Can you really say one education system is better than the other when comparing Korean education to American? Personally I don't think you can. In this disucssion I am only referencing elementary through highschool education systems.
I definitely think that the American education system is faultering and a "let down" to the children. Many schools are removing extra-curriculars such as music programs!!in favor of more administration and more counselors. The curriculums seem to be getting watered down and you hear of schools offering ebonics!! EBONICS!!! basically saying its ok to butcher the english language (as if we don't do that bad enough already??). Or the California math system where 2+2 can equal 5, as long as the child's feelings are not hurt by it. Im sorry but 2 + 2 equals 4, and I don't care if it hurts the feelings of a child to tell them they are wrong. It seems that the American education system has lost its "wind in its sails"...Luckily for me I think I passed through the system at its height of glory or maybe just as the height of glory was passing. I think in the 1990s the education system was probably at its best, with pushing students to get into colleges and providing the basic fundementals to be able to succeed. I think the emphasis on college could have been taken a little more serious by students, parents, and teachers alike. However I dont think America has ever faced a situation where too much focus has been put on education. Unfortunately now, I think American education system is quickly getting worse and failing at providing the necessary basics to students.
Then we have Korea in a stark contrast. Korean Society has realized the importance of education and have continued to really push education. This can be seen by the fact that their student far exceed American students in every aspect except having a life out of school. Unfortunatley I think they take it too far, to the point where they "burn out" their students too early. Meaning, the education system is so stressful on the students that by the time they get to college they are burned out and exhausted leaving not much in their "fuel tanks" for college. Ideally this should occur at the end of college so you maximize your learning over your entire duration of your education. Koreans put too much emphasis on education to the point where their students have nothing but school in their lives. At the same time, I think spending this much time in books also does not provide any "street sense" or "street smarts".
Im not saying one is better then the other. However, when it comes to education I think Id rather be overly compensated in this area then under-compensated. I would hope I could survive that stress in the Korean system to get the basics they provide. However, students shouldnt have to pick one or the other. There needs to be balance.