Saturday, October 13, 2007

Beats US in education, despite our disregard - Can we learn from that?

Slovenia. Beautiful, and cultured. It enjoys another side of the Alps. See // As far as most of us are concerned, however, we are in the dark about it. Slovenia used to be part of the countries comprising the old Yugoslavia, and there were many of them: Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Slovakia, Montenegro.

1. We don't know where it is. It's just that more people don't have maps in their houses. See // Slovenia variously borders Italy and Austria and Croatia - look at a map and find Trieste, Italy - that is a handy reference. It sometimes gets mixed up, by the more mainstream (self-selecting) West with Slovakia, the country that used to be united with the Czech Republic as Czechoslovakia, see //; or with Slavonia, an eastern region of Croatia. See //
Silly us. Our lack of education is showing.

2. We are very behind it in education. See where the years tested were grades 4, 8, and 12 as follows: Slovenia surpasses the US in Math grades 4 and 12, Science grades 8 and 12, Advanced Science and Advanced Math (both) in Grade 12, See // This is a site with an ax to grind, in promoting a school voucher program, but their figures may well be fine. You check. You will also find all the other countries we may disparage in our separate ways, that surpass us.

The point is that a major international power is failing its children, while those we sometimes look down upon are succeeding.

Earlier post, 9/06, referred to President Janez Denovsek and his book on leading a life not bound by consumerism or power, but mutual responsibilities, a common good.

We may be seeing more leaders lead in new ways. High time. See the film/book complex by Al Gore - now a Nobel Prize winner, see //; and his film won an Oscar, for "An Inconvenient Truth." Time for a statesman with vision and ability to implement for the common good? Maybe. Who can fit the slipper. Put the wrong foot forward again and everything shatters.

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