Archive for the ‘Singapore’ Category

Why Singapore is another model for teaching excellence

March 24, 2009

Steven Paine had an aha moment while visiting Singapore last spring. The superintendent of West Virginia’s schools was there with other education leaders to see what makes schooling in the city-state so successful, particularly in math and science.

By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

When he asked a Singapore official about the basis of their math curriculum, she cited a standards framework put out by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics – in the United States. West Virginia’s curriculum takes guidance from the same source, Mr. Paine says. “So the question remains, why is it that they lead the world in student achievement? I think it’s because of their teacher quality,” he says.

Only the top third of secondary-school graduates in Singapore can apply for teacher training. The National Institute of Education winnows that field down more and pays a living stipend while they learn to teach. Each year, teachers take an additional 100 hours of paid professional development. And they spend substantial time outside the classroom to plan with colleagues.

Not only is teaching an honored profession in Singapore, but it’s also paid as well as science and engineering careers, according to a report by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Pearson, the groups that organized the Singapore conference for representatives from 13 nations.

“What I really came away with was that we need to invest in a structure to support high-quality teaching,” Paine says. “In West Virginia, we’re calling that ‘building the back porch’ – that place where teachers can come together and discuss innovative ideas … [and] engage in research-based professional development.” He’s seen a number of low-performing schools improve after a concerted effort along these lines.

A similar gathering will bring state school officers to Finland this fall, to “triangulate … [and ask,] What can we learn that’s similar from these two high-performing countries?” says Scott Montgomery, deputy executive director of CCSSO in Washington. “We can’t control every aspect of the system the way they can in Singapore…. [But] at the state level, a lot of our members were saying, we can control university preparation programs [and] some licensure systems.”

Read the rest:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/
0324/p12s01-ussc.html

Obama: Really Wants to “Fix Schools”? Try The China Or Singapore Model

March 16, 2009

Every time I read about “fixing schools” and improving the performance of America’s students, I think about the schools I’ve seen in Singapore and China.

In China: passing exams and getting into the right schools is a life and death proposition.  It is do or die.  So the students work.  And work and work and work.

A young friend of mine practiced the piano for many hours each day beause the communist state said that was her “gift,” that is what the state decided she was good at.  She would also walk about two miles and attend three hours of state piano instruction; then walk home and play more piano.

The last time I was in Singapore I noticed that the taxi driver shared the same sirname with the Prime Minister.  When I asked how that could possibly be, he said, “I’m his son.  It’s my own doing, really, I didn’t want to work in school….”  He was assigned to drive the cab: that was his reward for not being a good student.

We Americans seem to think that money will solve our student education woes: but that hasn’t always worked and in China and Singapore they buy way less and get way more than we do, per student.

But you have to face a certain rigid truth if you go to school in China and Singapore: you might be allowed to fail.

Related:
D.C. Mayor Breaks with Democrats on Hill, Wants School Vouchers

Obama on Education: What’s Good For You Is Wrong for Sasha, Malia
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Obama’s Schools Will Have To Follow Federal Rules, Like Socialist, Communist Schools

Obama May Bring Hope But One Third of Global Citizens Expect Worse Year

January 3, 2009

One third of adults around the world are worried about what the year will bring, according to the Voice of the People survey released by Gallup International. 35 per cent of respondents in 46 countries expect 2009 to be worse than 2008.

The proportion of respondents who expect the next year to be “the same” has remained stable in the past three annual surveys. In 2006 and 2007, roughly two-in-five respondents expected the next year to be better. The proportion has dropped to 27 per cent this time.

At least 48 per cent of respondents in Kosovo, China, Australia, Lebanon and Colombia expect a better year, while at least 60 per cent of those in Hong Kong, Iceland, Singapore, Ireland and Greece believe conditions will deteriorate.

Angus Reid Global Monitor

Since 2007, defaults on so-called subprime mortgages—credit given to high-risk borrowers—in the United States have caused volatility in domestic and global financial markets and raised concerns that the U.S. economy could fall into a recession. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The crisis has affected the global financial and credit systems.

On Dec. 31, outgoing U.S. treasury secretary Hank Paulson discussed the crisis, saying, “We’re dealing with something that is really historic and we haven’t had a playbook. The reason it has been difficult is first of all, these excesses have been building up for many, many years. Secondly, we had a hopelessly outdated global architecture and regulatory authorities in the U.S.”

Read the rest:
http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view
/32541/a_third_of_global_citizens_ex
pect_worse_year

China’s Anti-Pirate Naval Force Near Singapore

December 29, 2008

The Chinese naval fleet sailed into the Strait of Malacca on Monday after its departure from China’s southernmost island province of Hainan on an escort mission against piracy off Somalia Friday afternoon.

The fleet sailed into Singapore Strait Monday morning after over 20 hours’ voyage from the South China Sea and arrived at the Strait of Malacca. It is expected to reach the Indian Ocean Tuesday.

Xinhua

The convoy, which includes two of China’s most sophisticated naval destroyers, DDG-169 Wuhan and DDG-171 Haikou, and a supply ship Weishanhu, is heading for the Gulf of Aden to join a multinational patrol in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes where surging piracy endangers international shipping.


Above: Missile Destroyer Haikou 171 of the PLA Navy’s South China Sea Fleet. 
She is heasded for the Gulf of Aden with two other Chinese ships to deter
Somali pirates.

The fleet carries about 800 crew members, including 70 soldiers from the Navy’s special force, and is equipped with missiles, cannons and light weapons.

Read the rest:
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-12/29/content_7351266.htm

U.S. Students Failing International Science Measures

December 10, 2008

What is the future of America?  Our schools and student performance may  give you a dark view…

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U.S. students are doing no better on an international science exam than they were in the mid-1990s, a performance plateau that leaves educators and policymakers worried about how schools are preparing students to compete in an increasingly global economy. 

By Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 10, 2008; Page A10

Results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), released yesterday, show how fourth- and eighth-graders in the United States measure up to peers around the world. U.S. students showed gains in math in both grades. But average science performance, although still stronger than in many countries, has stagnated since 1995.

Students in Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong outperformed U.S. fourth-graders in science. The U.S. students had an average score of 539 on a 1,000-point scale, higher than their peers in 25 countries.

In eighth grade, Singapore topped the list, with an average score of 567. Students in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, England, Hungary and Russia were among those earning higher marks than their U.S. counterparts. The average score in the United States was 520.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/12/0
9/AR2008120901031.html

Other views on the America of the future:

Government Picks Winners, Losers, Calls Other Shots and Pays The Bills: Happy Now?

Get the Feeling Russia and China Are Slicing Up The World and the U.S. Will Be Left Out?

 Juggernaut of U.S. Industrial Might Now “Rust Belt,” For Good Or Bad?