California Education: Failing Kids? (3)

Part 3 – Academics

In August I covered school lunches; in January I took a look at how they fail at school sport. Now I’m going to cover what I see as perhaps the most important aspect of an education system: academics. For this, I am going to use my son’s middle school as a reference and compare his school, a California charter school, to a local private school and also to my secondary school in the UK.

Before I get into detail on middle school, however, I do have one other data point to include. A foreign student we know who arrived here at aged 17 with UK “O Levels” (which are public examinations taken typically at the end of what the US school system refers to as sophomore year). When they asked about whether they needed to attend high school or could apply directly to colleges, they were told those exams exceeded the level required for high school graduation. Two years before students in the US would be eligible to graduate from high school.

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California Education: Failing Kids?

Part One – Food

Food might not be the first thing you think about when trying to assess whether an education system is working, but believe me, hungry kids are not going to learn much! Here in Alameda, kids spend 180 days at school – about half the year. If they are going to be healthy, and learn, they had better be getting a good school lunch.

Intrigued by a recent video from Evan Edinger on YouTube about the differences between US and UK primary/elementary school lunches, I thought Iā€™d do a little research of my own. I’ve been unimpressed by the school lunches our kids are offered here in Alameda, and I do remember my own being better, at least some of the time.

Here is the video. Below, my own research.

US vs UK primary school lunches.
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