Those Inconvenient 23%

Tom Friedman’s Wednesday, Aug 8 column, Average is Over, Part II, is half right.  He notes that US CEOs have no particular stake in their local community, state or nation.   There is, he says, “no in” and “no out”, no “here” vs. “there”.  Outsourcing , he claims. is a term of the past;  get used to it, folks.  Then he makes that old tired and inaccurate claim that “studies show that American K-12 schools continue to lag behind other major industrial countries.”  On tests.

Interestingly, he does not note that when it comes to child poverty or child health, we are at the bottom of the barrel (while we’re in the middle on school test scores).  No ones comes near us.  The Finns, whom he praises for their good test scores, have a 2% rate of poverty and we have a 23% rate. (They also do not have K-12  national tests!)  If we only used the international test scores of everyone else to make our comparisons, we’d rank at or near the top.   But, we (US citizens) would still have to deal with that other inconvenient 23%–which is likely growing larger daily.

Granted Friedman and I have different “biases”, but sometimes it seems that Friedman and I are living in different worlds.  Could be.

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