“But, sir … we’re headed backwards.”

The captain looked over the bow of the ship and barked,
“Full speed ahead!”
“But, sir,” pleaded the helmsman, “we’re headed backwards.”


Sometimes someone’s view of the future is another person’s failed past. According to Yong Zhao (World Class Learners), such is the case for public education in the United States.

Professor Zhao tells elaborates: 

This book is written in the spirit of showing my appreciation of and support for the efforts that have been taken by China, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and other systems that have seen the damages of standards and testing. It is also to convince the new converts to standards and testing that the road has been traveled before, and it does not lead to the future – according to those who have been there (p. 17).

Zhao sees the United States moving toward education policies and practices (i.e., highly centralized and standardized with high-stakes testing) of countries that are moving away from the same to that which characterizes education in America: “a relatively decentralized and less standardized education,” (p. 16).

The warning from Professor Zhao as noted above: This road “does not lead to the future.”

About drjstewart

Christian, husband, father, educator, writer, and photographer.
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