This is part of: “the problem”….. And so let me briefly list a few of the differences:

“Arne Duncan: Why can’t we be more like South Korea”..Washington Post

This is  part of: “the problem”….. And so let me briefly list a few of the differences:


  1. South Korea views their children; and education in general, as part of their national economic development plan, therefore; 
  2. They see their children as an important part of the natural resource and development of the nation. The education of large numbers of students in our nation is not important to the nation. (there is no matching passionate urge to educate them) 
  3. There is no organized plan in South Korea to grow and maintain a huge prison, correctional, social service treatment economy by creating a class of second class educational students; who because of a zip code are doomed from childhood to enter those social service/punishment/correctional industries. 
  4. The interest of  the adult educational professionals doesn’t trump the interest of the students. 
  5. Educators in South Korea enter the field as a life-time experience; there are no 2 year “drive by”, “let me experiment on the poor kids”, teachers, therefore; 
  6. The South Korean society views the field of education as a professional career worthy of respect; and therefore has more respect for educators and their work. 
  7. South Korea (are you surprised) has missed out the “reform era” that has so not helped U.S. children. Their educational system is a very traditional: Discipline yourself, apply yourself, study hard, and then study harder. 
  8. Everyone: adults and students are subject to a lot of  standardized and non-standardized assessments. 
  9. The South Korean educational system has in essence a national “common core” of high standards. 
  10. The South Koreans (in case no one has noticed) live in a very racially homogenized society; therefore the teachers who look very much like the students; have the same expectations for the students that they have for themselves; they have not created (as we have here) an artificial: “achievement gap”; because it would not make any sense. 

I could go on but these are the most fundamental differences.