Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Obama Wants To Turn U.S. Into South Korea

Obama speaking to a group of U.S. governors yesterday:

Meeting with the nation’s governors at the White House, Mr. Obama stressed the importance of education to America’s economic competitiveness in a tough global marketplace, a theme he has cited in recent days to undergird a number of his domestic priorities.

He said the depth of the competition was brought home to him during a visit to South Korea last year, when he was told of that country’s determination to educate its children to out-compete American children.

“That’s what we’re up against,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s what’s at stake — nothing less than our primacy in the world. As I said at the State of the Union address, I do not accept a United States of America that’s second-place.”

Alan Singer at Huffingtonpost on the We MUST COMPETE WITH SOUTH KOREA!!!! education meme:

President Obama told a meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:

'Our children spend over a month less in school than children in South Korea every year. That's no way to prepare them for a 21st-century economy. We can no longer afford an academic calendar designed for when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home plowing the land at the end of each day. That calendar may have once made sense, but today it puts us at a competitive disadvantage."

Expect Education Secretary Arne Duncan, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and New York School Chancellor Joel Klein and a long line of politicos and supposed edu-experts to make the pilgrimage to South Korea any day now, so they can view this educational miracle first hand.

Everybody is not as enamored with the Korean educational system as President Obama is. According to one Korean news source, "Obama's remarks came as a surprise to many South Koreans as the country's education system has been under constant public criticism due to its lack of creativity and heavy dependence on private tutoring." But their kids do get high scores on standardized tests and apparently that is all that counts.

One critic of the Korean educational system, Dr. Samuel Kim, a senior research scholar at the East Asian Institute of Columbia University, reported that 44% of Korean students who enter "top" American universities drop out before graduating. This is much higher than the dropout rate for students from China (25%), India (21%) and even the 34% dropout rate for American students at the same universities. Essentially, years of extra tutoring prepares Korean students for college entrance exams but not for acquiring a college education.

Clay Burell, an American high school humanities teacher, who currently lives with his family in South Korea, reports on his blog that Korean students are forced to study in "hagwons" -- private night, weekend, and summer classes where the overwhelming emphasis is on learning English. The Korean Education Ministry estimates that as a percentage of GDP, South Korean parents spend four times more on average on private education than their counterparts in any other major economy. Most of what they study is "worksheet-based, scripted, and devoted to passing college examination tests, the SAT, TOEFL, and all the other tests these classes teach to." What Burell finds ironic is that despite all of this investment and high test scores, Korean students are notoriously poor at reading, writing, and speaking English. In other words, they can't use what they are supposed to have learned and what they test well at.

There you have it - Obama wants to turn the U.S. education system into Korea's, yet the Korean system is dysfunctional.

And he's using the recession that has devastated the states and federal money as the means to do it.

By the time he is done with his one term presidency, there is going to be some serious damage done to public education.

But I can guarantee you that all the "reforms" he is forcing onto the system will make things worse, not better.


  1. If the Korean school system is so wonderful, why are the Koreans sending their kids HERE for their education? Not only that, but they also have more tutoring and after-school establishments than you can shake a stick at. In Queens, Bell Blvd. and Northern Blvd. are full of these after school and Saturday tutoring centers.

  2. No doubt the plan is to "Walmartize" national public school labor with a twist. They want cheaper, younger labor with much fewer benefits and pensions with a considerable turnover. Programs akin to Teaching Fellows will abound with young people teaching for awhile, then moving on with a grad degree, and something nice to show on their resume. The only people truly benefiting long term will be the private operators, and their managers (principals, consultants, contractors, other educrats.)

    "The twist" is the motion of the knife Kleinberg uses as they publicly execute a large group of professional educators, mostly who are older and better paid. This class of pampered, sexual deviants, if you listen to their incantations, are also to blame for most of the fall of western civilization, including of course, the complete implosion of education as a whole, and the demise of this once great nation as well.

    In today's business, political, financial world, "winning" means complete annihilation of the adversary. Winning is defined as an endless, eternal, spinning wheel of profits, control, and dominance. In the latest Newsweek magazine, it's noted that layoffs in American companies are mostly used NOT to keep a company solvent, but instead TO CONSTANTLY MAXIMIZE PROFITS . Maximize profits from other people’s money, hey , TAXPAYER money even better !

    Add the current pinstripe pirating and destruction of our financial system with the Rahm Emanual ethos of "maximizing even disasters", you have the current cut throat scorched earth assault on the middle class, and certainly on rich, privileged teachers. Instead of Obama prosecuting many of the banking-investment heads he takes marching orders from, he instead assents to the scapegoating and witch hunting of "government school" teachers. After all, SOMEONE has to be "accountable" for the mess we're in. (cont)

  3. … In a country where the Secretary of the Treasury Geitner gets busted for income tax evasion; the Education Secretary has little teaching experience, and the NYC Education Chancellor has NO education license; and the President's financial appointees are the biggest thieves to ever walk the planet, SOMEONE HAS TO BE ACCOUNTABLE ! ! !

    Now you can perfectly understand how it’s now acceptable to society for hedge fund operators, and commercial real estate investment corporations to own and “operate” public schools. After all, if the government can take your personal property, your home, “for the public good” they sure as hell can allow hedge fund managers to run public schools with tax payer dollars.

    Add to this misery gumbo (for teachers) a multi-billionaire mayor with ambitions to be King, who has at least TRIPLED his net wealth since becoming mayor during Depression II, a master of the above game, and you have Kleinberg's "license to kill." This license enables them to achieve their goals by any means necessary-the public execution of thousands of careers while they privatize the school system.
    I call this the burning of witches, while the true devils circle the fire. There’s nothing like a good public execution, bread and circuses, to deflect the attention of the rabble.

    “Bread and circuses” . . . it’s happened before.