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Walt Gardner

For Walt Gardner's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Dec 20, 2014

A better way to spend yen on schools

Japan's Finance Ministry wants to increase the number of students in each class to save ¥8.6 billion in personnel costs. This will result in 3,325 schools being shuttered and up to 4,000 teachers cashiered. A good idea perhaps, but why not prioritize spending on ...

Aug 3, 2014

Japan has a word to add about teaching math

Before critics conclude that Americans suffer from an incurable case of innumeracy, they might want to ask if the long-standing poor performance of U.S. students in international math test competition, compared with Japanese students, is the result of the way the subject is taught ...

Jul 7, 2014

High test scores, low expectations

Young people in Japan, like their counterparts in the U.S., know that high scores on tests have little to do with their job prospects. So why do a higher percentage of American students still report being hopeful about their prospects for a good life?

May 31, 2014

Bullying weakens Japanese, U.S. schools

Bullying of LGBT students is reaching epidemic proportions in schools in Japan and the United States even as greater tolerance is demonstrated for students of different races, cultures and abilities.

May 20, 2014

Design tests to measure priority outcomes

The discovery of fraud in the adminstration of the high-stakes TOEFL and TOEIC tests is disturbing, but the larger issue — which has been given short shrift — is that these tests are designed to emphasize written English rather than spoken English.