Top positive review
An awesome piece of journalism
on 3 March 2015
Amanda Ripley begins this book explaining she is a meagre journalist who knows little of the parameters which define an efficient and well run educational system. Yet at the end of this book, she leaves the reader with an impression that she is close to mastering the matter such is the diligent manner in which she conveys information.
In the second chapter of this book Amanda Ripley spends many overly drawn out pages describing the life of a poor American student Kim, who is soon to be transplanted to Finland. This chapter seems overly detailed on the feelings of Kim and I feared that this book was going to be an emotive journalistic and anecdotal book with little int he way of facts to back it up. Gladly I was wrong. Amanda Ripley weaves both journalism and hard fact into an incredibly enjoyable book on immense flaws of the American education system and the superiority of the education in South Korea, Poland and Finland. However she translates a work-life balance to her arguments by demonstrating the inverse of sporting superiority of the States versus the soft South Koreans.
This book will leave one with a sense of what makes an education system great (mainly fantastic teachers) and what countries around the world need to do to ameliorate their own education systems in order to avoid The Great Degeneration as covered by Niall Ferguson.