April 26, 2008

Elite Korean Schools

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I always knew that the Koreans were serious about education, and reading about Korean schools that aim to land their pupils in Ivy League schools didn't surprise me. Nor was I surprised to learn that the students who attend these schools have an intense daily regimen focused on schoolwork. It's an interesting read, and it lends support to the idea that the U.S. needs to focus more on education in order to remain competitive.

I liked the article. However, I did have a question. The article says,
As bright as she is, she was just one great student among many, said Eric Cho, Daewon’s college counselor. Sitting at his computer terminal at the school, perched on a craggy eastern hilltop overlooking the Seoul skyline, Mr. Cho scrolled through the class of 2008’s academic records.

Their average combined SAT score was 2203 out of 2400. By comparison, the average combined score at Phillips Exeter, the New Hampshire boarding school, is 2085. Sixty-seven Daewon graduates had perfect 800 math scores.

Kim Hyun-kyung, 17, scored perfect 800s on the SAT verbal and math tests, and 790 in writing.

Is the SAT verbal section in English or Korean for these kids? I thought that the SAT was an English-language test, and it's scary to think that these Korean kids are beating the Exeter kids in written English!

Anyway, I e-mailed the author of the article. Hopefully he'll tell us that these students take a Korean version. Otherwise we're in some serious trouble.

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