January 6th, 2012
01:20 PM ET

GPS special re-airs: Fixing Education

This Saturday at 8pm and 11pm ET/PT, Fareed Zakaria's GPS primetime special – “Restoring the American Dream: Fixing Education” will re-air. So if you missed it in November, make sure you catch it now.

While America was once tops in education, we are now ranked 15th in reading, 23rd in science, and 31st in math.

What happened? How can we dig ourselves out of this deep hole?

For inspiration, we go to South Korea and Finland – two nations that consistently rank highly on education. Interestingly, the two have very different approaches. South Korea has long school days and school years with a strong focus on standardized testing. Finland is much more lackadaisical – except in its approach to teachers and teaching. In Finland, teachers are revered; it’s tougher to get into masters programs for teaching than it is to get into higher education for medicine and law.

So what can we learn? We talked about the priorities of teachers, testing, and technology with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates whose foundation has given $5 billion to education so far; we speak with former DC schools chair Michelle Rhee, and education activist Diane Ravitch. We look at a novel way of teaching, started by a former investment manager who stumbled upon a formula for student success: Sal Khan is the creator of the Khan Academy, a YouTube-based “classroom” that so far has gotten over 80 million hits – and reports of success using it in real classrooms.

Finally, Fareed offers his take on what will fix our troubles.

FULL STORY
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