Posted on 12/16/2016 at 10:14 AM by Liz Determan

Two Million Minutes: A Global Examination

Film created by Bob Compton


Bob Compton has created a documentary on the global competition our high school students will face upon graduation from college.  America’s system of education is being challenged to graduate students who can compete for positions they are ill-prepared for. Tim Draper, Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist states, "America is the one country in the world that doesn't seem to recognize that it is in competition for the great minds and capitol of the world."  We tend not to be as globally aware as we ought to be, recognizing that when compared to other countries, our students do not fair even in the top 10% of the world. The documentary provides a number of comparisons, but one was incredibly stark showing a group of students in India participating in a tutoring session at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning and continued for several hours of study and classes throughout the day as compared with a group of students who were studying for an exam the night before, a Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. while watching Grey's Anatomy, visiting and eating snacks all as a very social activity.  There is no comparing the rigor, intensity, and focus of the Indian students to the study session of the American students.  Of course, we know that not every study session is held with Grey's Anatomy playing in the background, but let's not be naïve. At some point, we must recognize and embrace the challenge ahead.

As the American public school system fails to adapt to this century, schools in China and India produce four times the number of high school graduates as the U.S. and educate these students to a much higher level.  All of our students will compete with students from across the globe, in most cases their best and brightest. So here we go:

         We each have 60 minutes X 24 hours = 1440 minutes per day X 365 days a year = 525,600 minutes per year X 4 years = 2,102,400 minutes in high school.

         How will they spend their 2 million minutes?

The average US student spends about 900 hours in the classroom and 1500 hours in front of the TV each year.  66% of college-bound high school seniors have no more than 1 hour of homework per night and none on weekends. Knowing this, as counselors and teachers, we need to consider what we can do to provide support, education and training that will equip our students to be globally competitive.

To watch more of Two Million Minutes: A Global Examination go to:

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