U.S.-Style Education To Be “Exported” Internationally

Guarav Singh, an Indian “education entrepreneur,” is currently observing classrooms around the United States in order to absorb education strategies that he can use for a free school that he plans to open in “a slum more populated than New York City,” according to Education Week.

Singh was at first overwhelmed by culture shock when he visited U.S. classrooms with amenities such as smartboards and computers. The class sizes–about 30 students– were also much smaller than what he had expected, saying, “When you enter a classroom that’s very different from yours in terms of space, in terms of number of kids… you just say, ‘This is not going to work in our country.’ You have to calm yourself and say, ‘This is useless; excellence is excellence,’ and then figure out how you can transfer these practices.”

He hopes to open his “3-2-1 School” with 120 students in kindergarten and first grade, adding a grade each year. Some of the U.S.-style practices Singh will adopt include a smaller teacher-to-student ratio and a school that runs on a 5-day week, rather than India’s traditional 4-hour day, 6 days a week schedule. Prospective students will enter a lottery to gain entrance to Singh’s school.

I was surprised to see that other countries look to the U.S. as a model for a good public education system. Our students consistently test in the middle of the pack of developed countries, and lag especially far behind in math and science. Other countries, such as Finland, have consistently outscored the U.S. and are known for putting less emphasis on standardized testing and viewing education as a competition. In terms of teacher training and compensation, the U.S. also ranks low.

Many high-achieving Indian students eventually study in the United States during college or graduate school– perhaps that is one reason that some Indian educators wish to model their primary school systems after the U.S. But it still seems to me that we still have glaring flaws in our public education and that there may be other countries better suited to give advice on the education of India’s children.

What do you think? Is the United States an international model of quality public education?

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Photo credit: Sistak


Charli S.
Charlotte S6 years ago

I have to ask WHY? Our schools are a failure and the people who can't read or think for themselves is the product of this school system. We've lost common sense in this country and are simply sheep being led to the slaughter. Watch people who are crossing the street....they no longer look both ways...trusting others to watch our for them.

Michael M.
Michael M6 years ago

You mean they want other countries to teach lies to children as if it was the truth ? Like in Texas where they rewrite history and then teach their own children these lies ?

Deborah L.
Deborah Lashever6 years ago

Other countries obviously do not see that Americans are being dumbed down consistently, more and more and more over the years. Why? The US education system is based on a Prussian system that takes kids away from their parents early to make their allegience to the state rather than the family. That's Kindergarten. Then they are systematically and scientifically taught how NOT to think. They must regurgitate useless info on tests and are punished for original thinking, which is NOT taught. They must ask permission to go about normal bodily functions like eating when they are hungry or going the bathroom when they need to--sometimes they're even told they cannot go! Then all their free time is spent in drilling and drilling the same maddingly useless info on homework papers.

This is so important yet most Americans don't even think about sending theior children away to strangers for indoctrination! Our scores are now lower than ever! We have pumped untold millions into the system and it just gets worse. Why? Because it is working perfectly. All our kids are good for now is being cogs in the big machine. They do not know how to think.

Read John Taylor Gatto's book, "Dumbing us Down." It is the history of the educational system in the US. It is excellently referenced so you can look up all the facts for yourself!

Anne H.
Anne H6 years ago

Any system should be considered by any country including the US. The thing that is important is the outcome of the student. Are they prepared to enter the world? The other element is parenting, are the parents doing what they need to prepare the child for the world?

I noticed some mentioned that the US has problems because the classes have many nationalities. This is not a US specific issue but the attitude is. I've been in classrooms outside the US w/ students w/ different languages & many nationalities. The teachers are taught to deal with the situation & the students adjust.

Catt R.
Catt R6 years ago

JW H if you believe our schools are like palaces then you have never had your child complain at the dinner table about the roof leaking at school and having their work destroyed......... It happens, sometimes two or three students have to share a textbook because there are not enough books to go around.There are not enough supplies for the classroom, teachers often spend hundreds of dollars out of their own pocket every year on supplies for their classrooms. Some districts are having to increase the distance to school before becoming eligible to ride the school buses (not really sure how that one works to save money)....... and this is BEFORE the current round of cuts that are being leveled at the education system.--- A system that expects to present 150 adolescents to an instructor, in groups of 30 for one hour and fifteen minutes a day not only for instruction, but at the end of the day the instructor is supposed to know the quality of each students home and school life; if they are considering turning to crime, drugs, or suicide; and exactly what must be done to entice each individual into feeling passion for the subject............ they are after all being paid almost 40k....... overpaid according to many politicians.

Stephen Brian
Stephen Brian6 years ago

On the surface, many copyable U.S. practices are fine. The problems arise in subcultures' approach to education and other cultural issues in schools which an observer could not copy if he tried.

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

Robert H. "There are problems, that is for sure, and the foundation of the US educational system is to prepare factory workers..."

If that is the case and the factory jobs are being outsourced to other countries then the US education system is preparing people for unemployment....THAT IS sad...

Lin Moy
Lin M6 years ago

I don't think we have the best system to follow. He should travel a bit more. If he figures out how to get rid of guns, gangs and bullies he should let the USA know.

JW H.6 years ago

Our schools are criticized for being in the middle of the pack but not much separates the bottom from the top in the top tier of developed countries. One problem that we face that most other countries dont is our attempt to meet the needs of every culture that lives here. Our schools spend too much time and money on multi-culturalism and diversity in education. Japan and Europe doesnt bother with this - they teach to the dominant culture. Our schools are like palaces but without discipline and sound reading instruction (not whole language) its a waste of time and $

Robert Hardy
Robert Hardy6 years ago

How sad it is that the USA educational system is thought to be so bad by memebers here on Care2. There are problems, that is for sure, and the foundation of the US educational system is to prepare factory workers... but there are a lot of good teachers and a lot of well educated students coming out of our educational systems. But we are falling behind. Another issue that need attention.