Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Education in Fairfax County

I was contacted by Fairfax County Public Schools to fill out a survey, and this is what I had to say in the comments section:

I understand the philosophy is to provide an education to each kind of child, and the goal is admirable, but with this philosophy you hurt the more gifted kids by not challenging them enough. The curriculum (especially math, sciences, foreign languages) is laughable in the US (although Fairfax County is better than most) compared to many poorer parts of the world (Eastern Europe comes to mind, where in villages with no running water they learn advanced algebra and trigonometry etc a few years before kids in the US even touch those subjects). There is no way American children will be able to compete with foreign kids as long as they are treated like half-wits who should not be challenged, lest the slower ones fall behind. By keeping the curriculum so simple, everyone will lose in the long run. I would suggest more school differentiation - like having magnet schools for the smartest kids, trade schools for the kids who are not capable of higher education, etc. And this differentiation among the children should be done strictly based on results, not on race, gender, and other such criteria, in order to ensure the best education tailored to each type of child.