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SAT and NFL

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I saw some of the newest USA exports to China today: SAT (the US college admission test) and NFL (National Football league). At Chicago O’Hale airport, I met a girl who just graduate from high school (middle school in China) and will attend a college in the Mid-west US. She told me she has some friends coming to other colleges this year. This is not the first time I met Chinese High school students coming to the States. The thing surprised me is that the New Oriental (recently did IPO on NYSE, ticker symbol EDU) and many others have already offered SAT/ACT (another US college admission test) in China. In another word, there are many Chinese high school students are going to take the SAT or ACT and attend US colleges. When I came to the US for graduate school in 1997 I remember seeing undergraduate students from southeast Asia and Taiwan/Hongkong. Now a new wave of students are coming from mainland. This is obviously attributed to the growth of China’s economy. I admire the vision and determination of those students and their parents as I believe their oversea education experience will be helpful for their future.

This reminded me of another thing. I was always thinking that the kids will be better off raised in the US than in China: less homework and competition, better facilities, and the atmosphere to foster creativity. I always think China’s education system produces more “testing machines” than “creative and open minded students”. This is probablly a little biased. I believe Chinese students get more rigorous training on Math and Sciences. By taking SAT/ACT, if a Chinese high school student is real good, he/she can come to the US for undergradute study. Tom Freeman wrote a book titled “the World is Flat” a year or two ago. While we all know the students in China and US won’t in the same level of playing field for a long time to come, it seems to me the gap is narrowed down a little (due to China’s economy growth).

On another news, NFL (national football league) will host a game “China Bowl” on August 8 2007 in Beijing. To be honest I was curious why NFL has not done anything substantial in China as I know NBA has already promoting basketball and being very successful in China. I remember this Feb. when I happened to be in Shanghai, nobody in my office cared about the No. 1 show in the America “Superbowl”, the championship game of NFL. Note Superbowl is also the showcase of many innovative adverstisements of US business giants (or dot com upstarts). Many people here watched superbowl just for the ad. The half-time musical performance is also usually good, except the infamous Janet Jackon’s “wardrobe malfunction” incident couple years ago. I am sure it won’t happen again because the broadcast will be delayed from now on (used to be real time).

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