November 19, 2012
2 Million Minutes
The film makes the argument that U.S. students are performing at a mediocre level in math and science. This, according to the movie, cannot stand, given the growing educational excellence of nations like China and India. The documentary takes the time to look at a boy and a girl form America, India, and China; it tells about a daily school day for each and what they hope to do with their lives. In China the girl, Xiaoyuan, who is great at math and playing the violin and ballet, hopes to get early acceptance to Yale. While she waits to hear back, tries out as a violinist for the top music conservatory in Shanghai, and this is her back-up plan. In India, we have Apoorva, who aims to become an engineer which she says is the safest profession in India. She spends her Saturdays in tutoring all day, and after school she spends more time studying. A typical Saturday, she will get up around 6:45 a.m. and go to a tutor, then participate in classes for approximately four hours, and then go back to tutoring with her friends. In American, we have Neil and Brittany who go to Caramel High School and are focusing on their studies, but have less than one hour a night of homework. Brittany was shown studying with her friends while watching Grey’s Anatomy.
I agree with what the documentary had to say, Americans have a lower standard on their educational system. The document stated that nearly 40% of U.S. high school students do not take any science class more challenging than general biology. I took AP Environmental Science (APES) at my school and so few students signed up for it; the school only offered it for one period. I was so surprised, it was a hard class to take, but it was worth it. The boy from China, Jin Ruizhang, was accepted to the school of his choice, but was disappointed that he wasn’t accepted into the advanced math program in that school. Most American students would have been...