Venezuela kicking out 3 US diplomatic officials
the US punching back
World War II: After the War
At the end of World War II, huge swaths of Europe and Asia had been reduced to ruins. Borders were redrawn and homecomings, expulsions, and burials were under way. But the massive efforts to rebuild had just begun. When the war began in the late 1930s, the world’s population was approximately 2 billion. In less than a decade, the war between the Axis the Allied powers had resulted in 80 million deaths — killing off about 4 percent of the whole world. Allied forces now became occupiers, taking control of Germany, Japan, and much of the territory they had formerly ruled. Efforts were made to permanently dismantle the war-making abilities of those nations, as factories were destroyed and former leadership was removed or prosecuted. War crimes trials took place in Europe and Asia, leading to many executions and prison sentences. Millions of Germans and Japanese were forcibly expelled from territories they called home. Allied occupations and United Nations decisions led to many long-lasting problems in the future, including the tensions that created East and West Germany, and divergent plans on the Korean Peninsula that led to the creation of North and South Korea and — the Korean War in 1950. The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine paved the way for Israel to declare its independence in 1948 and marked the start of the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict. The growing tensions between Western powers and the Soviet Eastern Bloc developed into the Cold War, and the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons raised the very real specter of an unimaginable World War III if common ground could not be found. World War II was the biggest story of the 20th Century, and its aftermath continues to affect the world profoundly more than 65 years later.
This entry is Part 20 of a weekly 20-part retrospective of World War II)
Spoof …. sort of ….
CHESTNUT HILL, MA—According to an alarming new report published Wednesday by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, third-graders in China are beginning to lag behind U.S. high school students in math and science.
The study, based on exam scores from thousands of students in 63 participating countries, confirmed that in mathematical and scientific literacy, American students from the ages of 14 to 18 have now actually pulled slightly ahead of their 8-year-old Chinese counterparts.
“This is certainly a wake-up call for China,” said Dr. Michael Fornasier, an IEA senior fellow and coauthor of the report. “The test results unfortunately indicate that education standards in China have slipped to the extent that pre-teens are struggling to rank among even the average American high school student.”
“Simply put, how can these third-graders be expected to eventually compete in the global marketplace if they’re only receiving the equivalent of a U.S. high school education?” Fornasier added.
Fornasier stressed that while the gap is not yet dramatically sizable, it has widened over the past two years after American high schoolers tested marginally higher in algebra, biology, and chemistry than, shockingly, most of China’s 8- and 9-year-olds.
“For decades, young children in China have scored at the expected level of their peers in American high schools, so this is a very worrying drop in performance,” said Fornasier, adding that the majority of Chinese third-graders are now a full year behind the average U.S. 12th-grader in their knowledge of calculus. “In the chemistry portion of the exam, for example, Chinese children proved to be slightly deficient compared to American teenagers in their understanding of the periodic table, molecular structure, and the essential principles of atomic theory.”
“And even when they did test at the same level in mathematics, it often took Chinese elementary school students 10 to 15 minutes longer to do simple things like factor a polynomial equation or compute the derivative of a continuous function,” Fornasier added. “That just isn’t normal.”
In addition to disappointing marks from grade school children in China, 10-year-olds in Germany, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, and New Guinea also reportedly tested an average of three percentage points lower than U.S. high school seniors in physics, with education officials from each country expressing deep concerns about the increasingly mediocre quality of their primary schools.
In light of the alarming study, many in China have called for considerable reforms of the country’s education system, including implementing far stricter standards for teachers, investing in better learning materials, and increasing the length of school days.
“Our third grade classes clearly cannot afford to lag behind American high schools if they are to be successful in the future,” read an official statement from China’s Minister of Education, Yuan Guiren. “Frankly, the scores are unacceptable, and we have to turn this around immediately. If there’s an American 17-year-old who can do something academically that a Chinese 8-year-old can’t, that’s a very big problem.”
“At that rate, how do we expect our Chinese 13-year-olds to be ready for American colleges?” Yuan continued.