I have seen quite a few changes happen in Spain over the years and I have to tell you that a very specific pattern has emerged. That pattern is … every modern societal trend that happens in Spain - happened first in the United States, good and bad.
One of these days I'll make a list, but for right now one of the issues the Spanish media is talking about is the education system. Test scores are low, Johnny (Jose) can’t read or do arithmetic, the kids are mean to their teachers, the kids would rather watch TV and play video games, etc. So a lot of hand-wringing is going on. How do we fix this? Why is this happening? It’s the teachers’ fault! Yeahh that’s it, it can’t be our little angels…
Well, I’m afraid it is your lazy Brats' fault, and your fault (the parents). How do I know? I know because this is old news in the States. Gone are the days when Spain can point to the U.S. and proudly proclaim, “Their test scores are low because the Americans are idiots!” No, just like in the U.S., there are three main reasons test scores are low in Spain.
1) Spain is no longer a poor country. The native born kids are getting fat (literally) and lazy. (Yes, just like the Americans did starting around 1970 - and I say now improving). This is simply due to human nature. People take the path of least resistance and parents don't push their kids to study. The kids now have a sense of entitlement. When they are young they have all the modern gadgets and distractions of a rich country and when they are a little older they think life will always continue being easy. Couple this with a fatalistic attitude about getting a good job and it’s a wonder they get out of bed! Well, there is always the Botellon ...
2) First generation new-comers who test poorly because they are challenged economically and /or have language difficulties … and,
3) Misguided education reforms trying to be enlightened instead of just sticking to teaching the old way.
So here’s the crystal ball part. Spain will go through the process of “reforming” the education system (read: screwing it up to be too politically correct and complicated - this has already started for some time). They will fill racial quotas, they will be afraid of giving failing grades, they will coddle the kids and blame the teachers, and all this will just make it worse. Just like it did here in the U.S.
More crystal ball stuff… There will be groups of students who will consistently kick ass on the native-born students in terms of school performance. These are some of the immigrants … the ones whose parents value education, the ones whose parents are struggling, the ones who will succeed even if it kills them. I will go out on a limb and say this will be the Asians, Africans, and even the South Americans since they will work very hard. These people will know an opportunity when they see one (free education), and hard work will not scare them.
Back to the States; There is a reason they call UCLA the “University of Caucasians Lost among Asians.” We don't have racial quotas anymore and the best students are winning and filling the universities - the Asians!