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(Yahoo)   US 8th-grader's math skills have declined nearly twenty-eleven percent when compared to those of many of our global competitors   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 173
    More: Sad, National Center for Education Statistics, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, abstract concepts, International Association of Educators, graders, ripple effect, advanced degree, Jeb Bush  
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2963 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Dec 2012 at 2:36 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-12 04:45:25 PM

Blue_Blazer: rwfan: Blue_Blazer: The other thing that is often left out: the USA educates a higher percentage of its children than other countries. These studies are about as useful as comparing elite prep schools to the average American school.

That is certainly not true of Finland and most of Europe.
Percentages of children receiving a secondary education:
 
As you can see the US lags most of Europe.

On the other hand, at least Massachusetts, where my kids go to school, is kicking butt.

/suck it bible belt.

Secondary? You mean like college? Wtf that has to do with public compulsory education?


I think secondary education = high school.

I also think that in Japan and Finland, it is not compulsary for students to go to high school. In Japan you don't have to go to high school at all, so a percentage drop out after age 14-15, and in Finland you can stop at age 15-16. In other countries you can stop at other ages (e.g. China at age 14). (Source: wikipedia "education in ___").

So it makes sense that the US is highly competitive for the ages where all kids go to school, the US is highly competitive, but for student ages where the lower end of the distribution isn't counted in other countries, the US looks less and less competitive.
 
2012-12-12 04:45:48 PM
I for one am glad that the almost $1 trillion dollars we spend on education (All levels of government combined) are yielding such positive results. See what more money can fix?
 
2012-12-12 04:56:07 PM
I've been to Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan - none of them are societies we should want to emulate. Based on what I've seen, I would argue that the average American 8th grader has a more well-rounded education, a higher quality of life and a much more mature overall outlook than their peers in any of them.
 
2012-12-12 04:57:17 PM

rwfan: Blue_Blazer: The other thing that is often left out: the USA educates a higher percentage of its children than other countries. These studies are about as useful as comparing elite prep schools to the average American school.

That is certainly not true of Finland and most of Europe.
Percentages of children receiving a secondary education:
[www.childinfo.org image 552x243] 
As you can see the US lags most of Europe.

On the other hand, at least Massachusetts, where my kids go to school, is kicking butt.

/suck it bible belt.


You know what Finland and Massachusetts have that California and Alabama don't have?

Lots of white kids.

/Yeah, I went there.
 
2012-12-12 05:00:25 PM

buckler: I guess the thing is that I always found its rules to be arbitrary. I like to approach things from a "why are things this way in particular?" standpoint, and always found "because it's just a fundamental property of our Universe" to be somewhat unsatisfying.


The arbitrariness of the rules is kind of the point of math: write down a set of axioms, and see what you can derive from them. The rules of arithmetic aren't "a fundamental property of our universe"; you can write down other rules too. They just don't turn out to be as useful.
 
2012-12-12 05:02:25 PM

MemeSlave: In 5-6 years when they can vote, and the Democrats tell them that you can print money forever without it losing value, they'll buy right in.

This has been a long time in coming - no more civics classes in school, immigration reform, complete disconnection of cause from effect by welfare programs, endless debt and decay of the educational system - we're at the point where people will march right off the cliff when asked.


Missed the part of the article where Massachusetts did extremely well, I see.

We ain't exactly a red state...
 
2012-12-12 05:04:37 PM
I remember doing proofs in geometry - in ELEMENTARY school. And it wasn't like I was some kind of prodigy. We all did them.

These days, they don't teach that stuff until 9th or 10th grade. Freaks me out sometimes. We were doing trig and pre-calc by then. And we liked it.
 
2012-12-12 05:07:26 PM

Khazar-Khum: Qualified scientists & engineers get paid poorly. Companies would rather hire a college grad than someone with 25 years experience in the field. If you're over 50, good luck finding any engineering/science jobs at all.

There's less of a shortage and more of a 'don't wanna pay' surplus.


So. Much. That.

We have that issue where I work. Just had a guy with 40+ years of experience retire out of a team of three. The other two have 5 years and one year of experience. One of the last things the old guy said before he left was that the company needed to find an experienced engineer that is familiar with the type of product we're making and hire them. Yes, they will have to pay them accordingly but the ability to hit the ground running, so to speak, would prevent the two remaining people from getting absolutely inundated with work and minimize the amount of training they would have to provide for the new hire.

So, in their infinite wisdom, management is hiring a guy graduating this month from college to fill the shoes of a guy with 40+ years of experience. As of 1/1/13, our team will have a collective 6 years of experience between 3 people, and we are the only ones in the entire company supporting our product in the western hemisphere. We're already egregiously late on a number of items, customers are starting to go elsewhere, and having to train this new kid is going to put us even farther behind... all because management is too damn cheap to just pay an experienced guy what he's worth.

/not so CSB
 
2012-12-12 05:13:25 PM

trippdogg: I've been to Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan - none of them are societies we should want to emulate. Based on what I've seen, I would argue that the average American 8th grader has a more well-rounded education, a higher quality of life and a much more mature overall outlook than their peers in any of them.


The average privately educated American Kid yes.....

But seriously the Public schools have a huge problem. They have become an extension of the Democratic party and the welfare bureaucracy. My local school district spends more money per student on social programs than education programs. And the standards they brag about meeting are abysmal.

Literally only 20% of the kids who graduate are reading at grade level. The Districts plan is to increase that number by a point a year. Literally they have an 80 YEAR PLAN to get the kids up to reading proficiency.

Now you or I in a classroom with a teacher who focuses on reading for 2 hours a day in 1st 2nd and 3rd grade will be reading and writing at 3rd grade level when we leave third grade. Well maybe you, I was reading the Hobbit and The Three Investigators serials and the Black stallion books in 3rd grade.

But anyway the point is that with a moderate amount of instruction a kid can learn to read. Somehow after failing over three years to teach reading, the public schools have decided that it is better to advance the child to 4th grade and beyond without ever really reaching that third grade reading level. What we see around here is good grades up until 4th grade, before 4th they learn to read, in 4th they read to learn, then the grades sort of plateau as the kids start to slip behind by not being able to read well, and by 8th grade they are really bad.

Now you or I might say.....dont let the kids out of 3rd grade until they can read......offer a summer reading program.....hire tutors with some of the tens of millions of dollars you appropriate from property owners and get the kids reading.....

But no, they wont do that, they continue to advance the kids so that the reading problem becomes a math, science and history problem and they consider 1 point of improvement a year to be acceptable.

I actually helped manage and advise three candidates for school board this last election cycle who ran on a platform of ending social promotion and requiring reading proficiency. We took 41% of the total vote count but didnt seat any board members. The Democrat party and the teachers rallied and backed a couple of their own with ten grand each and we lost. In doing so I was able to get every establishment candidate on the record that they supported the reading policy of social promotion from 3rd grade and would continue the policy.

Over the next 80 years as they fail to teach reading they will ruin the futures of about 40,000 students and spend about 2 billion dollars doing it.

Because that is really what public school is about, Democrat control of Billions of dollars in local spending.
 
2012-12-12 05:15:21 PM

Meatschool: Khazar-Khum: Qualified scientists & engineers get paid poorly. Companies would rather hire a college grad than someone with 25 years experience in the field. If you're over 50, good luck finding any engineering/science jobs at all.

There's less of a shortage and more of a 'don't wanna pay' surplus.

So. Much. That.

We have that issue where I work. Just had a guy with 40+ years of experience retire out of a team of three. The other two have 5 years and one year of experience. One of the last things the old guy said before he left was that the company needed to find an experienced engineer that is familiar with the type of product we're making and hire them. Yes, they will have to pay them accordingly but the ability to hit the ground running, so to speak, would prevent the two remaining people from getting absolutely inundated with work and minimize the amount of training they would have to provide for the new hire.

So, in their infinite wisdom, management is hiring a guy graduating this month from college to fill the shoes of a guy with 40+ years of experience. As of 1/1/13, our team will have a collective 6 years of experience between 3 people, and we are the only ones in the entire company supporting our product in the western hemisphere. We're already egregiously late on a number of items, customers are starting to go elsewhere, and having to train this new kid is going to put us even farther behind... all because management is too damn cheap to just pay an experienced guy what he's worth.

/not so CSB


Don't worry...when management gives itself a bonus for cost-cutting and you guys slide into Chapter 11 like Hostess did, some Farkers will be quick to explain how you have to pay top dollar for executive talent.

What I can't figure out is how they post that crap and keep a straight face...
 
2012-12-12 05:21:58 PM

archichris: trippdogg: I've been to Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan - none of them are societies we should want to emulate. Based on what I've seen, I would argue that the average American 8th grader has a more well-rounded education, a higher quality of life and a much more mature overall outlook than their peers in any of them.

The average privately educated American Kid yes.....

But seriously the Public schools have a huge problem. They have become an extension of the Democratic party and the welfare bureaucracy. My local school district spends more money per student on social programs than education programs. And the standards they brag about meeting are abysmal.

Literally only 20% of the kids who graduate are reading at grade level. The Districts plan is to increase that number by a point a year. Literally they have an 80 YEAR PLAN to get the kids up to reading proficiency.

Now you or I in a classroom with a teacher who focuses on reading for 2 hours a day in 1st 2nd and 3rd grade will be reading and writing at 3rd grade level when we leave third grade. Well maybe you, I was reading the Hobbit and The Three Investigators serials and the Black stallion books in 3rd grade.

But anyway the point is that with a moderate amount of instruction a kid can learn to read. Somehow after failing over three years to teach reading, the public schools have decided that it is better to advance the child to 4th grade and beyond without ever really reaching that third grade reading level. What we see around here is good grades up until 4th grade, before 4th they learn to read, in 4th they read to learn, then the grades sort of plateau as the kids start to slip behind by not being able to read well, and by 8th grade they are really bad.

Now you or I might say.....dont let the kids out of 3rd grade until they can read......offer a summer reading program.....hire tutors with some of the tens of millions of dollars you appropriate from property owners and get the kids reading.....

But ...


Your thesis seems to be that the Democrats control every school district in the U.S.

You might want to rethink that.
 
2012-12-12 05:23:19 PM

OnlyM3: With positive results like this, obviously, teachers deserve a raise


And tax increases for the wealthiest Americans are the way to pay for them.
 
2012-12-12 05:25:16 PM

Ambitwistor: buckler: I guess the thing is that I always found its rules to be arbitrary. I like to approach things from a "why are things this way in particular?" standpoint, and always found "because it's just a fundamental property of our Universe" to be somewhat unsatisfying.

The arbitrariness of the rules is kind of the point of math: write down a set of axioms, and see what you can derive from them. The rules of arithmetic aren't "a fundamental property of our universe"; you can write down other rules too. They just don't turn out to be as useful.


Hm. Okay, that makes sense to me. In a way, I can relate that to literature. You can start off with some presuppositions about the Universe you're creating in your head. Some may lead to a great story, and others inevitably lead to crap.
 
2012-12-12 05:27:30 PM

keypusher: rwfan: Blue_Blazer: The other thing that is often left out: the USA educates a higher percentage of its children than other countries. These studies are about as useful as comparing elite prep schools to the average American school.

That is certainly not true of Finland and most of Europe.
Percentages of children receiving a secondary education:
[www.childinfo.org image 552x243] 
As you can see the US lags most of Europe.

On the other hand, at least Massachusetts, where my kids go to school, is kicking butt.

/suck it bible belt.

You know what Finland and Massachusetts have that California and Alabama don't have?

Lots of white kids.

/Yeah, I went there.


You're probably just trolling, but I'll bite. Can't speak for Finland, but Alabama and Mass aren't THAT far apart...74 and 84 percent white, thereabouts.

If I wanted to be inflammatory, I'd point out the difference in fundie religious beliefs...
 
2012-12-12 05:28:30 PM

Gawdzila: Thunderpipes: If a kid can't understand what multiplication is, making them write it out won't help.

Not true. One can understand something without understanding every possible way to look at it.
Even for someone who "gets it", an alternative way to think about problems can be insightful.


Thunderpipes: Old ways are better, period.

Lol. That's the sort of daft comment I'd expect from you I suppose.


Well, guess what, I can read, do math, and count to potato, all at the same time. Most kids graduating high school can't.

So ya, they work.
 
2012-12-12 05:34:42 PM

KungFuJunkie: So we should cut taxes for the wealthy. This will then sure it's to restructure funding for education.


Like public education for Muggles matters.
 
2012-12-12 05:35:51 PM
Sounds like an anti-US study, such as PISA, where it forgets to account for admission criteria. Unlike other systems, the US takes nearly everyone; other systems determine your lifetime maximum level of education from a single number at a single point in time. Fix that, and the US won't be that far down.

If some article talks about global competitiveness - and isn't talking about sports - that's just another way to say "I hate the US".

The IAEEA might as well be PISA by another name.- since they use the same flaw.
 
2012-12-12 05:36:47 PM

PunGent: MemeSlave: In 5-6 years when they can vote, and the Democrats tell them that you can print money forever without it losing value, they'll buy right in.

This has been a long time in coming - no more civics classes in school, immigration reform, complete disconnection of cause from effect by welfare programs, endless debt and decay of the educational system - we're at the point where people will march right off the cliff when asked.

Missed the part of the article where Massachusetts did extremely well, I see.

We ain't exactly a red state...


Lots of private schools and the Harvard/BU/BC/MIT/HC/WPI grads that stick around, have smart kids, and jack up the average ;-)
 
2012-12-12 05:37:11 PM

timujin: thomps: timujin: Perhaps because instead of focusing on "skills" the modern education system focuses on passing standardized tests.

then why didn't we do better on this standardized test?

Kind of my point. They focus so much on passing one particular test, rather than learning simply how arithmetic and mathematics work, that when presented with anything other than that test students perform poorly.


That may have been your point, but his was that our kids should be acing the shiat out of that test since that is the only thing they are studying for, except they aren't.
 
2012-12-12 05:39:50 PM

umad: timujin: thomps: timujin: Perhaps because instead of focusing on "skills" the modern education system focuses on passing standardized tests.

then why didn't we do better on this standardized test?

Kind of my point. They focus so much on passing one particular test, rather than learning simply how arithmetic and mathematics work, that when presented with anything other than that test students perform poorly.

That may have been your point, but his was that our kids should be acing the shiat out of that test since that is the only thing they are studying for, except they aren't.


No, it's not. This is a different test than the one they're studying for.
 
2012-12-12 05:40:12 PM
Well, what i remeber from school, is that once you get to highschool they will give you every chance to screw off.

you only get out of public schools what you take out of public schools.
 
2012-12-12 05:46:00 PM

SixOfDLoC: I believe it. Looking over my daughter's homework last night, I see she's learning multiplication.

Only instead of learning the basic 0 through 10 tables, they're teaching it by addition. So to multiply 7 * 18, they expect her to write on the paper 7 +7 = 14, 14 +7 = 21, etc until she's done it 18 times. Any sensible person would figure 7*10 + 7 * 8, but that would get marked wrong. They won't even stand for making the larger number the base and adding 18 7 times instead of 7 18 times.

Seriously, they're teaching kids to multiply the same way an old cpu without mult instructions and no code optimizations would. They've dumbed down the curriculum so much to accomodate the slowest students that it's starting to make everyone else stupid by "gravitational pull".


They do it that way for a reason. The teacher isn't good enough at math to realize that 7*10 + 7*8 is the same thing. If the answer doesn't match the answer in the book then they have no way to tell if it is right.

/we need a "sad" button for posts like yours
 
2012-12-12 05:48:48 PM

PunGent: keypusher: rwfan: Blue_Blazer: The other thing that is often left out: the USA educates a higher percentage of its children than other countries. These studies are about as useful as comparing elite prep schools to the average American school.

That is certainly not true of Finland and most of Europe.
Percentages of children receiving a secondary education:
[www.childinfo.org image 552x243] 
As you can see the US lags most of Europe.

On the other hand, at least Massachusetts, where my kids go to school, is kicking butt.

/suck it bible belt.

You know what Finland and Massachusetts have that California and Alabama don't have?

Lots of white kids.

/Yeah, I went there.

You're probably just trolling, but I'll bite. Can't speak for Finland, but Alabama and Mass aren't THAT far apart...74 and 84 percent white, thereabouts.

If I wanted to be inflammatory, I'd point out the difference in fundie religious beliefs...


Nope, Alabama is 70% white v. 84% Massachusetts. Given the size of race gaps, that is a very significant difference, although white people in Mass. are probably somewhat brighter than whites in Alabama.

And pointing out the difference in "fundie religious beliefs" is hardly inflammatory, especially on Fark. It's the conventional wisdom.
 
2012-12-12 05:49:11 PM

Lionel Mandrake: OnlyM3: With positive results like this, obviously, teachers deserve a raise

Maybe they do.

Imagine if we valued teachers enough to pay them well. A lot more people would see teaching as a viable career option.


It's just too bad that those people wouldn't be able to get a job since the current idiots all have tenure.
 
2012-12-12 05:57:23 PM
Need to feel superior to 79% of U.S. eighth graders and 100% of eighth graders in Iran?

Solve this inequality.

9x - 6
 
2012-12-12 05:58:20 PM
Why does fark hate math
 
2012-12-12 05:59:16 PM

DrewCurtisJr: Need to feel superior to 79% of U.S. eighth graders and 100% of eighth graders in Iran?

Solve this inequality.

9x - 6


I might be dumb, but doesn't there need to be a somewhere in there?
 
2012-12-12 05:59:52 PM

BgJonson79: DrewCurtisJr: Need to feel superior to 79% of U.S. eighth graders and 100% of eighth graders in Iran?

Solve this inequality.

9x - 6

I might be dumb, but doesn't there need to be a somewhere in there?


That would be > or <.
 
2012-12-12 06:04:27 PM
Google the Finland Phenomena.......Why they test number one in the world......

Hint: It is not because of more classroom time.......
Tasers are NOT allowed.
Hand holding is tho......
Oh yea....try starting school when you are 7 years of age instead of you know......2 years old.
 
2012-12-12 06:06:46 PM

timujin: umad: timujin: thomps: timujin: Perhaps because instead of focusing on "skills" the modern education system focuses on passing standardized tests.

then why didn't we do better on this standardized test?

Kind of my point. They focus so much on passing one particular test, rather than learning simply how arithmetic and mathematics work, that when presented with anything other than that test students perform poorly.

That may have been your point, but his was that our kids should be acing the shiat out of that test since that is the only thing they are studying for, except they aren't.

No, it's not. This is a different test than the one they're studying for.


So they focus on passing standardized tests but they don't focus on passing the standardized tests. Got it.

DrewCurtisJr: Need to feel superior to 79% of U.S. eighth graders and 100% of eighth graders in Iran?

Solve this inequality.

9x - 6


I guess I'm not smarter than an Iranian 8th grader.
 
2012-12-12 06:09:17 PM

SweetDickens:
Oh yea....try starting school when you are 7 years of age instead of you know......2 years old.


This is simply a result of the outrageous cost of child care in America. Parents are basically paying a second mortgage for the privileged of working.

Finland has child care set up as a municipal service, so parents can afford to keep their kids home longer.

Damn socialists.
 
2012-12-12 06:12:24 PM

BgJonson79: I might be dumb, but doesn't there need to be a somewhere in there?


9x - 6 < 4x + 4 

Looks ok in the preview
 
2012-12-12 06:13:31 PM

DrewCurtisJr: Need to feel superior to 79% of U.S. eighth graders and 100% of eighth graders in Iran?

Solve this inequality.

9x - 6


Ok: x > y. For some value of y.
 
2012-12-12 06:16:51 PM

Ambitwistor: Ok: x > y. For some value of y.


Partial credit, you are at Tunisian level.
 
2012-12-12 06:19:47 PM

umad: timujin: umad: timujin: thomps: timujin: Perhaps because instead of focusing on "skills" the modern education system focuses on passing standardized tests.

then why didn't we do better on this standardized test?

Kind of my point. They focus so much on passing one particular test, rather than learning simply how arithmetic and mathematics work, that when presented with anything other than that test students perform poorly.

That may have been your point, but his was that our kids should be acing the shiat out of that test since that is the only thing they are studying for, except they aren't.

No, it's not. This is a different test than the one they're studying for.

So they focus on passing standardized tests but they don't focus on passing the standardized tests. Got it.


Exactly. They focus on passing standardized tests created to meet U.S. standards, but not this standardized test which was created to assess students' abilities across the globe.

I hope you understand there's a difference.
 
2012-12-12 06:20:27 PM

DrewCurtisJr: BgJonson79: I might be dumb, but doesn't there need to be a somewhere in there?

9x - 6 < 4x + 4 

Looks ok in the preview


x < 2
 
2012-12-12 06:28:12 PM

umad: x < 2


Let me check the answer key. Very good, but I bet I can bench more than you.
 
2012-12-12 06:33:41 PM
Asian countries are good at teaching by rote, whereas America is not particularly good at teaching anything but is very receptive to the idea of creative thought and outside-the-boxiness (for lack of a better word).

This is evident in grade school all the way up to the highest levels of education. Even highly educated people like postdocs who come out of Asian countries are usually brilliant but they struggle with breaking the mold of what they're taught. Coming up with new ideas is more culturally accepted in Western countries and the effect of that is difficult to measure at best.

So I think there will continue to be a widening achievement gap between American students and other students worldwide, but the real-world effects of that gap may not be as bad as the numbers suggest.
 
2012-12-12 06:33:44 PM

keypusher:
You know what Finland and Massachusetts have that California and Alabama don't have?

Lots of white kids.


Here are some 8th grade math scores from those states (from this table):

Finland:
545 ± 2.3

Massachusetts
561 ± 5.3
White: 572 ± 5.9
Black: 516 ± 10.2
Hispanic: 507 ± 7.6
Asian: 599 ± 7.5
Multiracial: 567 ± 10.1

California
493 ± 4.9
White: 525 ± 6.7
Black: 468 ± 12.9
Hispanic: 470 ± 5.4
Asian: 555 ± 10.4
Multiracial: 519 ± 7.8

Alabama
466 ± 5.9
White: 489 ± 6.5
Black: 428 ± 4.8
Hispanic: 454 ± 9.6
Asian: 509 ± 42.3
Multiracial: 492 ± 11
 
2012-12-12 06:39:43 PM

DrewCurtisJr: I bet I can bench more than you.


I don't doubt it. I'm in pathetic shape these days.
 
2012-12-12 06:42:53 PM
If we put God back in the schools, we wouldn't be having all these problems now.
 
2012-12-12 06:56:09 PM

SweetDickens: Google the Finland Phenomena.......Why they test number one in the world......


Not in these test they don't. And our rich kids score better than Finnish rich kids. So if you were worried about the upper classes not having access to quality education you can put those fears to rest.
 
2012-12-12 07:00:06 PM

SixOfDLoC: I believe it. Looking over my daughter's homework last night, I see she's learning multiplication.

Only instead of learning the basic 0 through 10 tables, they're teaching it by addition. So to multiply 7 * 18, they expect her to write on the paper 7 +7 = 14, 14 +7 = 21, etc until she's done it 18 times. Any sensible person would figure 7*10 + 7 * 8, but that would get marked wrong. They won't even stand for making the larger number the base and adding 18 7 times instead of 7 18 times.

Seriously, they're teaching kids to multiply the same way an old cpu without mult instructions and no code optimizations would. They've dumbed down the curriculum so much to accomodate the slowest students that it's starting to make everyone else stupid by "gravitational pull".


As someone who taught middle school math, I can say that sounds horrible. I can see the point of doing that till they get the basic understanding. But students should be encouraged to use the different properties to make it easy on them and get them prepared for algebra.
 
2012-12-12 07:23:14 PM
Anyone remember the new math they taught in grammer school 40 years ago.
It made no sense then and I bet the guy who invented it is still laughing about it.
 
2012-12-12 07:37:21 PM
There's three types of people in this world. Those that can count and those who can't.
 
2012-12-12 07:40:56 PM
Lionel Mandrake [TotalFark] Smartest Funniest
2012-12-12 03:23:01 PM

OnlyM3: With positive results like this, obviously, teachers deserve a raise

Maybe they do.

Imagine if we valued teachers enough to pay them well. A lot more people would see teaching as a viable career option.

I've heard this line before, but that dog don't hunt.

1) When the US was a leader, were teachers getting rich? (Hint: No)

2) In nations that are kicking our ass, are teachers paid zillions? (Hint: No)

3) You get a raise when you earn it. You don't demand more money on the "hope" that you might, some day, consider, maybe, think about doing a better job.
 
2012-12-12 07:41:45 PM

Deep Contact: Anyone remember the new math they taught in grammer school 40 years ago.
It made no sense then and I bet the guy who invented it is still laughing about it.


When I started school they were just making the switch back from that. They took all those "new math" text books and shipped them to some loser countries like Korea and Japan where they couldn't afford books of their own.
 
2012-12-12 08:24:35 PM

Lionel Mandrake: serial_crusher: American fourth-graders are performing better than they were four years ago in math and reading

news flash: first graders aren't very good at math and reading, when compared to 4th graders.

/ I know, I know...

Even scarier, our first graders have fallen behind Korean fetuses in reading!!


To be fair, Korean is pretty hard to read.
 
2012-12-12 08:34:11 PM

bronyaur1: Lionel Mandrake: serial_crusher: American fourth-graders are performing better than they were four years ago in math and reading

news flash: first graders aren't very good at math and reading, when compared to 4th graders.

/ I know, I know...

Even scarier, our first graders have fallen behind Korean fetuses in reading!!

To be fair, Korean is pretty hard to read.


Completely untrue. Hangul is very easy. It's a phonetic language. I learned to read it in about an hour. Oddly, one of the historical Korean slang terms for Hangul roughly translates to "Even a woman can learn to read it in an hour." It's one of the reasons for Korea's high literacy rate. On the other hand, I am extremely Kanji challenged. You have to remember over 5,000 characters just to read a newspaper.
 
2012-12-12 09:30:25 PM

draypresct: I think secondary education = high school.

I also think that in Japan and Finland, it is not compulsary for students to go to high school. In Japan you don't have to go to high school at all, so a percentage drop out after age 14-15, and in Finland you can stop at age 15-16. In other countries you can stop at other ages (e.g. China at age 14). (Source: wikipedia "education in ___").

So it makes sense that the US is highly competitive for the ages where all kids go to school, the US is highly competitive, but for student ages where the lower end of the distribution isn't counted in other countries, the US looks less and less competitive.


Secondary education, in the U.S., refers to school after primary so middle school through high school. Different countries seem to use the term "secondary education" differently, though.

You (and others here) imply that the US requires students to stay in school longer than other countries. I don't think that is correct. Finland has a high-school dropout rate of less than 1 percent - compared with roughly 25 percent in the U.S. It looks to me like most U.S. states allow you to drop out at age 16 which is the same for Finland (it might have been 14 in the past but I don't think that is true today). You are also suggesting that the U.S. has the highest high school graduation in the world. In 1970, the United States had the world's highest high school graduation rate. Today, we're number 21. That is not a good ranking when jobs in today's economy more than ever require a solid base in education. Today, three out of ten American high school freshmen will not get a high school diploma. That drop-out rate is too high. Last week, President Obama called for all states to require students to stay in high school until they get a diploma or they are 18. No more sixteen and out. So I am pretty sure the reality is the exact opposite of what you are claiming. The scores of Finland and other countries are not better because we are comparing their elite with our average students. The comparison is actually with a smaller percentage of American youth (roughly 75%) with a large percentage of their youth (99% in the case of Finland). And while the U.S. has gotten a hard on for standardized testing what makes the Finnish school system so amazing is that Finnish students never take a standardized test until their last year of high school, when they take a matriculation examination for college admission.
 
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