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Fareed Zakaria: State of U.S. Education "Not as Bad as You Might Think"

Tonight's State of the Union address by President Obama is going to have a significant education component to it, as has been widely reported both...


Tonight's State of the Union address by President Obama is going to have a significant education component to it, as has been widely reported both yesterday and this morning. After the bitter stings of Scott Brown's Senate victory in Massachusetts and the fight over healthcare, the administration seems to be tacking toward another area sorely in need of reform-one that has its controversies, but isn't nearly the third rail that healthcare is.Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria posted a web video yesterday in which he quickly assess the state of American education: Higher education is world-class. Secondary education isn't cutting it. His assessment of America's philosophy on learning: "Most of the world teaches the students how to take tests. American education teaches people how to think, how to solve problems. This is much more useful in the real world."I find most of what Zakaria has to say on international issues to be extremely insightful, but I am not sure that, in the age of common standards and No Child Left Behind, we're actually teaching problem-solving over test-taking. In fact, I'd hazard to say that as an assessment of the public school system in America, Zakaria is wrong.Though, with all the increased attention education is receiving, I think he's right to be optimistic.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8tlUGOf0VM