Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We can improve our education

The best way to make a model school district is to look at the best schools around the world. Newspapers and magazines around the U.S. have been publishing their brand of what they think is wrong with U.S. education but few have looked at what other nations are doing that are successful.

The top nation producing the highest-performing students is South Korea. Here are a few differences that they have in their education system.

First and foremost, they offer preschool from the age of 3 to 6. Only after students show proficiency in their second language of English can they move on to elementary school. The students attend school for eight hours a day and teachers are paid very well. The information comes from an article titled "USA could learn from South Korean Schools."

Every high-performing nation teaches two languages from the age of 3 on up to high school. Many researchers see this as the underlying factor to change mediocre education into great education. There are other factors such as cost-per-student spending, cultural attitudes toward the teachers and rigorous material taught at earlier ages that also play a role.

Our valley has an excellent program, but all children should have the right to benefit from dual language learning like in the other high-performing nations with which we compete.

The development of brain cells and thinking skills seems to be known by other developed countries, yet no one in the States wants to acknowledge the great benefits seen in numerous studies: Bialystok, E. (2001), "Bilingualism in Development" and Robinson, D.W. (1992), "The Cognitive, Academic and Attitudinal Benefits of Early Language Learning."

It is time to do districtwide language learning and be that model school district.

Sheri Thomas


About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.