Texas Education

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‘Two Million Minutes’ suggests it’s time to improve U.S. education

Posted by Texas Education on June 20, 2008

This certainly is an interesting concept. It takes approximately 2 million minutes for a student to go through high school. An article by Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, explains about a Memphis entrepreneur’s documentary that compares high-achieving students from India, China and America. It has drawn mixed reactions from academics. The students from America are from a small town that I once lived extremely close to, and my father still lives near, Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis. No point, just interesting.

Compton, a successful venture capitalist, wanted to know what schools in other countries were doing that American schools weren’t, and why the United States performed so miserably on international student comparisons. “Two Million Minutes” focuses on high-achieving students from top schools in Bangalore, Shanghai and Carmel, Indiana.

The result was “Two Million Minutes,” a one-hour documentary comparing the educational experiences of six students: two Americans, two Indians and two Chinese. The movie, in (very) limited release, begins with the premise that the high school years span roughly 2 million minutes.

I too feel the same way about all this, what this article says, what the documentary finds out. But, how do we get kids to stop playing video games, scouring the internet (especially doing bad things, looking at bad things on the internet, and even creating bad things,) watching television – especially with all the high tech gadgets, dvd’s, ipods, cell phones, etc.? How do we get kids to want to learn. I sometimes feel the students in other countries are probably a bit too focused, some fun, please, is always welcome!

I still think we need to revamp our public schools. Either that or have flex hours. Keep our schools going (yes, I’m sure this would cost) longer hours, provide a lot of classes on-line. I’m sure 100% of the troubled, truant, and discpline students I had would have benefited with on-line courses. Very bright kids, but with disrupted home lives, putting it mildly. I truly only see this problem getting worse.

I really would like to see this movie. I guess I just thirst for, well, answers, too.


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