December 14th, 2013
01:25 AM ET

On GPS Sunday: Why U.S. students are falling behind, and North Korea's surprise execution

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

On GPS this Sunday: A photograph that ricocheted around the world – Fareed offers his take on President Barack Obama shaking hands with Cuban President Raul Castro.

Then, an all-star panel on why American kids are falling behind students in other countries: Tom Friedman of the New York Times, Salman Khan of the Khan Academy, former chancellor of New York City's school system Joel Klein and Wendy Kopp, co-founder of Teach for All share their thoughts.

Plus, why did North Korean leader Kim Jong Un order the execution of his own uncle?  Kurt Campbell, former U.S. Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, gives his take.

“He had the closest relationships in China. He in many respects was the person that the international community was counting on to provide some stable council to this young upstart,” Campbell says. “I think we saw pretty clearly on, however, that he had unusual powers and that people were looking to him in a way to play this role.  And for a young, inexperienced leader
prone to violence, he could be threatening.”

And, still looking for a Christmas gift for a GPS fan? How about a GPS mug? Visit the CNN store:

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Waste Korean

    It is same teachability 0 to work as a Korean without progress every time as ever

    December 14, 2013 at 3:42 am |
  2. ✠RZ✠

    If Jang had his "closest relationships in China", then who's number UN to buddy up with now? Rodman?? I can see the sentiment of few warmongers mirroring Flounder in Animal House, "Oh boy, is this great!"

    December 14, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  3. No Korea

    USA finally needs new foreign policy: no Koreans collaboration. Koreans secret enemies intelligence networks, both of North and South Korea, have very dangerous undercover operations against US interests. USA should not import, neither from North nor South Korea, and stop collaboration with Koreans.

    December 15, 2013 at 5:13 am |
  4. NATO

    We should not import anything from South or North Korea, and not spend a single $ of tax payers money on wrong millitary collaboration that is not inline with NATO.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:30 am |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    U.S. students have already fallen far behind, and will fall further, because they are not made aware that they are completely responsible for doing the work of learning, that they can and will be "left behind," and that their financial survival is absolutely dependent on their learning.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • Lou Toth

      Teaching begins at home! I saw exceptions but dysfunctional "families" have a high correlation to dysfunctional students. We waste too much taxpayer money on primary and secondary education and little on trade and practical education solutions ( College graduation rates are too high! U.S. students find that a college degree does not necessarily lead towards a job much less a challenging or rewarding career.
      Answer: (1) Reduce public spending on schools and provide school choice with partial subsidies for students not in public schools.
      (2) Rank students beginning in "middle school". Top 40% are put on a college track, implement trade and business tracks for remaining 60% of students using local, state and national businesses for technical training (We need more competent plumbers and bridge builders than PhD computer science professors).
      (3) We waste public funding on a directionless and misguided education "business" in america that measures success by a diploma and not by the real metric of life long learning leading toward self sufficient individuals and families who enhance the society as a whole.

      December 15, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    "North Korea's surprise execution?"
    I am never surprised when communists kill people: that's how communists make a living.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:54 am |
  7. cecrafton

    Fareed Zakaria has a long segment on improving education but NOT ONE teacher on the panel. His panel discussed empowering teachers....but not one teacher participated. So long as teachers are excluded from this national conversation, we are only partly addressing the issue. PLEASE consider inviting educators to actually participate in discussions about teaching!

    December 15, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Bridget

      I agree. I am so tired of hearing from noneducators who think they have the magic bullet to fixing education. Public Education has been taken over by so called Reformers who have decided that testing kids to death will "fix" education. That is why testing companies are raking in billions and public education has been narrowed to teaching to a standardized test. That is why creativity and innovation have been lost. The sad part is that children of these reformers attend private schools that look nothing like the public schools children of poverty attend. When will someone tell the truth, that the scores directly reflect the poverty level of the student population??? Poor children, poor scores. Middle class children, middle level scores. Wealthy children, high scores. No brainer! Shame on you Fareed. Why is Dianne Ravitch missing from your panel.

      December 15, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • John Miles

      Fareed's panel was superb, filled with participants who had functioned at levels that transcend the classroom. Their comments were based on long experience and research and in no way denigrated the role of the classroom teacher.
      They were not discussing specific learning strategies, kinds of testings, or other areas that the typical classroom teacher would have experience with. And they certainly were not advocating additional rote memory testing nor anything of the sort.

      December 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • Tim Leonard

        What John Miles call "transcending the classroom" means the "experts are long in time an distance from actually working with teachers and students, or they never have done either. For example, they depend of test scores to achieve "knowledge" about how schools are doing is like a physician telling me how I am doing by weighing me, and not inquiring into my heart rate, blood pressure, the quality of my working relationships and family relationships. The numbers are indicators and judgments cannot be made with such incomplete data. The single most useful predictor of the level of a nation's PISA test scores (which, as noted are only indicators) is the equitable distribution of income in a country. Look at the OECD data.

        December 15, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  8. Bob Stagner

    What is being overlooked in this conversation is that there is a nebulous correlation between education and success in business.. This is spoken by one who has been educated beyond his level of intelligence.

    December 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  9. drora

    At the age of five a child enters the education system already imprinted with his or her character and set of values. Just as a child whose parents do not enjoy vegetables will hate salad, a child whose parents do not value education in their deeds will not only despise school but hate and bully kids who are successful. Immigrant parents realize that the path to their offsprings' success in life is education and communicate this to their kids. American parents want their sons to become football stars.

    December 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  10. Eddie

    American schools suclk because teacher unions value teacher protection over academic development and because school administrators cator to whining parents and politicians.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
  11. Mike

    US should block Koreans on all levels, and stop importing (no kia, no hyundai, no samsung, ... no more in US market). No other way is possible if we want push democracy for peace and stability.

    December 17, 2013 at 5:05 am |
  12. monkey games

    I genuinely appreciate your piece of work, Great post.

    April 13, 2018 at 12:48 pm |

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