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Off to China

Historically speaking, China is a society that holds learning and education in high esteem. It's hardly alone in that respect. The emphasis on learning in the Chinese Confucian tradition are comparable to the learning-focused philosophies of Aristotle and  Socrates, which are underpinnings of western culture.

China, it's also worth noting, is a key U.S. trading partner and a rapidly rising economic and military power, making knowledge of modern China a key intellectual commodity in the coming years.

From a broad perspective, therefore, an argument can be made that sending Harford County's superintendent of schools and three high school principals to the People's...