Document Type



Educational Studies (CGU)

Publication Date



Curriculum and Instruction | Education


The achievement problems in U.S. schools can be seen clearly at our border. Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, are about a mile apart, separated by the Rio Grande. For years, one of my former doctoral students was on the faculty of the University of Texas at El Paso and directed the remedial center. Students who were having trouble in a variety of subjects, including mathematics, came to the center for tutoring by undergraduates and graduate students. In reviewing who was hired by the center over a number of years, she observed that Americans were rarely hired to tutor in math. Rather, most math tutors came from Mexico, Malaysia and India. Most of the Mexican tutors came from Juarez. While it's possible that those Mexican tutors were from the more affluent sector of Juarez, it appeared that a young person who went through the Juarez school system emerged with a much better knowledge of mathematics than the same young person would if he or she attended school a mile away in the U.S. In fact, teachers from Juarez were training teachers from El Paso about mathematics instruction.

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© 1996 David E. Drew

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