Belize: Day 3
For breakfast a small group of us dined at Estelle's on the beach. I ordered the special, which was 2 Fry Jacks, scrambled eggs with shrimp and chorizo sausage, coupled with black beans. What I've noticed thus far is that every place that sold black beans as a side dish, the black beans were pureed.
After such a wonderful dining experience, I sat under a canopy of trees talking with some ladies who worked at the inn where we stayed. The conversation was so rich! One of the hot topics was the educational system: curriculum, social promotion/retention, and government vs. private schools. When comparing the U.S. curriculum to the Belizian curriculum, one difference I noticed was that in Belize there is not a unified curriculum for the country nor a unified assessment instrument. The "public" schools which are government schools are for students whose parents can't afford private school tuition. Those schools may have over 30 students in each class. On the contrary, private schools may have only 10 students in each classroom.
In the U.S. the educational structure is a bit different. Since the implementation of the Common Core curriculum, there is more unification in the standards being taught nationwide. Also, all end of grade standardized tests are created at a state level based upon the same set of standards. In addition, although in times past retention was implemented more often than now, many students in the U.S. are socially promoted. So the question then becomes, is it better to retain students until they master the curriculum (as in Belize) or is it better to socially promote students so that they can remain in classes with their age-appropriate peers?
To be continued,