“fishing over on the left side of the lake”

I love Last Man Standing.

Hi. Mike Baxter here for Outdoor Man. Healthy competition.
It’s frowned upon in certain parts of the world like North Korea, the teachers’ union but not here at Outdoor Man.
We like healthy competition. We encourage it, actually. We want you to catch the biggest fish.
And we don’t care whose feelings get hurt. But you know who does care about feelings in fishing?
Those people fishing over on the left side of the lake.
Yeah, you don’t want to be catching a fish over there. If it’s a big one, they’ll confiscate it from you.
They’ll chop it up in little pieces and give it away to the people too lazy to learn how to fish.
You know what? If you keep giving people fish, they’re gonna keep eating it.
You know what they won’t do? Is learn how to fish.

Dear friends from US, is it true situation in modern American education system? Do they teach kids how not to compete and create equal grey mass?

Boyd (Mike’s grand-son) says:

Picking teams hurts people’s feelings.

Does Swedish experience in children education doesn’t mean anything for anybody?

Education, equality, and efficiency – An analysis of Swedish school reforms during the 1990s

The ambition to equalize opportunities has generally been interpreted as an ambition to reduce the importance of pupils’ family background for their subsequent educational attainment. In fact, in their thorough report to government Erikson and Jonsson (1993) note that politicians have also stressed efficiency arguments in favor of a policy that may weaken the direct link between family background and educational attainment. One popular expression has been to “mobilize the reserve of talents” among children with a family background without educational tradition. Economists would rather talk about policies that eliminate “credit constraints” that low-income families face when their children are contemplating longer education.

Although the major idea was to inspire children from families without strong educational tradition to start learning, the result was to lower ambitions of children from “educated” families in order to support the first group.

One more quote from the analysis:

3.3.1 Skills among those still in school
Since the first International Study of Achievement in Mathematics conducted in 1964 (Husén, 1967), a number of international studies of student achievement have been done. These cover students in different ages and subjects – mainly reading, mathematics and science. Here we will not attempt to survey this large literature in any detail. Instead we will summarize our main impressions from this literature in the form of four main observations. A first observation is that the youngest Swedish children (age 9–10) do very well on various literacy and science tests. In the most recent study in reading, PIRLS 2001, Swedish students actually came out at the top of 36 countries. The interpretation of these results may be a bit muddled by the fact that there were small differences in at what age and in what grade the tests were administered across countries. However, accounting for age and grade at test IFAU – Education, equality, and efficiency 37 across countries does not change the main picture: Swedish students in primary school come out at the top in reading in an international comparison. If we look at school children in lower secondary schooling (age 13-15), the Swedish results are more modest. In most comparisons Swedish children do about average or above average in math and science. In terms of literacy skills Swedish students still perform well. In the PISA 2000 study, Swedish 15-year olds did significantly better than the average on general literacy tests as well as tests for mathematical and scientific literacy (OECD, 2002). The final group of students consists of finishing year students in upper secondary education. In the 1995 TIMSS, Sweden comes out as one of the top countries on both mathematics and science if we look at the average of all upper secondary students. If we instead focus on “specialists” – students taking advanced courses in these subjects – Swedish finishing students keep a top position in science (physics) but get mathematics results that are close to the international average.
The overall impression from the international comparisons of student achievement is that the average Swedish student performs well. This is most evident in reading tests for the youngest children, but also students in upper secondary schooling do very well in mathematics and science. A final observation on these tests is that Sweden also differs from most other countries in terms of differences in achievement across schools. In the PISA 2000, the overall variance of student performance in reading literacy was somewhat lower (92 percent) in Sweden compared to the OECD average. The striking aspect of the Swedish case, though, was that the share of the variance that was attributed to between school variation was very low – 9.7 percent. Except for Iceland, the Swedish between school variance was the lowest among the OECD countries, where the country average was 35 percent.

So, it is clear that equalisation of education system brings certain positive results. But the results are not that impressive, as usually adepts of absolute equality want to show.

Really, I do not understand, what is the purpose of making kids suppress their talents and their families cultural backgrounds in order not to “hurt somebody’s feelings”.

I am really eager to hear about some other opinion on total equality in children education.

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