Extracted 19SEP2011 from http://www.economist.com/node/21529013?fsrc=scn/tw/te/ar/thehorsebeforethecart
...Nowadays, everyone wants to measure outcomes. The most prominent American charter schools, strongly focused on getting poor children into college (see main story), insist that children do regular mental arithmetic between lessons. Germany has also tightened up its examination system in the past decade, to help standardise results.
In Britain Michael Gove, the education secretary, has emphasised a return to core subjects such as maths, English and sciences in secondary schools. He also wants to persuade former army officers into teaching to improve discipline in rowdy schools—boot camp, if you will...
[What is an "outcome" anway? See e.g., www.scribd.com/collections/2695573 for a more reflective and inclusive view that can help one make some sense of the incongruous final paragraph below extracted from the article in the Economist.]
One British researcher, comparing Western reforms with Eastern practice, noted that the main difference was that in Hong Kong “the effective teacher is seen as a figure of authority, morality and benevolence”. Some Western parents might like a touch of such Confucianism in their own children’s classrooms.