24 September 2005

Performance of Int'l HS Students in USA

Mitchell Weisburgh, Chairman of PILOT Online Learning Solutions, posted an eye-opening article in his newsletter. He compares the differences between foreign students studying in the USA with the American students. He has discovered a paradigm shift in the performance of American students compared to the foreign students. 30 years ago, American students out-performed the foreign student visiting their schools. The visiting students could not compete in the honors classes.

"Today, it’s a completely different story. Virtually every AFS high school student comes to the US ahead of our kids in math, statistics, chemistry, physics, and biology; even ahead of our elite kids."

Even their language skills of the visiting students are superior because they are required to have a proficiency in English as well as their own language. Most American students do not speak another language unless they have grown up in a multi-cultural family.

Strangely enough, I notice this in our working groups. Many British, Canadians and Americans find it difficult to speak the language of the foreign country where they reside. Perhaps the old-fashioned rigors of practicing and speaking a language should be required...online learning programs make that so easy now.

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