The DeHavilland Blog

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Getting mad, and checking your facts

Two great pieces in the Washington Post recently:

"Getting Mad About Schools" (June 6, 2006) raises a critical question: why are we so apathetic about public education? Why aren't we mad as hell about poor test scores, a 30% dropout rate, and inadequate facilities and resources for poor schools? Jay Mathews highlights two poeple who got mad - Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin (co-founders of KIPP schools) - and what a difference people can make when they refuse to accept the status quo.

"Heard the One About the 600,000 Chinese Engineers?" (May 21, 2006) debunks the frightening report (originally in Fortune Magazine): in the past year, 600,000 engineers graduated from schools in China, 350,000 from schools in India, and only 70,000 in the US. After a number of people questioned those numbers, some hard-nosed research revealed the reality:

After an exhaustive study, researchers at Duke University also pummeled the numbers. In a December 2005 analysis, "Framing the Engineering Outsourcing Debate," they reported that the United States annually produces 137,437 engineers with at least a bachelor's degree while India produces 112,000 and China 351,537. That's more U.S. degrees per million residents than in either other nation.

Another warning against taking education data at face value...

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