Gwyneth Paltrow ‘believes that the English education system is second to none’

Last year around this time, there were UK sources claiming that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were preparing to move their family to LA. The claim was that Gwyneth was homesick and that she wanted to be closer to her mom and her brother Jake. Well, Goop and Chris DID buy a new home in LA, although they’ve spent much of the last year in London, like always. Now The Mail is reporting again that Goop wants to move her kids to LA so they can spend a few years getting an American education… but sources say Goop definitely wants Apple and Moses to go to high school/prep school in England because American schools are too peasanty. Basically.

She has lived in London for a decade and calls it her ‘adopted home’, but Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow is moving her family back to Los Angeles. The 40-year-old actress and her rock-star husband Chris Martin of Coldplay plan to make LA their home for at least the next two years. The family will move in time for their children Apple, nine, and Moses, seven, to start the school term in September.

A source said: ‘Gwyneth has loved living in London but America will always be home and she wants to be closer to her family. Her mother and brother live in California and she plans to spend the next couple of years in Los Angeles while her children are young enough for their education not to be affected. She misses her family terribly and now is the time to move.’

‘Her children have English accents and once they start senior school Gwyneth says the family will likely return to the UK because she believes that the English education system is second to none.’

Rumours have been rife for months that the family was planning to move back to California after they forked out £6.6 million on an opulent new home in a private Hollywood Hills estate. The 8,000 square-foot house in the exclusive Brentwood area is the most expensive in the couple’s property empire which includes their £4.6 million home in North London, a £3.2 million penthouse flat in New York and a £3.4 million house in the Hamptons near New York.

Designed by renowned US architect Windsor Smith the home has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms and a separate stable block. Paltrow, famed for her eco-friendly ways, even had an entrance hall made with stones recovered from a Peruvian schoolhouse.

Friends say Gwyneth longs to spend more time with her 70-year-old widowed mother Blythe Danner and her director brother Jake as well as friends like godfather Steven Spielberg: ‘Gwyneth misses her family terribly and while she has grown to love London and her children have English accents, now is the time to move. The kids have said goodbye to their school friends and they are having a final European holiday before the big move.’

[From The Mail]

Granted, I had an American public school education and my mother is a public school teacher, so I have a bias about people disrespecting American education out of hand. I’m not saying that the American public school education isn’t broken in some cities, in some counties, or in some states, but I just think it’s wrong and unfair to dismiss the American education system out of hand. But beyond that, it’s not like Gwyneth is going to be sending her kids to public high school in America or England either way – they’re going to be going to private schools, no matter what. And if she’s interested in having a debate about which country has the best PRIVATE schools… well, then I’ve got nothing. I have no idea. But I would be interested in seeing Moses Martin at Eton with all of the sons of dukes and earls and MPs. That would be interesting.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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179 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow ‘believes that the English education system is second to none’”

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  1. Mia 4S says:

    Well when one looks at actual statistics she’s wrong. End of story.

    • Bubbles says:

      I have a question. I saw a youtube clip in which Kellie Pickler didn’t know the capital of Hungary and then wondered if EUROPE was a country?! Now, I checked her wikipedia page and she graduated from high school. How is this possible? Because in m country that could not happen.

      • mayamae says:

        That’s not the stupidest thing Kellie Pickler has ever said.

        We had a vice presidential candidate who didn’t know that Africa was a continent vs country.

      • Bubbles says:

        OMG, really? Which candidate? And I don’t believe Kellie could have said something as stupid as this. It doesn’t get lower than this.

      • mayamae says:

        Sarah Palin. She has a college degree.

      • V4Real says:

        @ Bubbles “I saw a youtube clip in which Kellie Pickler didn’t know the capital of Hungary”

        In her defense; why would she? Unless she is studying World History why would that be relevant to her. I understand her not knowing Europe is a continent is an idiotic response but do you think that every person that has an education can name the Capital of every foreign region? I know people who are great in math but when it comes to Geography they suck, it doesn’t make them dumb. Just about every intelligent person on this earth has an area that they struggle with.

        There are some Americans that can’t name the Captial of all the US States, my boss who is The Campus Director here at my job is one of them. That doesn’t make him dumb. He is a college graduate and he is superb in the work that he does here and his area of study, hence the reason he is the Campus Director. Also some of the things we learn, we forget if we don’t constantly use them, especially things like Algebra, Trig and so on.

        BTW Hungary isn’t one of those popular countries that often comes up in conversation. That’s like asking random people what is the capital of Yemen. Try it and see how many people around you know the answer.

      • e.non says:

        just to add re palin: she attended a few colleges and eventually graduated from univ of idaho with a degree in communications … specifically, journalism.

        americans are woefully ignorant of history. and critical thinking skills are all but disappearing — that’s why fox news leads the way in this country.

      • Bubbles says:

        I don’t think not knowing the capital of Hungary makes her dumb. Not knowing that Europe is a continent makes her dumb.
        Maybe it doesn’t mean that someone is dumb, but american ignorance when it comes to other countries never ceases to amaze me.
        BTW, if you ask the capital of Yemen around here, 7/10 people would know it.

      • V4Real says:

        @e.non Just to be fair there are quite a few Europeans that are just as ignorant about American History(especially Black History) and they live in the damn country, so sheesh with the American ignorant thing.

        @Bubbles if you notice I did say she was an idiot for not knowing that Europe was a continent.
        As for American ignorance of History of other countries read reply to e.non.

        BTW I’m sure people will know the Capital of Yemen; it’s called Google.

      • annaloo. says:

        There is truth to what V4Real says.. though it would be ideal if all world citizens knew everything about all countries, their states and municipalities, their capitals and history, I still get a lot of internationals who think that my homestate Colorado is just a part of Texas. In fact, some of them think Arizona and Kansas is part of Texas too. We all kind of bomb at this.

        And I can’t shame Pickler.. after she shaved her hair off in solidarity with her friend battling cancer and undergoing chemo, I think I could forgive her for not knowing where or what Budapest is.

      • BeesKnees says:

        To add to this convo, in my school district (I am from Maryland), I never once took a geography class. This has since been amended, but I had more than one high school friend/acquaintance fail geography in college. In the fourth grade, we did Maryland Patriots and learned about our state and the different counties and cities, and in the fifth we did US Patriots where we had to memorize states and capitols. We learned about American history in the 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 11th grades. The only two years of world history were in 7th and 10th grade. People I grew up with were, and still are, ignorant to some things outside the US. While they know Europe is a continent, they might not be able to tell you the countries in it or point it out on the map. Our history and civics classes were very US centric when I was in school.

      • Spooks says:

        Where I’m from, both history and geography are obligatory subjects. In history we would study a period in history and we studied both european, american and even african and asian history, but we would study our nation’s history into more detail. The same thing in geography. Junior year in high school was world geography and I even had to know the capitals of US states. As seniors we learned about our country. So, yes, not knowing the capital of Hungary is unusual, not knowing Europe is a continent is scocking.

        @V4REAL, which parts of Black history do you think we Europeans don’t know?

      • V4Real says:

        @Spooks stop reaching. I said quite a few, not all. If you fall into the category of the ones who know then good for you. But I think it’s unfair to accuse Americans of not knowing anything or enough about the history of other countries when there are people from other countries that don’t know the history of America; especially when some of them now live in this country.

      • Suzanne says:

        I thought I lived in a European country like that, but after having a 3 hour long guest lecture about Congo, the next day a girl in my class asked the prof what exactly congo was. i wanted to jam my head into a wall. So i guess it’s not always about the system, but really sometimes about the person.

      • cs says:

        It’s not so stupid.. People from other countries know more about the US than Americans. I used to work for a Canadian Publishing co. and they were always upset that New Yorkers would say.. isn’t it cold in your country??. This would be in July.. I would always say.. Don’t worry NY’ers only know LA, Vegas and Florida in the US.

        My Director of Advtg didn’t know Egypt and Morocco was in Northern Africa. But the bottom line.. It’s American’s who started Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and other Internet entities that changed the World and how we communicate today. So I don’t think our educational system is that Bad.

      • Leen says:

        Cs, that is kind of shameful since Morocco is the first country to recognize the US, first county to ratify trade relations with the US and it has the longest unbroken treaty relation with the US.

        But most Americans (and to be fair most non-Americans I’ve come across) don’t really know this.

      • Ruth Dunbar says:

        The idea that Europeans know more about the U.S. than Americans is hilarious. I have yet to meet someone in Europe who can even comprehend the sheer size of America, much less understand America’s complicated history. I’ll never forget the girl I met who was going to be in Salt Lake City for a conference and said to me, “I’ll have three days. I’d like to drive to Florida.” Ok, you do that. The last time I was in Germany, the “news” channel was playing repeats of conspiracy theory crap we see on the History Channel.

        Ignorance abounds on all sides, folks.

    • Decloo says:

      What statistics are you referring to?

    • Ok says:

      Well — isn’t Gwynny and actress with a high school diploma who dropped out of college in order to act??

      Her high school only education has mad her millions. So why worry ?

      • e.non says:

        actually, her family connections and existing wealth made her the millions. if she’d just bussed into l.a. one day, she’d never have been given a second look. well, maybe a second..

      • annaloo. says:

        I think it’s on record that Gwyneth was never strong academically. She got into USC via Michael Douglas vouching for her, but she didn’t get a degree. She’s not part of Mensa, will never be, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was massively impressed by any 9 year old’s effort to memorize a multiplication table. I don’t think she’s surrounded by intellectuals. I think she IS surrounded by people who are very good at spinning mediocre into coveted, and just wait until her kids get old enough to start offering their creative work into the world. You know Apple’s not going to become a doctor or engineer.

    • mystified says:

      We have to take the self serving Nicole Wallace’s word that Palin didn’t know that Africa was a continent, but Obama’s talking about speaking “Austrian”, confusing the Malvinas with the Maldives, the “Cinco de Quatro ” holiday and campaigning in our “57 States” have actually been recorded.

      • Kellyf says:

        I am a little in love with you, Mystified. Thanks for the reminder.

        People we have lost sight of the real issue here: Goop is annoying and self serving and that pink dress should be illegal.

  2. Gabriella says:

    I was going to comment on Scandinavian schools but I got distracted by all these tacky gowns.

    • GiGi says:

      I’m currently obsessed with the Finnish system! We have so much to learn about teaching ;)

      • Ncboudicca says:

        I’m glad somebody brought up the Finns – been reading lots of good things about them. Hope some of what they’re doing can be adapted for the US.

      • JennJennM says:

        We have so much MORE to learn about reducing child poverty. Our 21% child poverty rate dwarfs that of Finland at 5.3%. A student’s SES is the most significant factor in student achievement in every country that participated in PISA. Some countries like South Korea have a relatively small score gap between the highest and lowest SES quintiles while the US has one of the worst. The difference owes to home and neighborhood characteristics of poor children in each country. Children whose most basic human needs – competent adult caregiving, niutritious food, safe and clean shelter – are not met are not going to reach their full genetic potential in spite of the best efforts of their teaches in the classroom,

      • Agnetha says:

        Amen Jen Jen.

  3. Jag says:

    She’s always put down the U.S. while talking up England, so I’m surprised she’s letting her children be educated here at all.

    • Birdix says:

      I’m sure the administrators at Spence loved this comment…

      • Decloo says:

        This may have been a reference to LA private schools. There are not nearly as many good ones there as in New York or England.

      • Dana M says:

        Wait, was she actually quoted saying this (English schools are 2nd to none)?
        Or was it just someone saying that she said?

        I remember last year reading about a global school system ranking and the UK ranked like 6th or 7th. The US ranked 16th or 17th.

    • Meredith says:

      When I saw the comment about being close to family and “her godfather Steven Speilberg”, it made me wonder if the move back to the US is about career (hers) rather than education (her kids). Maybe she thinks if she is closer to Hollywood and her power broker friends/family, she can get more/some roles to boost her career again. Not much of a career lately.

  4. MrsB says:

    Well a lot of the world is in fact ahead of our education system. I don’t have any facts about England, but my sister has been living abroad for years, and her kids are in public school. They learned things in 1st or 2nd grade which are being taught here in 5th grade.

    • Mia 4S says:

      England’s school system ranks ahead of the USA (as does Canada’s) but the “second to none” quote is silly.

      The top ranked school system of the past few years? Finland.


      • Ella says:

        Yup, Gwynnie is wrong – most international studies rank Finland as #1 when it comes to public education.

        Also I don’t know what your “seriously” comment was about – Finland has been famous for its education system for decades.

        Universities have no tuition fees there so anyone can go and study to become a doctor or a lawyer or an art historian or whatever – the state even PAYS you a monthly allowance if you study!

      • Mia 4S says:

        @Ella, I meant no offense at all saying “seriously”, its usually the answer to the response I get when I tell people that Finland is at the top (Seriously?! Seriously.) In spite of Waiting for Superman most people in North America still guess China or Japan. Finland is never the first guess, even though most countries should be studying the Finnish system ASAP.

      • NerdMomma says:

        For the record, Finland has a homogeneous population and their language has a shallow orthography, meaning letters map reliably to sounds. In the US, we have a very diverse population and a deep orthography, meaning our spellings come from many different languages and we have to memorize tons of irregular spellings. So, Finland gets a lot of credit for things that really aren’t within its control, and the US gets discredited even though our public education system is dealing with difficulties Finland does not.

      • My2Pence says:

        It is from the PISA assessments, conducted every three years. Next set of results are due out in December.

        Programme for International Student Assessment

        Chart of results

        Why do Finland’s schools get the best results?

      • V4Real says:

        Damn Ole Gywnnie got yall debating again. She’s damn good at that.

        BTW England School System is pretty damn good and I’m American.

      • Mia 4S says:

        @NerdMomma, while Finland is certainly not as diverse as the USA (yet), they are also famously good at integrating and bringing immigrant kids up to speed. My apologies that I can’t find the link but let’s just say there is a a lot to learn there about different cultural backgrounds and education.

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      It’s not so good to be taught too many things. School system in my country (Poland) is very focused on the general education. Every child in the 4th grade or higher has to know i.e. every detail from the Greek mythology, every small river in Kenya or China, the date of every minor battle in far away places or some really specific scientific theories which in other countries are only taught to the science university students and 1) it’s not possible to remember all this, I’ve already forgotten half the things I’ve learned in school and 2) we don’t really have time to focus on what we find interesting. As a university graduate I’m now struggling to find my place in the world because I was never encouraged to find my specialty. I had to be good at everything but didn’t have a chance to be excellent at something which would be my future profession.

      • Spooks says:

        I’m from Croatia and went to a state elementary and state high school ( private schools are not respected and considered to be for stupid kids with rich parents). The amount of things I had to learn was quite broad, but I think it’s a good thing. For an example, I had to learn 2 foreign languages from the age of 7. It was hard, but I’m now fluent in English and German.
        High schools ( gymnasiums) are even harder, with around 16 subjects per year. I had to read between 15 and 20 books for my literature class. I had to learn chemistry which I loved, but I also had to learn philosophy which I hated. But I’m glad I did because now I have a very broad spectrum of knowledge. I was also a member of the chemistry and biology groups which enabled me to focus on those subjects.
        It also helps that university education is completely free ( again, private colleges are for rich dummies).I’m going to be a doctor soon, but I also know who Plato was, which is kinda cool.

      • Norman Bates' Mother says:

        It’s the same here. If you are smart, you are going to the public university and the state pays for your education. If you are too slow or lazy to pass your finals with good enough grades, your parents have to pay for your school (or you have to take a student loan) but it’s not respected anywhere and the student who went to the public school will always be considered more valuable employee than a student from the private school who bought him/herself a diploma. I learned 4 foreign languages in high school and an additional one in college. I guess it’s good that I have a broad knowledge but learning a new languages is what I’m the most interested in and I’m only fluent in English and German and not all 5 because I had to waste my time on learning the useless things like the reproductive process of the lichens or the XIII century Scottish philosophers and I didn’t have time to focus on something which would increase my chances to get a good job. My high school economy teacher was always praising the American education system as the one creating specialists in the particular areas and not the millions of well-educated and well-read but unemployed humanists.

      • LAK says:

        it’s funny…i had the same education in various African countries.

        i was so shocked when i finally arrived in England at how advanced my schooling was compared to my classmates. And i landed in public school which is miles better than state school!!!

        @Spooks – i gree so much with your statement. i hated all the maths/science based subjects, but i am glad my parents enforced the original African schooling when we arrived in England to the protests of my teachers about it all being too much for a child. I may live and breathe the arts, but i also have an indepth knowledge of sciences. And i feel lucky that my education wasn’t so narrow.

      • Harriet says:


        I grew up in Kenya too, following the British curriculum, and like you, when I came back to England I was stunned at how little people around me had been taught in general. In fact, the international exam standards were more difficult than the local ones. But then I see articles like this

        and I am reassured.

      • LAK says:

        Harriet – yea, my part of the world!!!

        re: that Link – i am stunned.

    • Stef Leppard says:


      “They learned things in 1st or 2nd grade which are being taught here in 5th grade.”

      I’m not sure this qualifies as “better”?

      • MrsB says:

        Yes I do consider it better. They are far more advanced, knew several languages by the time they were 10 etc… They are going to have a huge advantage when it comes to getting into a college.

        One of the problems in America is we don’t give our children enough credit. They are plenty capable of learning more, but the school system doesn’t give them the chance.

        At 31 years old, I have returned to college and there are people in my classes who have NEVER written a research paper. Have no idea what APA or MLA style is. These are basic things that everybody by the time they graduate high school should know how to do. The school system coddles these kids and it does them no favors when they get into the real world.

      • Noodles says:

        I had to nod at this– my friend is a professor and recently had a student turn in an entire paper in txt spk.

      • hazeldazel says:

        yes because learning Algebra in the 5th grade rather than in highschool is better.

      • LAK says:

        noodles – LOL. that’s happened to me too. i frequently have to correct people’s written notes because they are in text speak.

    • Leen says:

      I had an Arabic education up until high school, and then I had a year of American education (my teachers were American and used american curriculum in some classes like maths, history, English). And I was being taught things I already knew in 7th grade (this was when I was in 10th grade). So yes I would say American school education isn’t great. Which is a huge shame because I think America has some of the best higher education institutions in the world.

      And yeah Finland does have the best education system in the world and its for free (even university).

      • Bijlee says:

        THAT is the most bizarre thing. Our public education is kinda pathetic but our higher education system is incredible. We have most of the best universities doing cutting edge research in the world here. But I gather it’s mostly because of the graduate students and how difficult it is to get into these programs.

      • Leen says:

        Exactly Bijlee, I was talking to someone about it and they pretty much said the reason why grad schools are on cutting edge of innovation and research is because the people who work very hard to get in are really the creme de la creme of their classes, schools or even districts.

        I am in grad school in the US and honest to God, my classmates are some of the smartest and motivated people I know.

    • lenje says:

      I’ve never been educated in the US. But some friends from high school who were in students exchange programs (which allowed them to compare the US education system and the one back home) often told me that it was a lot easier for them to study in the US. I think we were especially advanced in maths, since some things that are already taught in junior high (grade 7-9) in my country, are taught in high school (grade 10-12) in the US.

      But it doesn’t necessarily mean that our education system was much better. Students were pushed to study a lot of things and discussions were pretty rare, it’s more of one-way thing. I gather it’s different now, especially in private schools.

  5. Talie says:

    I remember Madonna was like this back in the day, wanting to send Lourdes to Cheltenham Ladies.

  6. H. says:

    …is it just me or is Gwyneth starting to look an awful lot like Kelly Rippa?

  7. Amelia says:

    The state school system over here is majorly flawed in some areas. I’ve known families uproot and move to a different county because they wanted to avoid their local school or get their kids into the catchment area of another. The introduction of Academy status and ‘specialist colleges’ has really ballsed things up. If the government had any sense, they’d revive grammar schools but of course that’s too sensible.
    Anyway, as Kaiser mentioned, it’s not as if she’d ever send her kids anywhere but an independent/private school. I went to an independent school on a scholarship when I was a kid, and thoroughly enjoyed myself, but the chasm between independent and state schools is ridiculous. We had so many tips from our teachers and insider info about how to create the ideal university application, it was quite startling to realise that the info we were being fed was like gold dust.
    Hm. Think I’m going a bit off topic.

    • LAK says:

      same here.

      I have various relations in private/state schools. It’s given me a chance to observe state schooling at a distance. i am appalled. very appalled. And that’s before you get to how they are prepared for university or life in general.

      If i have kids, they are going private even if i have to work several jobs to accomplish it.

    • Faye says:

      Ugh the academy system is so messed up I am willing to bet that it will be Labour government next election and hopefully that will change.However instead creating Grammar schools it would make more sense to actually rescue and focus on state schools which are in trouble and focus more on the needs of a child as an individual. The problem with Grammar and secondary modern schools is that is often comes down to class, children who can afford to be tutored often recieve extra help will benefit the most but the poorer children often do not get the help they need. As a dyslexic child I was given no help due to the fact I didn’t seem thick its children like myself who slip through cracks I was lucky that I managed to get good grades due to my own motivation. But often children with Dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, Dysclaculia ect do not get the help they need and are still seen as stupid, thick or problem children.

    • Bubbles says:

      Am I the only one who thinks that private schools are wrong and that it isn’t fair that rich kids get a better education? education isn’t something that should be sold or bought.

      • colt13 says:

        In theory yes, in reality no. As someone who worked for a public school, not as an educator, private schools and home school would be my choice before public. Not just for learning, but socialization.

      • Chloeee says:

        This is a tough one. I am by no means rich -lower middle-and spent my whole school career in private school with the help of financial aid. Educationally it was great…but I also live in an area with AMAZiNG public schools. What I will say (after curriculum) is THE most important thing is student to teacher ratio. My huge Latin family is split down the middle. Half of them think public school is shit the other claim private is. I appreciated my private ed but by no means find it to be the end all. Across the board, the country needs to do something about the school system.

      • Decloo says:

        I went to the same school as Goop and I wasn’t a rich kid, nor were many others there. I had a full scholarship for nearly the whole time there. I would have gone to NYC public schools over my parent’s dead bodies.

    • Harriet says:

      @Bubbles I genuinely despise the concept of standardised educational institutions across the board. If someone else has more money to send their kid to a school they consider better, it’s no one else’s business!

      • Bubbles says:

        I would ban private schools. Invest into public schooling for the benefit of all children. That was one of the good things in communism.

      • Harriet says:

        Yes because communism turned out to be an excellent idea!

      • Bubbles says:

        Did I say that? No. But certain things in communism were good. No privatization of education was one of them.
        Totaliarism ruined communism, but there were some good things.

      • Lucy says:

        @bubbles but why should a parent who’s worked hard not be allowed to have the choice of paying for their child’s education? bearing in mind that state education is paid for through taxes so they are investing in state education and are choosing not to use it.

      • Bubbles says:

        @Lucy, the parents worked hard. Not the child. Why does this child deserve a better education than a poor child? And hard work does not equal more money.

  8. ALG says:

    Ew. Keep her over there, England. We don’t want her back.

  9. Maria says:

    She didn’t lie.

    Our education system is shit and it’s not getting better; teachers have limited resources and aren’t allowed to teach a strong curriculum because testing is the priority, especially with funding is contingent on scores.

    Granted, I’m talking about public education, not private. Poor children suffer the most, the voucher program is irrelevant.

    • Crumpets & Crotchshots says:

      Word. We need to follow the Finland model which emphasizes…. Guess what? Social equality.

      • Kate says:

        Finnland gives 1/3 of its budget to education. As if that will ever happen in “We hate socialism”-America.

      • Lena says:

        In Texas, highways are considered WAY more important than education. In fact, everything is valued over education. THey plan to just starve the schools, and they hate teachers too. Public education is just socialism to these right wingers here and they plan to stamp it out. We are on our way to becoming a third world state and we have our legislators to thank for it.

    • shruti says:

      Actually she’s not very wrong.
      The general consensus is that American school system is terrible and its higher education is just as good.

    • BW says:

      I went to public school in England and USA and England was definitely better.

      Also, my school in England was just like Hogwarts only without the magic (although I was convinced the small wood next to the playing fields had fairies living in it). I have very fond memories of my English school. I hated the American schools I went to.

      • bluhare says:

        I second your assessment. I went to primary school in England/Scotland and the balance of my education here. When I got here, educationally I was two grades ahead of kids my age, but they wouldn’t put me that far and settled for one year.

      • bluhare says:

        In fairness (can’t edit my statement; too late), I think Britsh children start school a bit earlier than the US. Or at least they did.

        At 10 I was memorizing poetry and learning French in Scotland.

    • BeesKnees says:

      Ugh, teaching to the test is so stupid. I taught pre-K and kindergarten in public school and my colleagues who taught in the upper grades were so frustrated by it.

    • TG says:

      Also teachers get in trouble if they fail students so they have to lie and fudge their grades if they don’t want to lose their jobs. My neicr teaches Spanish on KY an she tells me the horror stories of how ignorant her students are and also how the kids have zero respect for education. She will catch a student sending a text and the. Take the phone away and then she finds or that the parent was the one texting with their child during school hours. So we have a lot of really bad parents in this country. My neice refused to lie about grades so she didn’t get asked back.

      • Tcatherine says:

        I’m a Finn and a teacher and I have to say that even though I’m very proud of our education system, we have a lot of problems too. The Finnish systerm concentrates on supporting the students with the most problems/ the weakest students and that is a good thing, but in my opinion the talented students don’t get enough support or opportunities. Also, according to studies (and to my experience) most Finnish students in middle school hate going to school and don’t value their education…Many students prefer playing games on their cell phone and teachers can’t really do much about it, since we have less and less power to actually do anything about the students’ bahavior. But after all is said and done I still do think that our system is mostly good and I really love my job :)

  10. blue marie says:

    Goop being Goop..

    why is her kids having English accents mentioned twice? odd.

  11. dorothy says:

    I actually agree with her on this one.

    • annaloo. says:

      As do I ( though I can’t stand her!) I have no statistics, but my experience with my niece, nephew and friends whose children are educated in London are often 2-3 years ahead of kids here. I cannot speak to the private school systems, but absolutely, kids here in the US are not competing at the same level many kids from other countries are.

  12. Esmom says:

    She’s not alone. I’ve known several families from Europe (not the UK) who have come to the US for a while but then went back to Europe as their kids neared high school age because they also viewed the secondary school education there as far superior.

    I think there’s a lot that’s wrong with the US public school system but there’s also a lot that’s being done right. And unfortunately it’s the affluent school districts that are doing a better job simply because they have more resources.

  13. Sixer says:

    She probably means the cachet attached to British private schools suits her pretentiousness more than that attached to American private schools. Stupid woman.

    British public education is better than its press (and its politicians) would have you believe – it’s just a victim of bureaucracy mostly – but the likelihood of Goop’s knowing anything about it is non-existent.

    • Chloe says:

      ^ This.

      Also, fun fact – what’s called a “public school” in England isn’t actually a state school, but also a private institution, just like “private schools” (for instance, Eton, where English royals are sent to, is a :public school”). But state schools in England are very good indeed.

  14. Chloe says:

    Mentioning those “English accents” twice in one piece of writing is kind of pretentious. Whatever impression Gwynnie’s team is trying to create, they achieve the exact opposite.

    PS: I just enjoy “hating” her. I don’t think she’s Mordor kind of evil or anything.

    • Vesta says:

      Me too – I love to “hate” her. I enjoy when I see people bashing her privileged little a**.

      I think she should just get some proper education FOR HERSELF and it doesn’t matter in which country. There are excellent teachers to be found everywhere.

    • Chloeee says:

      Name twin! I totally noticed that too. Eye roll. My dad has an accent too. Big whoop.

    • TG says:

      I was wondering what having an English accent had to do with getti g a good education.

  15. Bird says:

    She’s not wrong. Our public school system is absolute crap due to ‘teaching to the test’.

    • Ktx says:

      There are a lot if reasons that our public schools are failing. That’s why I teach in private school now. It’s a different world.

    • epiphany says:

      But don’t assume Goop is right about British schools. In a recent poll, British children were asked to name as many of Henry VIII’s wives as they could; the most common responses: Delia, Jerry, and Camilla.
      (All those responses are incorrect, BTW.)

      • LAK says:

        was the poll conducted with state schools or public schools?

        There is a vast difference in education for Public vs state schools.

      • Sixer says:

        Vis a vis that poll, it has been pretty much shown that it was treated as a joke by participants. And it wasn’t created with any rigour.

        This is not to say that everything in the British school garden is rosy – it isn’t. I agree with the comment above about “specialist status” (a wheeze allowing schools to get capital investment) messing stuff up – my kids’ foreign language education suffered from the school going “maths and science specialist” just to get a new building and I ended up tutoring them myself in French and Italian.

        But things aren’t as bad as the press and politicians like to say – the current government and most of the media have an interest in breaking the teaching unions, which is the unspoken agenda behind the academy and free school policies currently en vogue. We won’t end up with a better system for these policies, but I doubt we’ll end up with a worse one either.

        Like most of the major Western economies, money still buys you the type of education (whether it be by actual private schools or being able to live in affluent areas near the best state schools) that will enable you to be successful/influential in life.

        The European countries with the best education systems are the most egalitarian ones. And that should tell us all something.

    • BeesKnees says:

      Yes, it’s beyond frustrating for the teachers. Even as a Kindergarten teacher, I was limited by the curriculum. The superintendents are almost always out of touch and want you to play up how important these standardized tests are to the students.

  16. Crumpets & Crotchshots says:

    How are stones flown in by plane (which consumes fuel) from Peru Eco-friendly? Local materials would be, but not this

    • Oya says:

      So true. Flying in junk from another part of the hemisphere while (very likely) treating it with some kind of chemical is the opposite of eco-friendly.

    • Masque says:

      I’m sure the stones weren’t flown in like a peasant ordered them. They were carefully packed (individually!), loaded on the finest naturally raised mules and slowly hauled (to avoid breakage) by specially trained mule drivers.

      • Ncboudicca says:

        Heh, I was going to say that she hired a village of cute little Peruvians “aren’t they just precious in their native garb” to carry the stones on their backs all the way.

    • Crumpets and Crotchshots says:

      I take this seriously, btw. Although I decided to not become a landscape designer, I studied landscape design for awhile and took an amazing seminar in sustainable architecture, which took place at a LEED certified house in Shelburne Falls. We got the full tour of local quarries and I learned a lot about how to use stone sustainably without destroying the environment with chemicals.

      My favorite part was green roof design– we visited a house that had a turf roof planted with garlic, onions, and all kinds of ornamental alliums. It looked like something out of a fairy tale. My final project focused on site specific land artt installations (Andy Goldsworthy!) about which I would be happy to talk your ear off for hours.

      Yeah Goop: you don’t know sh*t about sustainable. This is just the usual wasteful picking the most expensive and ludicrous option because it feels “special.”

      • Amelia says:

        That roof sounds amazing, but how would you stop the vegetables and plants being buffeted by bad weather?

      • Lucrezia says:

        @ Amelia: You shelter your plants from the weather???

        How bad is the climate where you live? Remind me never to move there!

  17. TG says:

    I agree with others on here the focus is just on testing and not on actually being able to think critically. However, that being said not all public schools are created equal. I live in the DC area and there are lots of top rated public schools. Also my nieces live in Bellevue, WA and they go to a top rated public school with the majority of students being Asian.

  18. Kate says:

    Oh please British education is the most expensive one because its a caste system there. If you’re rich and from a aristrocate background you’ll get into best colleges and the job is already ready for you, never mind how dumb or smart you are.
    Prince Harry was a bad student and he still got to attend Eton and his teacher was forced to give him good grades because of who he is. Even William struggled at college.

    • epiphany says:

      Absolutely right, same with the healthcare system; private doctors and hospitals for those who can afford it, a government run system for everyone else. Hmmm, sound familiar? We know from experience governments can’t run anything efficiently – that’s why the Post Office is bankrupt, and UPS runs at a profit.

    • LAK says:

      The Windsors are not intelligent, however, Harry was a bad student because he is dyslexic which wasn’t diagnosed till very late teens. Too late to start the special programmes that dyslexic students require in order to improve their skills whilst at school unlike Beatrice who was diagnosed in her tweens and started on the programme so that she had no problems at senior school.

      Harry has since made up for it in the army because he frequently passes his army tests amongst the top of the class.

      William on the other hand has no excuses, is frequently given a leg up and is frequently near bottom of his army tests.

      • Tara says:

        Also Harry is not allowed to use recreational, um, herbs in the military. Diana was excruciatingly below par in school, although well liked. The only thing she was above average in was ballet. She laughingly described herself as “thick as a plank” so between Wills and Kate lets hope baby George has Charles’ bookworm habits.

  19. Sal says:

    I don’t think she meant “second to none” literally, guys. Also, the education system in America is just broken. It’s terrible cross the board. Sure, there are plenty of good schools but in general, it’s bad.

  20. Christo says:

    Obviously Gwyneth is no doubt correct, considering the garbage that continues to fly out of her American-educated mouth.

  21. MademoiselleRose says:

    Why does everything that comes out of this idiot’s mouth have to be a putdown to someone. Has she ever, just once, said anything nice.

  22. Kiddo says:

    This is important because, let’s face it, her children will be neurosurgeons, physicists or astronauts. Pfft, hahaha.

  23. swack says:

    “she plans to spend the next couple of years in Los Angeles while her children are young enough for their education not to be affected”. As a retired teacher I can truly tell you that K – 8 are the formative years in education and are a BIG influence on a child. So if she believes that her children aren’t being affected by their education before they reach high school then she is sadly mistaken.

  24. Hertslad says:

    Very much doubt her son will be at Eton – v high academic standards needed to get in (unless you’re a royal), and if he’s inherited his mother’s intelligence…

    • Leah says:

      Not really, Eton is all about nepotism. You dont have to be a royal to get preferential treatment. Its an elitist club that produces the future leaders from a very select group in society. Its not really open to anyone as most people would never afford to send their kids there even if the kids are smart. And Chris Martin is probably smart, he went to UCL in london which is one of the top universities in the UK and amongst the top in the world.

      • LAK says:

        I went to high school with Chris. Our ONLY options were the 24 universities listed in the Russell Group. The few that didn’t make it were encouraged to re-sit their exams so that they could apply the following year.

        The English public school system is stacked so that the outcome is university and almost always top tier per that list.

        And Eton isn’t as elitist as it is made out to be. There are boys who aren’t aristos and or come from lower income families.

        In terms of educations, it regularly tops league tables based on exam results alone. It’s very competitive to get in and you need to plan like a military operation if you intend to send your child there.

        edit: what Harriet said below me.

      • Sixer says:

        I also went to public (ie private in the UK) on a scholarship, but a day school not a boarding school. The success of these schools is based on two main things: class size (it’s easy to teach ten or fifteen kids in a class and hard to teach more than thirty) and teaching/cramming to tests that are socially weighted to favour a certain kind of knowledge (that is to say, what rich WASPs will know and/or value).

        This is not to criticise them. They are successful and most kids are happy in them. I hated it. I actually felt restricted – these kids are pushed into narrow options often, it’s just that the narrow options do lead to future wealth and influence. They’re all funnelled into Oxbridge, or at the very least Russell Group unis, no matter what their aptitudes.

        I left at 16 – much to my parents horror – and did my A levels at a local college. But I did still go to a Russell Group uni.

    • Harriet says:

      Um…I disagree with you there. I actually have a cousin that goes to Eton and it’s not because his parents have lots of £££ to do so but because he is academically gifted and got a scholarship. I just wanted to point that out. I don’t want to criticise you in particular, but I do want to point out a lot of the so called institutions that are called ‘elitist’ are not as unwelcoming as people make them out to be. It’s more about the ambition and I know not everyone can get there depending on their situation, but the term ‘survival of the fittest’ is cruel but true.

  25. lisa says:

    does it matter where they go? at 18, they will just be asking uncle morty (spielberg) for parts like goop

    • Kiddo says:

      Yes, of course it matters, when they are all Fa-fa-fa-ing at cocktail parties, they can mention where they’ve gone to school.

  26. Rachel says:

    My kid is dyslexic. When we go to community school meetings and I hear the stories of early identification, assessment and intervention coming from the parents who have immigrated from England it makes me fume (given how my kid wouldn’t have been assessed until fourth grade if I hadn’t had insurance).

    Granted it’s just hearsay, but I’m going to throw in with the ‘British schools better’ crowd.

  27. lucy2 says:

    Kind of odd she’d uproot her kids for 2 years and take them away from their routine, friends, school, etc, to be closer to her family, when she and her mother don’t seem close at all.

  28. Hope says:

    Conspiracy theory! She gets pregnant, purposely has a daughter, names her something very proper, like Margaret Elizabeth, sends her to all the best schools and lil’ Maggie ends up going to college just behind Prince George and dating him! Could you imagine if goop was the next Carole?! It would be the most glorious train wreck ever! I think dame Gwenyth’s ego might literally explode.

  29. Annabelle says:

    She didn’t lie. My friend’s kids go to a “good” public school, but things are still terrible there. Kids have to share textbooks and there’s a cap on how much paper/ink teachers can use to print off readings/worksheets. Kids there are SOL if they can’t grasp the information from it being read to them in class because there aren’t enough supplies to allow them to study at home or do homework. And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

    • lrm says:

      hmm…that’s odd.
      we live in one of the top districts in the nation-it’s in san diego, and it impresses me in terms of resources and learning schedule/content options, etc.
      BUT, they eschew politically correct in favor of, you know, levels of performance-the way it should be.
      The kids who are ready, get to move on and not wait for the ‘majority’ to be ready.

      Also, although I dislike the competitive aspect of the system here, it does produce good results in the manner of well rounded students who have studied a broad range of subjects.

      There is no sharing of books or materials; the art and music programs are extremely well funded. The computers are new and instruction on MAC, and in multimedia design starts early.
      IT reminds me of growing up in new england [which, btw, still have well regarded schools, for the most part. When I grew up, everyone learned to read and write and do the basics, even those planning to do a tech trade.]
      Bottom line: US schools are as diverse as this country is. Different regions have different priorities and degrees of issues within the schools.

  30. janie says:

    She just has a way of endearing herself to people, doesn’t she? I wonder if she has nothing better to do, but try to be controversial each time she opens her mouth? She’s a piece of work, that’s for sure.

  31. Kiddo says:

    But what’s her opinion on the profile shot? I say nay.

  32. Algernon says:

    Good schools, bad schools, best schools, worst schools. Idiots are everywhere anyway.

  33. Tara says:

    Crumpets and strumpets.

  34. Noodles says:

    It was public school teachers who talked me out of sending my kids to public school.

    No child left behind is a joke. All it has done is force these teachers to spend their time teaching to the test.

  35. Ginger says:

    All i know is the education my son received at a top school in Nevada did not compare to the education he is currently receiving in Nebraska. Nebraska’s public school won hands down. I don’t put down American education but the quality does indeed differ between states and even cities. I do think The US can be proud of our University system. I believe the education is comparable.

    • lrm says:

      I just said the same thing re: different regions, in my comment above. Completely agree with you.
      As usual, knee-jerk comments tend to talk about a small homogenous country like finland, while painting the entire US with one brush, as well.
      Also, interesting people are saying dyslexia diagnosis is better in the UK? To my knowledge, many US states/schools are very progressive in this regard, and with all special needs. [Again, not all 50 states have the resources or population to do the same as the others]. This is perhaps a downfall of a large country. But I still prefer regional control via the states [a republic], rather than federal control over everything point blank, with no other channels of control, to ensure accountability and individual ability influence changes.

  36. Baskingshark says:

    Goop (as usual) is wrong. I have been in both and the US system is vastly better in every possible way, particularly at the upper end of high school where SATs etc work much, much better than A-Levels.

  37. mslewis says:

    I’m sorry to say, I agree with Gwynnie about public education in America. However, she doesn’t have to worry about that anyway since her babies will be in very good private schools in L.A.

    Public education in the U.S. is severely fractured in MOST areas of the country, especially in urban areas, and we are far behind a lot of countries and falling further everyday.

  38. Leah says:

    England is good if you have money. But if you don’t, the schools arent all that. Especially London.

  39. MissNostalgia says:

    If she feels this way, then she should really do her kids (and us) a favor and STAY OVER THERE!

  40. L.E. says:

    Please. She is going to ship her kids off to some posh expensive school. Her kids aren’t going to mix with the commoners.

  41. Coconut says:

    Dutch friends who visit the US regularly and I recently discussed this. They said that Dutch HS graduates with the equivalent of half a US college education, and Dutch college degree equiv to US masters degree.

  42. Leslie says:

    “Second to none”? Does that mean second to some? I never get why people make round about statements like that. If she wanted to say it’s the best, whey didn’t she say that?

    • Lucrezia says:

      Second to none means nothing beats it … however, there could be 3 or 4 tied for equal first. So it’s not quite the same thing as “best”, because best implies a single winner.

  43. rianic says:

    I sent my eldest to Montessori bc I’ve heard so many friends complain about “core curriculum”.

  44. Cody says:

    I Wonder if Goop’s mom, actress, Blythe Danner, ever looks at her daughter and says, “Who are you? Do I know you? The fact of the matter is ,does anybody really care what Goop thinks about the U.S and English educational system.

  45. Niki says:

    I don’t think the schools abroad are better, just different. They treat students differently. In America they are coddled and allowed to be children straight through until they graduate college.
    In many high schools the curriculum is so watered down and made to be so “well rounded” that in many instances the kids cannot name more than 10 US presidents or say much more than”Hi”, “how are you?” and “goodbye” in Spanish, but by god they have straight A’s in their arts classes, or they’ve taken every philosophy or anthropology class the school offers.

    I grew up in the US public school system. I know what it’s like being forced to learn “to the test”. I went to college in England and I totally floundered. I was in no way prepared for a system that actually expected 17 and 18 year olds to behave like functioning adults that had to take care of themselves.

    I will say this for university curriculum in the UK, they could give two shits about being “well rounded”, which is something US universities should take note of. In school for foreign language? you’ll not be wasting time in science and maths classes. No required art or PE electives, you get what you pay for: a degree in your chosen field of study.

    • CC says:

      Yea that’s the thing I never got. Sure, in my undergraduate degree I had optional courses, but they were all related to my field of study.

      When i see those electives in tv shows and movies, I always think to myself “is this a joke or an exaggeration?” I guess not, at least in a lot of US places. I’m sure not all people do that, even if given the option.

      • Leen says:

        Don’t knock it until you tried it. My uni had an elective in video games (politics and society). Two of my classmates landed jobs with Microsoft and google because of it (they thought it was quirky, interesting and cool they took a course in it. It made them stand out).

    • Sixer says:

      In the UK, you specialise in 3-4 subjects when you’re 16. The final two years of “high school” you just do those 3-4 subjects, which are likely related, and which will feed into your first college degree subject, which will usually be one (or max two) subjects.

      So in the UK, we specialise early. And this makes the material studied by 16-18 year-olds and in the first year or perhaps two years of our first degree courses probably more challenging than that in the US.

      But we also leave A LOT of material behind when we are just 16.

      It’s easy enough to see that there are arguments both for and against each way of doing things.

    • Bijlee says:

      Well I like that and I don’t like that.

      I attend a liberal arts university and we are expected to be well rounded. Sure we don’t have excessive specialization in any one field, but I feel it’s given me new ways to think about the subject I specialize in.

      Then again, I would so prefer going farther and farther at a younger stage then the track laid out for me. I would have loved to be taking graduate level courses in the sciences in my sophomore year, but I had so many prereqs to fill and classes that interested me where there wasn’t another chance to take them that there was no time.

      I don’t know. I wish I could study forever and it be fully funded like in France or other places.

    • Leen says:

      I’ve attended both unis in the UK (a Russel Group Uni) and in the States. There are good and bad things about both systems and it is nit for everyone. Academically, I think both are very good but once thing that I disliked about the UK is Uni feels like a waste of time (seriously 10 hours a week does not justify a 3000 GBP or even 9000 GBP now price tag). Although American universities are still pricey (there are more opportunities for scholarships) at least I spend 15 hours or more in the class room.

      Although a specialized field does not mean your career will be in that field. I studied politics and I only know one person out of all my classes who has started his career in a politically related field. All the others are on grad schemes to start work in financial sector/insurance/commerce/etc which I mean I get it, the economy isn’t great, but sometimes you benefit more if you had a well-rounded approach to education (for instance courses on Economics, mathematics, statistics, languages, etc). It also boosts their eligibility for certain jobs as well as broadens their skills.

  46. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    Just from reading from what people have to say about their experiences with public schools in the US or England (especially LAK), I’m glad to see my school isn’t as bad as I thought it was.

    In my experience, at my school, I really think it’s the parents/the students. My school isn’t all that bad, I think the majority of teachers are excellent. And the teachers here (except the math and science dept., if you step outta line you’re screwed) generally bend over backwards to help you with your homework and tests. If you ask them, they will do everything within their power to help.

    What I do see is a bunch of people deciding that they don’t like a teacher or her teaching style so they just ignore her all together. Case in point, my history teacher. I think that she is a great lecturer. She uses powerpoint, and she just sits and she lectures based off the slides and we take notes. That is generally the gist of our classes-we sometimes either do activities, color and label maps, and do some activities, but for the most part its notes.

    And it’s not like she’s reading off the slides and nothing else, she goes in depth with the subject AND you can ask her anything about the subject and she can tell you. So it’s not like she’s stupid. But my *ugh* peers (I hate being in class with them because they trash her the minute she leaves), don’t like that they have to *gasp! take notes, so they don’t, and then they fail her tests. Then they get mad because they say we didn’t cover this, when its in the notes.

    And funnily enough, the people who complain about her are the ones that are either talking all hour, or sleeping all hour. So, really, barring extreme circumstances, such as a learning disability, the majority of stupid teenagers in my school are stupid because they don’t care and their parents don’t make them care. There are a lot of negligent parents around here. I mean a lot. I’ve been amazed by it since I was a kid…which is really bad because I’m still a kid.

  47. holly hobby says:

    I don’t know too much about England’s educational system but I do agree with the view that America’s education system is not up to par with the rest of the world’s. We recently hosted a bunch of high school kids at work. We gave them a brief civics lesson (apparently it’s no longer taught in school! I couldn’t believe this but that is another issue). One kid had the nerve to ask us what was “Con-grease.” I nearly fell out of my chair.

    I actually do think the American education system is on a slow decline. It is now much worse than when I went to school. Full disclosure, I’m a product of the public school system but I went to a highly competitive alternate public high school. I wasn’t the best but that experience taught me discipline. At least I knew how to do simply plug in algebra. I found out some kids didn’t know simple algebra when someone in my college statistics class asked, what do you do with x=?”

    Now if you are unfortunate enough to be in an advanced math class with some kids from different nations, you will find out that those kids can run circles around you.

    • lrm says:

      Yes, and this is also cultural re: advanced math kids from other countries. Tiger Mom is for real! In fact, one of my child’s korean friends does an impersonation, referring to it simply as ‘asian parent’. It’s pretty funny, actually. But it’s acknowledged by all the asian and indian friends of my child’s. They laugh about it.

      Innovation is still largely a product of the US in many areas. The percentage of individuals actually contributing to this innovation is small, compared to the general population, sure.
      But, just being able to do any math problem really well and fast, and being perfect academically, ensures you simply a well paying engineering or IT job in a cubicle. And said job will be the result of someone’s innovation.
      Just sayin’….
      There’s more to this discussion than meets the eye.

      • holly hobby says:

        Well innovation may play a small part in American success but how do you explain Silicon Valley’s incessant need to open up H1B visas for skilled workers (usually in the computer field)? Their excuse is because they can’t find anyone in the US to do it. Those tiger kids may be good at math or what not but you know those are the people the companies want. I’m sorry to say the American education system has definitely left kids in the lurch because they are not considered viable candidates for those “innovators.”

  48. Thiajoka says:

    If she doesn’t have a Nigel Thornberry accent going by now, I’ll be a monkey named Darwin.

  49. Kathryn says:

    I’m American and the American education system is horrifying. I’m not about to write an essay on how bad it is (I don’t have all day) but I have met people who don’t know how many states there are, and that think the ocean between the East Coast and Africa is the Mediterranean. I have spoken to many Europeans about the differences in our education system, and ours made no sense to them, to which I completely agree. Many Americans barely have knowledge of their own country, let alone a sense of what’s happening in the rest of the world. I’m sure this comment will get me yelled at, saying if you don’t like it leave the country (typical obnoxious answer) but our systems have flaws that need to be realized and fixed. For some reason as Americans we have a sense that we can’t possibly be bad at anything and criticism of one of our systems is met with hostility. My best friend is a school teacher at a public middle school and showed me all of her students that were failing, but none will be held back or made to learn the correct material. Why? Because nobody feels like teaching them again, and that is the truth.

    • CC says:

      If I had been given the choice, I wouldn’t have studied either history (TOTALLY biased towards the country it’s taught in) or geography, not all regions are created equally and even within a country, some are not worth the time. I would have picked extra languages, advanced computing, advanced math advanced physics. I do study history on my own even now but in such a way that bias is removed. and obviously no PE. Waste of space in education. Provides none, and if I want to exercise, a school isn’t a place I want it done in.

    • imqrious2 says:

      I’ve been a teacher in for one of the biggest urban school districts in the country (U.S.)for almost 30 yrs. I’ve taught in inner city and suburban schools, K-6.

      In my experience, it’s not that we, as teachers, “don’t want to teach them again”, it’s the fact that we are NOT ALLOWED to hold a child back. It reflects badly on the school. Also, at least in the district where I am, if a parent says no to retention, we may not make a child repeat that grade, even if all that child accomplished that year was filling a seat and breathing in and out!

      There is literally no personal accountability for classwork/homework, and it has become ALL the teachers’ fault for a student not testing well. A parent will not ask their child why the child is not doing the work or why he/she is acting up in class, they will come in and berate the teacher as to why the teacher is picking on their child (yes, I was actually accused of picking on a child because I insisted he stop banging on the desk during a lesson!). There are always excuses as to why Sam didn’t do his homework, or why Mary has so many frequent tardies and absences (and of course, didn’t keep up with the classwork while out).

      And don’t forget, in a public school, we are dealing with behavioral/discipline problems, health problems, ADD/ADHD, a large range of learning disabilities, Autism (from Asperger’s to severely austic), deaf and hard of hearing kids (who are usually below grade level due to lack of language acquisition at an early age, esp. in inner city schools)… a large portion of these children are mainstreamed into general ed. classes from an hour a day to all day. Public schools don’t have the option to not accept students for these reasons, as do private schools (hence lower test scores).

      I know it’s a tired old cliche, but I can be the best teacher, create interesting lessons (well, as interesting as the shackling curriculum allows!), but I cannot “make” a child learn. They do have to meet me at least part of the way :-)

      (Sorry for the length/rant…but I get so tired of teacher bashing, and how the bad educational system ends up being all the teachers’ fault by implication…sigh.

      NOTE: I’m not accusing ANYONE in here of this! Just gettin’ it off my chest. Thanks for listening :-) ).

  50. RF says:

    Seriously? GP doesn’t know jack (which rhymes with crack but I digress). Wasn’t she underachieving and mean at Spence? Its all about appearances with GP. I bet she owns Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby (didn’t Brad Pitt buy her a first edition of the former?) but hasn’t read them. You can’t wear a book and show off how underfed and pre-osteoarthric you are.

  51. PinkG says:

    You have to realize our Government (POTUS & FLOTUS) do not care about education. Keep em’ down, keep em’stupid and you can control them. Hence Socialism/Communism.

  52. Pixiestix says:

    Goop is such a terrible snob. I’d like to see her volunteer in one of LA’s inner city schools once she relocates.

    I was a teacher in US and Europe (not UK, though) in a previous career and had been pretty successful. The US educational system allows for much more variety, creativity, choice, and discussion/disagreement in smaller settings than the traditional, more rigid Euro model. Need to research about the Finnish model, though.

    I taught in millionaire country in the US, and would echo comments above about parents being a huge issue (helicopter parents and those uninterested in their kids’ schooling). I got out primarily because I was tired of dealing w/parental gripes (even though my administration always backed me for sound reasoning) — they did their children a disservice by blaming teacher as an automatic default, being too permissive, doing projects for their kids and then complaining that they only got a B, lol, and pressure to change grades. Veteran teachers who had been in a while saw these changes over time — it stems forms societal shifts.

  53. Andrea says:

    I moved to Canada from the US last year. I am an American now a permanent resident in Canada. I realized how ignorant and uneducated Americans are/were when I told them I was moving to Toronto. Here are some fun examples: Are you giving up your American citizenship? Are you going to have to Speak French (even after I told them I was moving to Toronto Canada)? Also, there will be huge wait times at walk in clinics, doctors etc (I had to wait longer to get my own GP in the states AND have had longer wait-times at walk in clinics in the states).

  54. anongirl says:

    There are a few good threads here about the US’s public education system, so I’m going to skip that.
    So…does she seem like SUCH an Anne Hathaway try-hard when it comes to England and Englishness to anyone else? I picture her standing in front of her mirror imagining that some important English personage is saying to her, “What! You’re not English? How can this be? You seem just like one of us! Pshaw and odds bodikins!” And then she cries herself to sleep because no one ever says it.

  55. moon says:

    I’m sorry, but who appointed Goop Purveyor of The Best Taste? Here’s what makes her really annoying – more than just her lack of touch with reality – being such an opinionated know-it-all. Self-appointed, non-credible, know-it-all. Nobody cares about your opinions Goop, stop acting so long suffering when it’s we who are suffering from you.

  56. MrsNix says:

    When we were living in Ireland, our daughter went to P2 and P3 at a school in Dublin on the English model. I have to say, despite my continued support for American public schools (I received a very good education and my mother taught in public schools for more than 40 years), the maths and science our daughter took in 2nd and 3rd grade in Dublin were far beyond what American 2nd and 3rd graders were receiving. I would not take our experience in one private school in Dublin and use it to elevate the entire English schooling programme, but as an anecdotal example, I agree that the curriculum is superior.

  57. miapatagonia says:

    Nice to discover, yet not surprised, that my fellow Celebitchy posters are quite international and well educated.

  58. Caroline says:

    The public school system is quite inadequate!