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May 15, 2003

Japan's Blank Slates

Many of Japan's younger secondary school kids draw a blank when asked to express their opinions, according to a Kyodo story on recent education ministry analysis of a nationwide test. The story reports that "students lack critical-thinking and expression powers, and their overall academic achievement level is apparently declining...According to the analysis, the percentage of correct answers to questions in English which required (junior high school) students to write was lower than the estimated percentage, while 41% of the students left answer sheets blank for a question asking them to explain their 'treasures' using more than four sentences."

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