system more like Finland–will I be more like Finland–a
wealthy, happy country? Guest: Not you–you probably won’t be cold and
all the other things that go along with Finland. So, we spend a lot of
time in the knowledge capital of nations that summarizes all the
underlying research trying to pin down this question of causation and
whether achievement or the skills that are embodied in our achievement
test really do cause differences in growth rates. It’s very hard in
international work to be conclusive about this and to have an airtight
case, but what we do is take the series of most likely arguments such as
the one you make: Does higher income cause more achievement, as opposed
to achievement causing more income, higher income? And we try to test a
series of these. So there are, first, the finding that changes in
spending on schools by countries is basically unrelated to any changes
in their test scores. So that if you thought that higher income
countries could then put more money back into their schools as they grow
faster, put more money into their schools, you don’t see it in terms of
the simple answers. We look at whether in fact institutions about the
schooling system like the presence of external examinations for students
that give incentives to students to work harder affect growth by
affecting higher achievement. So you wouldn’t expect external exams
necessarily to affect growth directly. But in fact, they lead to higher
achievement; and that by itself leads to higher growth, we can find. So
there’s a series of institutional structures of choice in the schools
and examination-accountability systems that in fact affect achievement;
and the achievement that is related to those differences affects growth.
We look at whether in the past 30, 40 years when countries have in fact
managed to increase their test scores over time, is it related to
changes in their growth rates at the same time? And in fact it is, with
the limited number of countries that we can look at those for. Then,
there’s a question about whether it’s all just the economic institutions
of a country that determine growth in– Russ: That’s my bias. Guest:
countries with good economic institutions also have good schooling
institutions– Russ: Yup. That’s my worry. Guest: and so it’s something
left out.

  满世界最大局面包车型地铁母校排行刚刚发表,欧洲江山占领排行前5名,北美洲江山排在末尾。新加坡共和国居头名,Hong Kong紧随其后,加纳排在最终壹个人。以下是
Sean Coughlan 的简报。

“[Science]“[Science] is more than a school subject, or the periodic
table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a
critical  way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and
then have the  capacity to change that world…”

Jan 15, 2018 | By C.W.

Guest: So one way to get around this in a cultural argument is to look
at test scores that are available for different countries and follow
immigrants into the United States from different countries with
different average level of skills. And compare them to immigrants from
the same countries that got their schooling in the United States. Does
it make a difference when we look at the test scores of those educated
in their home countries as compared to the United States? And what you
see is that it directly affects the income levels of the immigrants. So,
an immigrant from Korea will earn as if he had the test scores of Korea
if in fact he got educated there, but not if he got educated in the
United States. So, comparing two[?]– Russ: So, I’ve got two–this is
my thought experiment. So I have two Korean immigrants. One of them
comes here, comes to the United States at 18. They have been educated in
Korea. The other comes here at 6 and gets educated here in the United
States. So they both arrive into the same set of economic opportunities,
in theory. And yet the one who is educated in Korea doesn’t do as well
as the one who is educated here–if that’s what you are saying. Guest:
Well, not quite. He does better. He does better because the Korean
education is better, and that his income is directly related to the
skills on average that he would have gotten from Korea. So we are
looking at the same economic institutions, the United States, and
looking at how skills are treated there; and we are looking at the same
culture, because we are comparing Korean to Korean. Russ: Right. Guest:
And the difference is not culture or economic institutions but skills
that appear to matter in terms of U.S. earnings. So again, it’s not–
Russ: So that test, just stick with this for a sec. That test, attempt
to control for that statistically, what kind of breadth are we talking
about in terms of number of countries, observations? And how would
you–where are you getting those data from? Because that is an [?]
interesting example but it’s a fascinating example. Guest: We take the
data from the same set of international tests that we use in these
growth models, that we have for 63 countries. Russ: But how do you have
data on Korean immigrants, incomes, versus Mexicans, for people who
arrived at age 6 versus 18? That’s a lot of detail there. Where do you
get that from? Guest: The U.S. Census gives us several hundred thousand
observations of immigrants from different countries, and we know when
they came to the United States and where they would have been educated
from the Census information. And we know their earnings [?]– Russ:
from the Census, sure– Guest: the labor market, so we can look directly
at these issues. Russ: Pretty noisy[?] though, I’d guess. Guest: Well,
you get estimates that look very similar to the estimates you get from
individual panel data for native-born U.S. workers on the impact of
measured test scores on U.S. workers. It’s not just the function of the
large Mexican immigrant population because it holds if we ignore Mexican
immigrants. It is not something that is only a language issue, because–
Russ: That’s another challenge. Guest: if we look at just the immigrants
from countries where English is the first language we find exactly the
same thing. So again, there are reasons to distrust some of this. But
all of the evidence we have is consistent with this being a causal
story. We get the same answer from these different ways of looking at
the problem. Russ: So, tell me what you think, then, the implication is.
Let’s take that as a given. We’ll come back and challenge it some more
in a minute. But let’s take that as a given. What are the implications,
then, for the goals? You have some–it’s more than just–and again, we
don’t literally care about the goals; we can also care about policy
improvements. And this is not just about the developing world; it’s
about the United States as well. So, what do you see as the key things
to remember, thinking about bang for the buck in education policy?
Guest: Well, let’s to back to the estimates in universal basic skills,
which was that document that Ludger and I put together to relate to the
first[?] 2015 development goals. During the following experiments,
given our relationship between economic growth and achievement, first,
think of getting everybody to have 8 or 9 years of education at the
quality level of each country. Russ: So, no improvement in quality. Just
get more people in the seats. Guest: Exactly the basic Millennium
goals– Russ: Of the past 15 years. Guest: Of the past 15 years. And the
quantitative aspects of post-2015 goals. So, Experiment 1 is, get
everybody with an 8th or 9th grade education of current quality.
Experiment 2 is, take only those that are currently in school in each
country and bring the bottom up to Level 1. Don’t touch anybody else;
just bring– Russ: Keep the proportions attending the same but improve
the quality of the experience so that they actually learn some of these
basic skills. Guest: Exactly. Russ: They are apparently not learning
from the evidence we have on the exams. Guest: In many cases, like the
24% of U.S. students that aren’t there. Russ: And what would be–give me
another country, if you have it off the top of your head. How bad is it
in some places? Guest: 50% in Mexico– Russ: Cannot do Level 1. Guest: A
15-year-old who are in school cannot do Level 1 problems. Russ: So, for
Mexico, we can imagine going to 100%? Or take the 50% that are already
there and get them up to Level 1. Guest: Exactly. So that’s the
comparison. Guest: Or doing all three. The third experiment is doing
[?] Russ: Yeah. Guest: So you find that we can look at 76 countries in
the world: 76 is chosen by the fact that we have test score information
on 76 different countries in roughly 2013. So that we can project out to
the future. And so we project– Russ: Seventy six is a big number.
You’ve got a big range of development and levels there. Guest: We have
all 31 OECD countries, plus a bunch of other wealthy countries like the
Arab oil countries are in there and not in the OECD. And then we have a
lot of developing countries like 7 or 8 countries in Latin America who
are developing. What you find for the middle income countries, which are
the ones below the developed OECD level, about 80% of their students
currently get to 8th or 9th grade of schooling. But larger, much larger
proportion don’t get to Level 1. Getting everybody in schooling has an
impact on their future income, which we calculate into the future and
then take present values–it would roughly be worth double their current
GDP if they got that other 20% on average– Russ: into the schools.
Guest: Into the schools. Take the 80% that’s currently in school and
lift the bottom end up to Level 1 for these countries, you’d get 6 times
the value of GDP, or 3 times more than just putting people in the
classroom at the current level of learning. Do both of it together and
you get 13 times GDP. So there are two summary statistics that come out
of this. One is: Improving the skills of the population has at least by
historical observations has a huge impact on the future economic
wellbeing of countries. That’s the fact that East Asia has been [?]
times as rich as 2 generations ago as opposed to Latin America with much
lower growth is 2 and a half times as rich. So, it has a huge impact.
Secondly, if you just focus on getting people into seats, you find that
that is insufficient. That that doesn’t get you what you want. What you
really have to worry about is what people know. And their skills in
school.

  It‘s claimed if you want to see the economy of tomorrow look at the
school system of today。 And that’s going to be good news for some Asian
countries with the world‘s highest performing education systems。

— President Barack Obama, March 23, 2015

CHAOS was predicted. Following Britain’s vote to leave the European
Union (EU) in June 2016, most economists believed that a recession was
imminent
. A government study published in the run-up to the
referendum forecast that house prices would fall quickly, by up to a
fifth, and that unemployment would rise by over 800,000. But there has
been no recession. It is true that Britain has slipped down the
international league tables of GDP growth since the Brexit vote, but
growth in both 2016 and 2017 still averaged around 2%, roughly similar
to 2015. Furthermore, house prices are steady and unemployment has
dropped to a 42-year low of 4.3%. Disaster has been avoided. What went
right? 

Russ: It seems indisputable. The question I guess is what the magnitudes
are, and then the question would be how to get there from here. So when
I think about these issues, one of the things that comes to mind is a
recent episode on EconTalk with Morten Jerven. And he gave an example of
how Congo did not use the plow. And everybody knows the plow is a very
effective way to use agriculture, a way to do agriculture, and the fact
that they didn’t use the plow is obviously a handicap, and their
productivity could have been so much higher. But when you look more
closely, despite these claims, it turns out the topsoil in Congo is not
so amenable to a plow. And it was a bad investment–it would have been a
bad investment. So, when I think about these desperately poor countries,
I certainly accept the correlation that we started with, which is that
in the richer countries they have higher test scores, lower countries
they have lower test scores. It’s not obvious to me that when you
improve those test scores they are going to be more like Korea or the
United States or Denmark or Finland. And I guess the issue would be, one
way of thinking about it is, Well, they are on the ground. Why is there
is less–why isn’t there more clamor for improving these skills, than
you might think? So, in the case of the plow, you’d say, Well, why
aren’t they using the plow? What’s wrong? You’d say, ‘Give ’em the plows
and they’ll have agricultural productivity.’ Or give them a wheat
combine. Give them some real equipment. So the question is: Are you
fooling yourself that by adding these skills they are going to translate
into productivity in their home country the way they translate, say, in
a developed country? Guest: I don’t think we’re fooling ourselves on
that score. When we’ve done the analysis of growth, we find that just
looking at non-OECD countries or poorer countries, you get an even
larger estimated impact of skills on growth rates. So within the set of
poorer countries, does skill matter? And what we see is that it has a
bigger impact there. So that’s the first bit of evidence. The second bit
is sort of anecdotal evidence. If you start looking at Chinese
factories–we’ve spent a lot of time looking at Chinese growth rates. If
we look 20 years ago we would have seen a lot of labor-intensive
activities. If we look today, we see much more mechanized activities.
Sort of like thinking of U.S. car manufacturers–some time ago there was
a big production line and you handed everybody a wrench or a hammer and
they made a car. And today you hand them a computer that allows them to
control the production line; and then there’s a few interventions by
people but it’s really checking up on whether the computer is doing its
job. And what you see is that around the world, there is skill-intensive
change in production, so that over time, countries are demanding more
and more skills. You see it in the United States, when you look at U.S.
earnings of highly skilled people versus medium skilled people you see a
huge difference in terms of their earnings in the United States. And
that’s because the most effective technologies are ones that at least
right now use a lot of skill. And so I think that’s what you would see,
start to see, in developing countries, at the same time. Now, there’s
another–perhaps people think of as an anomaly: The value of highly
skilled, rocket scientists, is even greater in developing countries than
it is in developed countries, because developing countries are trying–
Russ: Scarcer. Guest: It’s scarcer, and they are trying to imitate what
goes on, and imitation takes skill.

  Here in Singapore, teenagers are at the top of the biggest ever
global comparison of ability in maths and science。 The country has
worked hard to create a workforce ready for the global economy。 Using
English as the teaching language and investing in keeping its teachers
skills up to date。

Yet today, few American students pursue expertise in STEM fields—and we
have an inadequate pipeline of teachers skilled in those subjects.
That’s why President Obama has set a priority of increasing the number
of students and teachers who are proficient in these vital fields.

The concept underlying the blood-curdling predictions before the
referendum was “uncertainty”. No one has the foggiest idea about
what Britain’s post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU will look
like. Economists worried that heightened uncertainty would prompt
households to rein in their spending and businesses to put
investment plans on hold. With the benefit of hindsight this
looks naive. Leave voters got what they wanted, so why should they cut
back on spending? And for Remainers, Brexit remains some way
off
: the country’s status within the customs union in 2020 is a
distant worry
for the average Briton. Meanwhile, Britain remains
an attractive place for foreign investors, in part because of its
trusted legal system and low rate of corporation tax.

Russ: Those are all relevant and plausible. I guess the question is
whether the range of stuff that comes along with a good education and a
good economic system–a functional labor market, a functional dynamic
business sector, whether that’s really much more complicated than these
basic skills. So, I love the point that you made. I remember a friend of
mine used to be involved in the manufacturing of clothing overseas for
American retailers. He said, ‘You know, a sweater factory in China is a
bunch of women with knitting needles. That’s the capital: each woman
gets two needles and they spend all day knitting.’ Well, that was 30
years ago, or so; and it’s not true any more. So, knowing how to knit,
which is a very easy skill to acquire–you need some dexterity–that
doesn’t get you anywhere any more. So, as you point out, there’s been an
escalation in what skills are required. And I want to mention the
episode we did with Adam Davidson where manufacturing in the United
States, exactly like you talked about, is not a guy with a wrench. It’s
somebody who actually knows a little bit of calculus and is doing some
very subtle things in stamping and metal work that would have been
unimaginable 20, 25 years ago. So I think that’s all true. I think the
question is–I want to go back to this earlier question of teaching to
the test. If I teach, if I improve the Level 1 skills of millions of
children in a dysfunctional economy, are they really going to find the
application of their better mental acuity at that point? I worry about
that. In fact, my bigger worry is that by focusing resources–and we’re
going to turn in a minute to how you get there from here–on this
particular aspect of the problem, are we giving everybody a plow? Are we
saying–or the equivalent–in an extreme case, I think about a
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court–you know, you’ve got back
from the future and you’ve got the only calculator. You’ve got the only
Texas Instruments calculator. That’s a big edge, if [?], if you really
know what to do with it, could be [?]; or it could be absolutely
useless, because you don’t have the full range of other infrastructure
you need to make it powerful. What are your thoughts on that? Guest: I
think that you raise legitimate questions but I think what history shows
as we look at growth rates and so forth is that when the skills are
there, the economies develop to use those skills. And it’s a slower
process in some places than others, obviously: if there’s no capital
equipment in a country it takes a while to develop that and to figure
out how to use it and so forth. But all of history that we can see,
which is kind of limited, but looking from 1960 until today we see that
we can explain three quarters of the variation in growth rates across
countries both within the developing world and within the developed
world by the skills of the population. And so what that suggests is that
economies around the world have found ways to use the skills that are
available. So if you are a smart investor and you know that all of a
sudden there is a spurt of skills and knowledge in Peru, that isn’t
being used by the local manufacturers it might pay for you to have
direct foreign investment in Peru to absorb these skills and use them
competitively and to make better profits. Russ: So let’s take that as
true. So, again, that leap is–let’s assume that there are some pretty
general universal skills that make you more productive than you
otherwise would be and that your economic system is able, where you are,
to use those skills. How do you get there from here? Guest: Can I stop
one second? Russ: Yeah. Guest: What I should also point out is that the
character of the economic system does impact the returns on these
skills, so that if I have a completely closed economy to the outside
world, there is a return to skills, but it’s about half the return that
we see in completely open economies. And in countries that don’t have
secure property rights and all the other things that we think are
important economic institutions, the returns to skills are lower, but
they are still positive. And it takes a while to change these
institutions along with them, although we’ve seen that countries that
both change skills and the institutions that follow get the gains. Russ:
Okay, well said.

  The league tables also show a strong performance by schools in Hong
Kong in second place, South Korea third and Japan in fourth place。 And
there are some surprises – Vietnam another Asian success story – comes
twelfth – racing past the United States in 29th position。

The need

All young people should be prepared to think deeply and to think well so
that they have the chance to become the innovators, educators,
researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges
facing our nation and our world, both today and tomorrow. But, right
now, not enough of our youth have access to quality STEM learning
opportunities and too few students see these disciplines as springboards
for their careers.expand/collapse

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US needs STEM

For example, we know that only 81 percent of Asian-American high school
students and 71 percent of white high school students attend high
schools where the full range of math and science courses are offered
(Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, calculus, biology, chemistry, and
physics). The access to these courses for American Indian,
Native-Alaskan, black, and Hispanic high school students are
significantly worse. Children’s race, zip code, or socioeconomic status
should never determine their STEM fluency. We must give all children the
opportunity to be college-ready and to thrive in a modern STEM economy.

We also know that only 16 percent of American high school seniors are
proficient in math and interested in a STEM career. Even among those who
do go on to pursue a college major in the STEM fields, only about half
choose to work in a related career. The United States is falling behind
internationally, ranking 29th in math and 22nd in science among
industrialized nations. What’s more, a recent survey revealed that only
29 percent of Americans rated this country’s K-12 education in STEM
subjects as above average or the best in the world. In our competitive
global economy, this situation is unacceptable.

The global economy has also helped. The Brexit vote coincided
with
the beginning of the first worldwide economic upswing in
years. Global trade volumes have grown decently, despite Donald Trump’s
scary rhetoric. Firms from Seattle to Shanghai have recovered some
of their animal spirits and are willing to invest once again.
Britain, an economy highly dependent on international trade, has been
swept along with everyone else. And the country’s exporters have
been given an extra boost by the depreciation of sterling, which is
almost 10% below its pre-vote level. In the past year real-terms
exports
have risen by a tenth, though the British trade deficit
remains in line with its post-financial-crisis average. 

Russ: So, going back to this question of how we get there from here: I
think it’s easy to see the appeal of the 2000 Millennium Development
Goals, that there’s going to be 100% getting at least an 8th or 9th
grade education, because most countries keep track of that. It’s easily
measured. I think we’ve spent the first half of this conversation; we
understand it’s not the best measure but we understand the appeal of it.
Now–you’re kind of push a more advanced, richer, thoughtful measure. I
may be skeptical about the magnitude of the impact but I think it would
be a better thing for the world if more children learned how to think
and read and absorb information. So, [?], I don’t want anyone to
misunderstand me. So the question then is: How do you get there from
here? Many people would agree with that on paper, which is where this
might be ultimately, the question is: You want to make your schools
better. You’ve got a bunch of dysfunctional schools where this learning
is not taking place. How are you going to hope that this might make an
actual difference in what they learn? How would you have that happen?
What would it take to get there? Guest: Well, what it really takes, in
simplest terms, is better teachers. We’ve talked about this before on
EconTalk. As far as I can tell in both developed and developing
countries the thing that makes the largest difference in schools is the
quality of the teachers. Now, parents are important and so forth, but in
a lot of these developing countries parents don’t enter in much in the
direct education, and it’s the quality of the teachers. And here, how
you get from here to there, is more uncertain because it depends upon
lots of local institutional structures. The education sector everywhere
in the world is heavily unionized and heavily protective of their
current teachers, and tries to resist many changes. That holds for the
United States; it holds for Peru, which I keep coming back to, and
Brazil and other places. And part of this is educating both policymakers
and the population in different countries that really makes a
difference. A huge difference. We have that problem in the United
States, where everybody nods their head and says, ‘Yes, education is
important.’ But if you say, ‘Well, you have to do dramatic things that
change the quality of your teachers or how you pay and reward teachers,’
they say, ‘Oh, well, but that’s pretty tough.’ And so there’s resistance
to the idea of making major changes. Russ: For a whole bunch of reasons.
Some of them just fear. Power of the status quo. Guest: Yeah, I’m
oversimplifying this. But part of the purpose behind the work that
Ludger Woessmann and I have done looking at individual countries and the
gains they can make is to lay out, in the open: Here’s the benefits you
could get if you find a way to improve your schools. We don’t work [?]
at laying out specific policies, but we do work at convincing people
that the gains are so large– Russ: that you’ve got to try– Guest: that
you really need to be willing to consider a broader set of policies than
having one student fewer in each class. Russ: Yeah.

  But some countries are less impressive。 Sweden, which used to be
among the most successful, has declined sharply。

The goals

President Obama has articulated a clear priority for STEM education:
within a decade, American students must “move from the middle to the top
of the pack in science and math.” The Obama Administration also is
working toward the goal of fairness between places, where an equitable
distribution of quality STEM learning opportunities and talented
teachers can ensure that all students have the chance to study and be
inspired by science, technology, engineering, and math—and have the
chance to reach their full potential.

Specifically, the President has called on the nation to develop,
recruit, and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over the next 10
years. He also has asked colleges and universities to graduate an
additional 1 million students with STEM majors.

These improvements in STEM education will happen only if Hispanics,
African-Americans, and other underrepresented groups in the STEM
fields—including women, people with disabilities, and first-generation
Americans—robustly engage and are supported in learning and teaching in
these areas.

The question is whether this unexpectedly good performance can continue.
As Britain’s departure from the EU in March 2019 nears, businesses
may start to get more jittery, especially if they fear that a deal
with the EU will not be reached. If investment spending is cut, then
consumers will eventually start to feel the pinch. And Brexit
itself, which is likely to leave Britain with severely reduced access to
its largest export market, will have profoundly negative long-term
economic consequences. For now, however, the British economy continues
to sail blissfully into the unknown.

Russ: So let me raise a philosophical issue here about education
generally that I think about a lot. If you are thinking about–parents
care deeply about their children. Obviously true. And if you said to a
parent, ‘Something’s wrong with your child physically. Does it matter
the quality of the doctor you go to?’ And every parent understands that
it matters. Every parent wants the best doctor for their kid. They want
a minimum standard. They are willing to pay a lot of money if they have
to; they prefer not to, of course, but they are willing to pay money.
And they are going to try to find out whether it’s a good doctor or not.
If people, neighbors and others, have bad experiences with that doctor,
they are not going to want to go to that doctor [?] for long. What’s
interesting to me is that–even though parents know nothing about
medicine–zero; most of us, most parents know very little technically
about medicine–we are very careful about how we consume the people who
provide medicine and health for our children. It’s interesting to me
that we struggle to do that with education. Just as we trust the doctor
to know what’s best, we also trust the school board, the curriculum, the
administrators of the school. And we sort of assume–many people do; I
don’t, obviously, as listeners know–[?] they are all experts and they
know what’s best. Well, if you look at any reasonable history of
education, what’s considered best at any one point in time is rarely
what’s considered best 5 years later. There’s fads. And any thoughtful
parent realizes that this is a very tricky thing. So, the reason I raise
this, I’m thinking about James Tooley’s work, who was a guest on the
program, where parents are aware that the public schools they are in are
atrocious even though they are without charge, there’s no fee. They are
willing to pay to go to private schools even though they are desperately
poor people. And I just wonder about this as an end around for the
current problems that we are talking about. Is that really a
plausible–given how hard it is to measure and for parents to measure
and figure out quality–how important is that? It seems pretty important
that these private schools are coming along. I’m obviously a big fan of
competition. So what are your thoughts on that? Guest: Well, again, I
don’t think there’s a simple answer, but in Pakistan where Tooley is
working the government schools are so dysfunctional that you can put
together these low-cost private schools that just dominate the
government schools. They do better with teachers–they are paid a
quarter of [?] Russ: A fraction of. Yeah. Guest: As both of us agree,
competition among schools would be helpful. And there’s lots of
resistance to that. But charter schools are starting to make inroads and
starting to have an impact. Russ: In the United States. Guest: In the
United States, I’m talking about. What you see when you look at the
research is that there are no silver bullets. There are no of the [?]
that you talk about that are going to take over everything. But having
good accountability systems, which are kind of threatened today in the
United States but which are catching on in other countries, where you
have better measurement of the performance of schools that you can
present to parents, that counts, having more choice, rewarding teachers
that are seen to do well and not rewarding those that do poorly–are all
things that have been shown to have systematic positive impacts. How you
introduce those in different countries or even within different States
or communities in the United States is uncertain because you are
starting at different points in trying to improve them. But we know that
there are these overall themes of things that are going to improve. But
there’s resistance to every one of them. Russ: Yep. Part of what we
mentioned before–the vested interests have a strong incentive to– I
was going to finish that sentence. I’m going to stop, because I think
there is a cliché there about, that I think I’ve come to be a little bit
uncomfortable with: that the teachers’ unions try to stop all change. I
think the unions do that. I think there are many teachers in those
unions who desperately want to do better, would like to do better. I’m
think now about episodes we’ve done with Doug Lemov and others about the
pedagogy of how to become a better teacher. I think most teachers get
into education because they care about kids. They’d rather work less
hard than hard–as all human beings do. But if I said to them, ‘You’re
going to work a little bit harder but it’s going to really change these
kids’ lives and have an enormous impact on them,’ I think they’d love to
see it. Guest: You’re absolutely correct. I think in general they
are–it’s a very good teaching force in the United States. I can’t say
that for all countries in the world of course. But there are still
improvements that could be made. And I think you’re absolutely correct
to say it’s not all teachers’ unions. If you have States in the United
States where unions are not important, where there is not collective
bargaining, you don’t see dramatically different outcomes. The
leadership in schools, principals in the United States or headmasters in
other schools, clearly is very important, we’re saying [?] good
evidence on that. There’s a whole series of things. Ultimately, the
policy that I would like to see is having a clear description of the
quality of each school with their value added–that is, how much they
are adding to the achievement of kids. Make that very public, and start
making policies not on the basis of what is class size or what should we
do about this or that or the other thing, but: Are you producing the
outcomes? Because we know good teachers, clever, innovative, motivated
teachers can do this. But they’ll do it in very different ways. Russ:
Correct. Guest: There’s no–what we’ve seen in research is it’s very
difficult to describe what distinguishes a particularly effective
teacher from a mediocre teacher or even an ineffective teacher. Because
it’s hard to pick out individual aspects. But we know that there are
some that are much more gifted than others, and those are the people we
want in our classrooms. Russ: Yeah, and that really brings up one of the
biggest challenges of this which is that the temptation to look for
explicit measures of this that are quantified is very powerful. And, as
you say, a great teacher is not somebody who has a Master’s Degree; it’s
not somebody who has been teaching for at least 7 years. Those things
may matter. But it’s often intangible. But that doesn’t mean you can’t
find it. And I think great Principals often understand who their good
teachers are, great teachers, and who their not so great ones are and it
comes back to our point that without competition, without
accountability, in my mind of the marketplace, very hard to expect that
those processes are going to work well on their own. That’s what I come
back to. An example–I think I probably asked you this before, but I
just got another example of it the other night. We had some friends over
for dinner from Israel, and I have family in Israel; I have friends in
Israel. They uniformly decry the Israeli public school system. They say
it’s horrible. And you think, well, everyone likes to complain, and how
horrible can it be? And a guest last two nights ago, ‘Well, here’s how
horrible it is. My 9-year-old finds her schoolwork boring. They ask her
to spit back stuff that they ask her to memorize. She doesn’t learn
anything. And I told her, don’t worry about it; if it’s not interesting,
you don’t have to work so hard because grades aren’t that important. But
she gets As and Bs anyway, because the teacher doesn’t want it to look
bad for the teacher.’ The student isn’t learning. And you think, like,
that level of dysfunctionality is so depressing. And maybe it’s not
symptomatic–I’m sure it’s not symptomatic of all Israeli public
schools. But the fact that that exists at all is so depressing to me.
Then I step back and say, well, Israel is one of the most innovative
countries in the world. They have an unbelievable workforce of creative
people. It could be twice as creative, if their schooling system is
better? Or is it really that so many other parts of life are what are
doing the educating? So, why don’t you talk about that? Guest: Well,
first, I want to reinforce your friends. Israel doesn’t do very well on
these international math and science tests. And partly reflecting what’s
going on. What you see in Israel is the same thing you see in Silicon
Valley, where we’re sitting today. There is a culture and a set of
incentives that encourage people to innovation, to do different things–
Russ: take risks– Guest: to take risks, to have a dynamic economy. And
so it’s not all skills. But in fact, more skills, I think lead to
fine-tuning the economic institutions that provide these rewards. And
that encourage people to do better. And so, I think that Israel could do
better if in fact it improved its schools. I was quite surprised to
start seeing results on Israeli schools, because I know a bunch of smart
Israelis. But they are all in the United States. Large numbers of them
are.

  But what‘s the point of these league tables? Are they just about
creating a global report card with some countries passing and some
failing? While these league tables show how schools are performing
now, their purpose is to create an economic road map for the future。

The plan

The Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM), comprised of 13
agencies—including all of the mission-science agencies and the
Department of Education—are facilitating a cohesive national strategy,
with new and repurposed funds, to increase the impact of federal
investments in five areas: 1.) improving STEM instruction in preschool
through 12th grade; 2.) increasing and sustaining public and youth
engagement with STEM; 3.) improving the STEM experience for
undergraduate students; 4.) better serving groups historically
underrepresented in STEM fields; and 5.) designing graduate education
for tomorrow’s STEM workforce.

Coordinated efforts to improve STEM education are outlined in the
federal, 5-year Strategic Plan for STEM Education and concentrate on
improving the delivery, impact, and visibility of STEM efforts.
Additionally, the Department of Education, the National Science
Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution are leading efforts to
improve outcomes for traditionally underrepresented groups.

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Russ: I think that’s–you mentioned Silicon Valley. This is, one of the
things that strikes you when you are here is how international it is.
And we in this area tracked the most skilled people in the world. If
they can get here, they often will come. Because–for two reasons.
Obviously there’s synergies and complementarities that we’ve talked
about on other episodes, on economic development. But the other part is
what we’ve talked about before, that their home country may not have the
scope–they might do better in their home country than the less skilled
folks who are in their home country, but to come here is even better.
You get a multiplicative effect. Guest: So, that’s been a U.S.
advantage. We do better than you would expect given this performance of
our kids and their measured skills, we do better than you would expect.
Part of it is good institutional structure for encouraging economic
growth and development. Part of it is historically we have much better
schools than every place else in the world, which is not quite the same
thing true today. A part of it is that we attract smart people from
abroad: our immigrant population and our immigration population has been
important in terms of providing much of the innovation and we do in fact
see that. Silicon Valley is a mecca for foreign food places because all
of the restaurants catering to their immigration population makes it a
wonderful place. Russ: Markets work. Let’s close and talk about 2030,
just for fun. So, again, I think you and I, we’ve sparred a little bit
in this conversation but I think we both agree. You obviously agree
there’s more things than skills that matter. I obviously agree that
skills matter. And I think what we’re debating to the extent we disagree
is over the magnitudes and how accurately we can measure it. The next
question will be: What are the probabilities that the world will move
more in the direction that you are encouraging? So, put on your, take
out your crystal ball and tell me–God willing, we’ll both be alive and
at the Hoover Institution in 2030, and it will be–I’ll be 75; I don’t
know how old you’ll be. I hope I’m still doing EconTalk then; we’ll look
back on this conversation as we review the 2045 Millennium Goals. And
what do you think we’ll have observed? Because as you point out, between
2000 and 2015 we made a lot of progress on the measured goal. Not so
much progress on the human capital, but the world’s a better place. I
don’t think it has much to do with the Millennium Goals. I [?] lots of
other things. But just for fun, talk about what might be coming down the
road. Guest: Well, what I see is that a number of countries will in fact
improve their economic institutions and improve their schooling and be
extraordinarily competitive for the U.S. schools, I mean U.S. economy in
the future, unless we get our own schools up to the challenge. A number
of other countries see what has made the United States rich. We have
good economic institutions. We have lots of human capital. And they are
working very hard to do both of those things in their own countries. And
they are getting better in terms of quality. The United States now is
6th from the bottom in the OECD in terms of high school graduation
rates. And we’re about the same ranking in terms of math and science
scores internationally. So other countries are pushing very hard and
they are going to become much richer by it. Then there’s a set of
countries that we look at in all of the stories of the sort of
political, societal disasters in sub-Saharan Africa, are ones that maybe
they’ll never make it. So, what I think we’re likely to see in 2030,
unless there’s a big change, is more bifurcation in the world–that
we’ll see the rich countries pulling away from the poor countries in
many ways. And that’s going to cause all kinds of problems, for the
world order to–how do you manage the fact that the rich are getting
richer and the poor aren’t? Russ: Well, on a more cheerful note I would
point out, somewhat in line with the recent panel conversation on the
Magna Carta that if we’d been back in 1975, or I’ll go back to 1985, 15
years before–I don’t know what year the Millennium Goals started; I
assume 2000; I assume that’s the ‘millennium’ part. If you had said in
1985 what does the future hold, you would have missed almost certainly
the extraordinary transformation of China and India. Which has really
made an enormous difference in the aggregate numbers; obviously there
still is a difference. I’ll say it differently. There’s a bifurcation in
the developing countries between a handful that have changed policies
dramatically–and thank God there’s billions of people who live in those
countries who are benefiting from that. Guest: Well, I think those are
two examples. If you asked me to predict what happens in 2030, I would
predict that China is way, way ahead of India. And that’s largely on the
basis of the investments that the two countries are making in the human
capital and skills of their populations. Both China and India, I see as
having these double-digit growth rates from taking an extraordinarily
bad economy and fixing it somewhat. Russ: A little bit. Guest: A little
bit. And you can get tremendous growth out of taking an institutional
structure that strangles business and lightening up a little bit; and
you can get extraordinary growth. But in the future, both economies, as
they improve the structure of their economy, is going to have to fall
back on their skills of their population, too. And in that regard, China
is making much, much larger investments than India. In India, there have
been a lot of work, looking at their schools. There’s one NGO
(Non-Government Organization) that has tested large parts of the
population and they find that of the 8th graders in India, the people
that are in their seats in 8th grade, 25% of them cannot pass a 2nd
grade reading test. And that’s the kind of thing that we’re talking
about in universal basic skills. If you have that population left
behind, it’s going to come back to haunt India in the future. Russ: And
we have reason to think China is doing better. Guest: We do. China is
only participating in a few of these international tests, in very
specific ways. But the city of Shanghai, a mere 25 million people, is at
the very top of the lead tables[?] on international math and science
tests. And the students that are tested within Shanghai, which is
nowhere near representative of China, but show that they have invested
largely in these skills and that their kids in Shanghai high schools are
doing extraordinarily well.

  Glossary 词汇表 

  comparison比较,对照

  ability能力

  workforce劳动力

  up to date精通最新新闻的,与时俱进的

  performance表现,成绩

  less impressive稍显逊色的

  sharply急剧的,小幅度的

  roadmap路径图,教导宗旨

  文章来源:BBC

  实习编辑:王雨欣 主要编辑:赵润琰

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