We should wake up to the rest of the world..

100% of French schoolchildren are learning a foreign language. That’s also the case in Austria and Norway. Poland and Spain aren’t far behind.

  • The median among European countries is 92% across primary and secondary school, according to Pew. In the U.S., that number is 20%.
  • New Jersey is the only U.S. state where more than half of students are learning a second language. Wisconsin, Maryland and Vermont are next at around one-third. The rate is just 9% in Arkansas, New Mexico and Arizona.
  • No sorpresas: Spanish is by far the most popular foreign language taught in the U.S. In Europe, it’s English.

Another global educational disparity is examined in this week’s Economist: the length of summer breaks…

  • “Their length ranges from three weeks in South Korea to three months in America, Italy and Latvia. … studies have found that children regress over the summer even in Belgium, Britain, Canada, Germany and Malawi, all of which have much shorter summer breaks than America’s.”

Timeless Advice

Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues for personal improvement.

 “TEMPERANCE~ Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
“SILENCE~ Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
“ORDER~ Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
“RESOLUTION~ Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
“FRUGALITY~ Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
“INDUSTRY~ Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
“SINCERITY~ Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
“JUSTICE~ Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
“MODERATION~ Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
“CLEANLINESS~ Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”
“TRANQUILLITY~ Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
“CHASTITY~ Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”
“HUMILITY~ Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”