z60\doc\web\2002\10\bracey.htm ARTHUR HU QUOTED BY GERALD BRACEY OCT 2002

From Gerald W. Bracey, The 12th Bracey Report on the Condition of Public Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 84, No. 02, October 2002, pp. 135-150.

Dispatches from All Over

We close this year with a few notes from abroad. An e-mail arrived in late October from Arthur Hu, a computer engineer in Washington. It was headlined "Chinese Are Even Dumber Than Americans in Science." Hu's headline was followed by a story from the Los Angeles Times about a nationwide survey in China that found only 1.4% of the inhabitants can demonstrate "basic scientific literacy."64 On a 90-question test, Chinese adults couldn't say whether plants produce oxygen, whether the Earth's core is hot, or whether the Earth revolves about the sun. Only 0.04% of agricultural workers showed basic literacy, while 3.1% of city dwellers did. "Science is very important to a nation's development," said one person interviewed in Beijing, "but it doesn't have much to do with me."