RoundUp!

  1. Three young Chinese teachers tell their stories.
  2. Reddit thread on best schools in Shanghai.
  3. Sociological study of education access in Shanghai.
  4. Ministry of Ed still struggling to make Chinese schools less obsessed with academic outcomes, will try new round of inspections.
  5. Also regs to ban homework in elementary school.
  6. Also kids’ phones banned during school.
  7. Also corporal punishment banned.
  8. Also crackdown on private tutoring companies.

I think #6 and #7 may get traction. I’m skeptical about #4 and #5.

9. Uighur secretary of education gets suspended death sentence from Chinese officials for textbooks authorities didn’t like. Background here.

10. Expose of expensive alternative private schools in China.

Yet, for as promising as this sounds, nearly a year of research has shattered my original impression of alternative education as a potentially superior way to improve children’s lives.

Many of the parents and children I spoke with were not actively choosing alternative education. Rather, their kids had dropped out or were expelled from their original schools. And because alternative schools like the one mentioned above charge 100,000 yuan ($15,200) in yearly tuition, they are not affordable for the average income parent.Nearly a year of research has shattered my original impression of alternative education as a potentially superior way to improve children’s lives.

When I first visited the learning community I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, I was surprised to find that its students spent a significant amount of time playing video games. I never saw the principal or the tutors tell them to stop; sometimes they even joined in.