Two stories about education reform elsewhere — namely a lengthy piece by The New York Times about China and an Associated Press report from Mexico (with gallery) are worth considering in light of similar efforts in the U.S.
In China, one challenge in educating more people is overcoming regional prejudices in a society that favors urban dwellers over rural residents, and elevating a new generation to college from poorer communities. It is a plight in the U.S. similar to blacks in recent decades and the forthcoming generation of ascendant immigrants looking to attain college educations.
In nearly 3,500 words, Keith Bradsher recounts his visit to Sanya, a coastal city of nearly 700,000 in the southern Hainan province, in a Times' series exploring educational change in China.
After reading the piece, University of Southern California journalism student Megan O'Neil tweeted, "The global higher education race is on."
Added Hannah Seligson, a Times contributor on innovation and Millenials, and the author of Mission: Adulthood: How the 20-Somethings of Today Are Transforming Work, Love, and Life: "Chinese see value in investing hundreds of billions in higher ed. Why don't we?"
Among the more than 200 comments, the discussion includes a comparison with Australia and a New Jersey reader, Nobrun, who writes, "Smart move by China. When U.S.'s Harvard educated president talks about investment in human capital it's labeled what, 'socialist spending'? Watch and learn America. Watch and learn."