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It's A Small World After All… And It's Going To Eat Our Lunch

I just received my first school social studies outline for my son, one-third of which was dedicated to "celebrating diversity". In Hong Kong, Chinese students are working on maths (ranked number one on mean performance on mathematics scale)… my kids will be celebrating diversity (ranked down at number 28, although I have little doubt that we could come up with a cheer celebrating "we're number 28"). In South Korea, students are reading (coming in at number two internationally)… my kids will be celebrating diversity (but don't ask them to read about it; they are down at the 23rd best readers compared to their international competitors). Number one ranked Japanese students are hard at work in hard sciences… meanwhile my kids are off celebrating diversity (with superb self-esteem undimmed by their 27th rank in science).

The classroom and the global economy are competitive, contact sports. Were I a parent or scholar in Asia, I would be thrilled to know that my competition was wasting so much time and energy on a topic that could be easily distilled down to a quick, "class, please respect each other. Now open your text books to page one". We would still be behind the Chinese who doubtlessly skipped that first sentence and saved the time to focus on work, but at least we would still have a fighting chance.

It is good that the school system is preparing my kids to be so nice to minorities, because in a few decades my kids will be working for them.