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The secrets behind China's extraordinary educational system – good, bad, and ugly

Chinese students' consistently stunning performance on the international PISA exams— where they outscore students of all other nations in math, reading, and science—have positioned China as a world education leader. American educators and pundits have declared this a "Sputnik Moment," saying that we must learn from China's education system in order to maintain our status as an education leader and global superpower.

Indeed, many of the reforms taking hold in United States schools, such as a greater emphasis on standardized testing and the increasing importance of core subjects like reading and math, echo the Chinese system. We're following in China's footsteps—but is this the direction we should take?

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? by award-winning writer Yong Zhao offers an entertaining, provocative insider's account of the Chinese school system, revealing the secrets that make it both "the best and worst" in the world. Born and raised in China's Sichuan province and a teacher in China for many years, Zhao has a unique perspective on Chinese culture and education. He explains in vivid detail how China turns out the world's highest-achieving students in reading, math, and science—yet by all accounts Chinese educators, parents, and political leaders hate the system and long to send their kids to western schools. Filled with fascinating stories and compelling data, Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? offers a nuanced and sobering tour of education in China.

Learn how China is able to turn out the world's highest achieving students in math, science, and reading Discover why, despite these amazing test scores, Chinese parents, teachers, and political leaders are desperate to leave behind their educational system Discover how current reforms in the U.S. parallel the classic Chinese system, and how this could help (or hurt) our students' prospects
I will open my mouth with a parable;

I will utter dark sayings concerning days of old;

That which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us,

We will not hide from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength, and His wondrous works that He hath done. PSALM 78:24

Midrash Sinim: Hasidic Legend and Commentary on the Torah, author Yong Zhao explores the Scripture in light of Jewish tradition, archaeology, history, linguistics, literature, sociology, mathematics, geology, and so on. He offers thoughtful and intelligent commentaries, for example,

Prior to creating the world, G-d kept the Sabbath.

Adams first prayer was for a help meet for him and the tree of life was actually an atonement tree.

By means of the flood, G-d destroyed the heaven and the earth, and re-created a new world.

Compared with Joseph, Judah was the real hero. Genesis 38 has a narrative function within the wider Joseph narrative, but far more is involved.

Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars (Prov. 9:1). The seven pillars refer to seven books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Talmud and Zohar) and seven righteous men (Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Amram and Moses).

In Exodus event the aliens converted to Judaism on a large scale.

While many other works on the Scriptures exist solely to relay content to readers, Midrash Sinim is found provocative and intriguing, much interesting food for thought. It unveils numerical codes, deciphers long-term puzzles, solves controversial questions and provides gripping tales of Biblical figures, through which the profundity of the Torah and Jewish traditions shines with even greater brilliance.

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