The New York Times recently published “The Shanghai Secret,” a column by Thomas Friedman that explained how Shanghai’s students received the world’s top scores on the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment exams. Administered every three years (the 2012 results will be released Dec. 3), PISA is designed to assess how well 15-year- olds worldwide are prepared to apply their educations to real- world situations.
The advent of massively open online classes (MOOCs) is the single most important technological development of the millennium so far. I say this for two main reasons. First, for the enormously transformative impact MOOCs can have on literally billions of people in the world. Second, for the equally disruptive effect MOOCs will inevitably have on the global education industry. While at Davos, I was fortunate to attend an...
Tyler Cowen sits with a cranberry juice and a pile of books he no longer intends to read. He’s at Harry’s Tap Room, near the Air France ticket counter in the main terminal of Dulles International Airport, on his way to São Paulo.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is visiting India this week to, among other things, drum up fresh business for American companies. The magnitude of his task can be judged by the fact that a few days before his arrival, steelmakers Posco and ArcelorMittal SA canceled huge projects in India because of land disputes. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has shown signs of pulling out as well, despite new laws supposedly allowing foreign ownership in the retail sector. The Indian government’s latest desperate attempt to reverse the flight of foreign investment and the fall of the rupee -- by opening up telecommunications to 100 percent foreign ownership -- doesn’t look any more likely to change minds.
Not so long ago, if you believe what you read in the papers and see on TV, Mexico was the next Afghanistan. It was poor, lawless, and plagued by drug violence, a failed-state-in-the-making whose problems and people would soon cascade over the border.
The attack on the Boston Marathon is a reminder of the adage that terror is theater. Yes, terror is horror. Yes, terror is murder. Yes, terror is reprehensible. But it is theater, too, played out on a grand stage before an audience of tens of millions. We sit riveted in front of the television or computer screen, demanding the latest updates.