The Electric Commentary

Monday, May 15, 2006

K-12 v. Universities

The French university system is similar to our K-12 public school system. And guess what?

The United State's has one of the most admired university systems in the world and one of the most deplored k-12 systems. Could the difference have something to do with the fact that universities operate in a competitive market with lots of private suppliers while k-12 is dominated by monopolistic, government provided schools?

What would our university system look like if it operated like the k-12 system?

Look to France for the answer. The riots of 1968 forced the government to offer a virtually free university education to any student who passes an exam but as a result the universities are woefully underfunded especially for the masses. Amazingly, with just a few exceptions for the elites, students are required to attend the universities closest to their high schools. Sound familiar?

More here.


  • Does the US really have one of the most deplored K-12 school systems in the world? I know that we're used to being #1 at everything, so the fact that our K-12 school system is probably in the middle of the pack is kind of humiliating, but most deplored seems a little harsh.

    By Blogger dhodge, at 9:56 PM  

  • Actually, most deplored might sound harsh, but the U.S. ranks not just below first world countries, but below many poor countries in terms of K-12 performance. Considering that the U.S. spends far more per student than almost any country and gets worse results than countries who are not even comparable to the U.S. on any other measure of quality of life , infrastructure, or economy. For the U.S. to do as badly as it does is deplorable.

    By Blogger Scott H, at 12:40 PM  

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