"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Do Korean Parents Know Something We Don't?

As neo-conservatives bash American schools for falling behind Far Eastern countries in test performance, and while they plan a corporate takeover of American schools in hopes of replicating the narrow intellectual chain gang testing factories of those countries, it seems that Korean parents who can afford it, at least, will take drastic measures to get their children an American K-12 education. Here is a clip from the story that appeared Sunday in the San Francisco Chronicle:

A growing number of South Korean parents are paying retired couples in the United States to adopt their children. The Korean parents say teaching their children English is a priority, as are other factors, including avoiding compulsory military service for young men and gaining the prestige of an American education.

One out of three South Korean parents are willing to send their children abroad for the sake of a better education, according to a study by the Center for Korean Education Development in Seoul, published in the Korea Times of Los Angeles. In the past, parents would ask relatives living in the United States to adopt their children, but more parents are now seeking out Caucasian families who are strangers to them.

The Korea Times told the story of a Korean woman in Los Angeles on a work visa and employed as a nurse. She wished to bring her two teenage children to the United States from South Korea and paid a retired American couple to adopt them.

In a report in the Chosun Daily in Seoul, a cosmetic surgeon wanted to send her second-grade daughter to America because she says the U.S. school system is better than the one in South Korea. She says her daughter often comes home late after studying extra hours at a hakwon, or private school, in Seoul.

South Korean children typically begin preparation for strict college entrance exams as early as grammar school. "When I see my daughter who is always tired from school, I really want her to get an American education," the surgeon said. "The only thing that works for the situation is to find someone who can adopt my daughter, and I'll pay all expenses for her for the future."

Imagine that.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:36 AM

    I can appreciate this observation. My mother is Korean and my father African American.They met during the Korean War. They both communicated to their children the importance of education and the importance of taking advantage of the opportunties available. We were very competitive academically. There are two in the educational field, three engineers and one marriage and family counselor in our family. We have members who have attended MIT and taken a course at Yale University. My parents, regardless of the hardships emphasized the benefits of living in America and the freedoms afforded.