Education in South Korea

The Marmot Hole links to an Atlantic Monthly post, Teaching Pays in South Korea.

A few random points from me.

1) Superstar Effect: There are many fields in which a handful of people make a lot of money while most people struggle even though there might not be much of a difference in their talent levels. In Hollywood, there are actors making millions while others are delivering pizzas. A major league baseball makes millions traveling around first class while a minor league baseball player who is just slightly less talented makes much less and travels on buses.

2) Man-Bites-Dog stories: Reporters naturally are more interested in stories about the exception rather than the rule. Some teachers in Korea reportedly make as much as $4 million a year. That's a story. Most teachers don't. Not a story and not worth blogging about, either.

3) Culture: When I was teaching in South Korea many moons ago, I often had parents offer me extra cash and gifts. This was in AFTER-SCHOOL programs. There were no grades being handed out. How many American parents are even suspected of bribing teachers? Seoul has yet another initiative to crack down on Korean parents who give extra cash to teachers.

4) CJL Archives: Here's a piece I wrote nine years ago for the Washington Post about private education in South Korea.