Students have 2 million minutes—the time from the beginning of eighth grade to high school graduation—to build the intellectual foundation they’ll need for professional success. That’s the premise of a new documentary, Two Million Minutes, that’s making waves in education and political circles.
The film tracks six students—two each in the U.S., India, and China—during their senior year of high school. The Indian and Chinese students work diligently on math and science, while the American students work hard but appear less focused and leave plenty of time for video games and social lives. The message is that because of our education system, we’re getting left behind.
Two Million Minutes provides a provocative glimpse of the global competition now facing U.S. students. And the conclusion many are drawing is that to keep our edge, our children need to study more math and science and work harder. It is true that the U.S. education system should be improved; that’s essential for economic success.
But the solution isn’t for us to become just like our new competitors. We need to do what we do better.