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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
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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 09:52:34 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...


I suspect they are comparing public school students to public school students. I would bet that a higher percentage of Massachusetts's student go to private schools than any other state in the country. And our public schools still come out on top.
 
2012-12-12 10:03:10 PM
Yup started decline right around the time the Department of Education was formed.
 
2012-12-12 10:42:15 PM

Thunderpipes: Old ways are better, period.


One thing I will say about the "old ways"...Being consistent at least facilitates parents helping their children with homework.

Several times I've had to decide to either teach my kids the way I learned or trying to learn the new ways myself and then teach the kids that method.
 
2012-12-12 10:43:36 PM

jasondhsd: Yup started decline right around the time the Department of Education was formed.


Our Grandparents didnt need it.
 
2012-12-13 09:17:39 AM
jasondhsd


Yup started decline right around the time the Department of Education was formed.

"To professionalize, you must federalize"

As shown by these success stories:
Department of Ed.
Homeland security
Social Security
War on Drugs
TSA
Healthcare -coming soon!
 
2012-12-13 10:37:43 AM

phrawgh: If we put God back in the schools, we wouldn't be having all these problems now.


Yea, god is good at math.

It's obvious we need to put more emphasis on the football program, too.
 
2012-12-13 11:03:46 AM

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

Solve this inequality.

9x - 6


That's not an inequality, there's no sign.
 
2012-12-13 11:11:54 AM

OnlyM3: jasondhsd


Yup started decline right around the time the Department of Education was formed.
"To professionalize, you must federalize"

As shown by these success stories:
Department of Ed.
Homeland security
Social Security
War on Drugs
TSA
Healthcare -coming soon!


I don't know what country you live in but here in the US the schools are run by their state governments.
 
2012-12-13 12:13:48 PM

rwfan: 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.


Your link refers to high school. Finland does not have a "high school". They have "comprehensive school" up to age 15-16, at which point they can decide not to go on to either upper secondary or vocational school. It's not "dropping out of high school" any more than deciding to not go to college in the US is considered "dropping out".

So . . . what proportion of people in Finland continue academic schooling after age 15-16 instead of going to a vocational school of some sort? About half (see bottom of page 5). It's true that the dropout rate is low among this ~50%; about 4% (according to Finn statistics) in upper secondary school. Maybe the 1% in the article you cited was a rounding error?

If you let me drop out the lower half of US students, I'll show you some very nice test scores.

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.

I completely agree that 30% is too high, but it's much, much better than ~50% .

Most of the suggested improvements to the current US system seem to boil down to discontinuing education for some proportion of students. This does make education cheaper per student, and the remaining students will have higher test scores, but please keep in mind the fact that the people you leave uneducated will vote.
 
2012-12-13 01:13:39 PM

draypresct: So . . . what proportion of people in Finland continue academic schooling after age 15-16 instead of going to a vocational school of some sort? About half (see bottom of page 5). It's true that the dropout rate is low among this ~50%; about 4% (according to Finn statistics) in upper secondary school. Maybe the 1% in the article you cited was a rounding error?

If you let me drop out the lower half of US students, I'll show you some very nice test scores.


Let me quote subby's headline:
US 8th-grader's math skills have declined nearly twenty-eleven percent when compared to those of many of our global competitors.

Now apply some critical thinking skills and get back to me on whether you think your argument holds any water.
 
2012-12-13 01:37:02 PM

draypresct: I completely agree that 30% is too high, but it's much, much better than ~50% .

Most of the suggested improvements to the current US system seem to boil down to discontinuing education for some proportion of students. This does make education cheaper per student, and the remaining students will have higher test scores, but please keep in mind the fact that the people you leave uneducated will vote.


I suppose this could be difficult to grasp but going to a vocational school is not equivalent to dropping out of school. Furthermore you may not be aware of it but the US also has vocational schools.
 
2012-12-13 02:20:19 PM

rwfan: draypresct: So . . . what proportion of people in Finland continue academic schooling after age 15-16 instead of going to a vocational school of some sort? About half (see bottom of page 5). It's true that the dropout rate is low among this ~50%; about 4% (according to Finn statistics) in upper secondary school. Maybe the 1% in the article you cited was a rounding error?

If you let me drop out the lower half of US students, I'll show you some very nice test scores.

Let me quote subby's headline:
US 8th-grader's math skills have declined nearly twenty-eleven percent when compared to those of many of our global competitors.

Now apply some critical thinking skills and get back to me on whether you think your argument holds any water.


Me: The fact that some of these countries allow students to stop going to school earlier than in the US seems to account for part of our 'low' ranking. The later the grade, the more countries have biased samples when compared to the US.

You: Finland has 1% dropout rate, therefore you're wrong. Here's an article saying Finnish education is awesome.

Me: Finland says your 1% statistic is wrong, and there would be some drawbacks to using their educational system.

You: But Finland compulsory education goes beyond eigth grade, so you have poor critical thinking skills. I'll back this up by quoting the Fark headline at you.

Let's look at the article, not the headline, and then try to figure out what is going on.

In math, we drop from 6th in the world (4th grade) to 8th (8th grade). I would ordinarily suspect that the differences between top countries is narrow enough (think about the differences in times between the top few people running a race) that this is essentially a statistical tie, but the article claims the gap is "much wider".

Neither of these ranks, by the way, is particularly shameful.

But let's go on:

Singapore takes second place to South Korea in eighth-grade math, with Taiwan in third.

I'll admit I can't explain the 4th grade results, but let's look at the educational systems in these three countries:

Singapore: Primary school (up to age 11-12) is compulsory (8th graders are typically older than 11-12).
South Korea: Grades 1-6 are compulsory, but 99% of the students go on to middle school. No word on how many drop out before 8th grade, and I'll guess that the 1% who don't go to middle school are not the highest-scoring individuals.
Taiwan: 9 years of compulsory education. I can't tell offhand if this counts 2 years before 1st grade, so this may affect the 8th grade results.

So if my theory is correct, and smaller numbers of students are receiving (what we in the US would call) a full education, would this be reflected in literacy rates in the general population?

US: 99%
SIngapore: 92.5% (wtf? Oh, 88.6% among females - they're the ones who tend not to get an education, I guess)
South Korea: 97.9%
Taiwan: 96.1%
Finland: 100% (Nice - I'll give them that)

Use your "critical thinking skills" and tell me if you think we have a serious educational crisis in our country and need to run out and adopt the educational systems of these other countries. Personally, I think the data support my assertion that the sample they used (students still in school) is biased, and that we education our population as a whole either equally or (in some cases) much better than they do.
 
2012-12-13 03:18:16 PM
If you just count the white students we are much closer to the top.
 
2012-12-13 05:29:00 PM

rwfan: draypresct: I completely agree that 30% is too high, but it's much, much better than ~50% .

Most of the suggested improvements to the current US system seem to boil down to discontinuing education for some proportion of students. This does make education cheaper per student, and the remaining students will have higher test scores, but please keep in mind the fact that the people you leave uneducated will vote.

I suppose this could be difficult to grasp but going to a vocational school is not equivalent to dropping out of school. Furthermore you may not be aware of it but the US also has vocational schools.


Vocational school is not the same as an academic school, either. Students in academic schools can take statistics classes and participate in academic testing.

In the US, students generally do not have the choice to stop going to high school. Despite the alarmist claims of 30% dropout rate, 87% of the US has a high school diploma. Finland has 66% of the population graduating from secondary school (I believe this includes vocational schools). (Source: Wikipedia Education in US/Finland articles.)

Do you think the data indicate that the US has a serious problem with its educational system and needs to adopt the practices of another country (like Finland)? Or do you think that the comparison is simply biased?
 
2012-12-13 07:44:30 PM

draypresct:
Me: The fact that some of these countries allow students to stop going to school earlier than in the US seems to account for part of our 'low' ranking. The later the grade, the more countries have biased samples when compared to the US.


Wow so you did miss the point! You said: "If you let me drop out the lower half of US students, I'll show you some very nice test scores." You are clearly claiming that the comparison is invalid because it is between the top 50% of Finnish students and 100% of American students. As I was pointing out it is clear and obvious that the comparison in TFA is between 8th graders who are 13 to 14 years old. That is two years before compulsory education ends for Finnish students. You are absolutely wrong but I am sure you won't admit it.

You: Finland has 1% dropout rate, therefore you're wrong. Here's an article saying Finnish education is awesome.

Bullshiat, I never said that.

Me: Finland says your 1% statistic is wrong, and there would be some drawbacks to using their educational system.

I am pretty sure the 1% refers to the compulsory part of the education system. However the 4.5% refers to the part that includes education for 18 and 19 year olds. Since they have an extra year of high school, Finnish students,like Canadians, typically complete college in 3 years. The apples to apples comparison would be to compare the 4.5% to not only high school graduates but also students the complete their first year of college.

You: But Finland compulsory education goes beyond eigth grade, so you have poor critical thinking skills. I'll back this up by quoting the Fark headline at you.

I never said you had poor critical thinking skills but on the other hand you could not figure out that I had clearly and obvious shown that your main point was totally wrong. At the very beginning of this exchange you wrote: 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. You will move the goal post, lie about what I wrote and try to bury the point in a load of bullshiat but the truth of the matter is you are wrong. Which you will never own up to.
 
2012-12-13 07:59:23 PM

draypresct: rwfan: draypresct: I completely agree that 30% is too high, but it's much, much better than ~50% .

Most of the suggested improvements to the current US system seem to boil down to discontinuing education for some proportion of students. This does make education cheaper per student, and the remaining students will have higher test scores, but please keep in mind the fact that the people you leave uneducated will vote.

I suppose this could be difficult to grasp but going to a vocational school is not equivalent to dropping out of school. Furthermore you may not be aware of it but the US also has vocational schools.

Vocational school is not the same as an academic school, either. Students in academic schools can take statistics classes and participate in academic testing.

In the US, students generally do not have the choice to stop going to high school. Despite the alarmist claims of 30% dropout rate, 87% of the US has a high school diploma. Finland has 66% of the population graduating from secondary school (I believe this includes vocational schools). (Source: Wikipedia Education in US/Finland articles.)

Do you think the data indicate that the US has a serious problem with its educational system and needs to adopt the practices of another country (like Finland)? Or do you think that the comparison is simply biased?


Yes I think a 30% drop out rate is a serious problem. I also think you are full of shiat. You make assumptions about the vocational schools in Finland but I seriously doubt they are equivalent to either dropping out of U.S. schools or getting an American GED. You also totally ignore the fact that there are vocational schools in the U.S. and there is vocation curriculum in standard US schools. If you read the article that YOU linked to you will note that The chart above shows that the majority of Finnish students must take Finnish, Swedish,
English, Math, General Science, Religion, Ethics, Music, Art and PE beginning in the
earliest grades and add Biology, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Health Education,
Social Studies and History by the time they reach grade 5 or 7 (our grades 6 and 8).

and
As you can see below, the mathematics content required in lower secondary school (our
grades 7-10) is comparable to the average American high school graduate's course of
study.

So basically Finnish students have completed up to our version of high school by the time they complete their compulsory education, that is they are done with "high school" two years before American students. And they don't start school until they are 7 years old! That is why I think the Finnish school system is awesome and you are full of shiat. 

//and as I wrote earlier my kids go to the best public school in America so I know what the greatest American schools are like.
 
2012-12-14 04:02:48 AM

rwfan: 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.


Any system that relies on test-based educational banding/streaming/binning (such as Finland) has something wrong with it. To pass, yes; to rank for college access, damn farking hell no.

That and if you correct for admissions criteria, the US wouldnt have dropped (as far).
 
2012-12-14 09:38:23 AM

rwfan: I never said you had poor critical thinking skills but on the other hand you could not figure out that I had clearly and obvious shown that your main point was totally wrong.

rwfan: Now apply some critical thinking skills and get back to me on whether you think your argument holds any water.


The implication of your statement was that I had not been applying critical thinking skills.

At the very beginning of this exchange you wrote: 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.

Yep. And I pretty much proved it, looking at the ages at which schooling was no longer compulsory in different countries that outranked the US, verifying it with overall literacy rates.

So far your response has been solely about Finland, ignoring every other country. Even if you were correct about Finland, my central point would still stand - the US looks more competitive on these lists when adjusting for the biased sampling in other countries. Finland is not the only other country on the list.

You will move the goal post, lie about what I wrote and try to bury the point in a load of bullshiat but the truth of the matter is you are wrong. Which you will never own up to.

I paraphrased what you wrote. I derived the implied meaning that any adult reader would take from what you wrote. I did not lie. And all my posts have either been about my central point, which you re-stated above, or directlt addressing your incorrect statistics (at least, according to Finn govt. stats).

So . . . any plans to address my central point? "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."

Do you think that the US would benefit by wholesale adoption of the educational system of any of the countries that seem to outrank us according to TFA, such as Singapore, South Korea, or Taiwan?

I'll address your "but Finland" in a separate post.
 
2012-12-14 09:47:55 AM

rwfan:
draypresct: Finland has 66% of the population graduating from secondary school (I believe this includes vocational schools). (Source: Wikipedia Education in US/Finland articles.)

rwfan: Yes I think a 30% drop out rate is a serious problem. I also think you are full of shiat.
...
rwfan: So basically Finnish students have completed up to our version of high school by the time they complete their compulsory education, that is they are done with "high school" two years before American students. And they don't start school until they are 7 years old! That is why I think the Finnish school system is awesome and you are full of shiat.


To sum up your last couple of posts:
30% (Wikipedia says it's actually 13%, but you ignore that) of Americans don't have high school diplomas. And that's a serious problem.

34% of Finns never finish secondary education. And the Finnish educational system is "awesome".

I think I'm done here.
 
2012-12-14 07:33:49 PM

sethstorm: Any system that relies on test-based educational banding/streaming/binning (such as Finland) has something wrong with it. To pass, yes; to rank for college access, damn farking hell no.


I hate to break this to you but U.S. colleges and universities have admissions requirements. Finland covers tuition and room and board for their college students as well as tuition for adult, lifelong learning students. There most certainly kids in the US who have the grades to get into school but cannot afford to go. Do you think it's better that schools select based upon who can pay rather then academic achievement?
Education in Finland is an egalitarian system, with no tuition fees and with free meals served to full-time students. The present Finnish education system consists of well-funded and carefully thought out daycare programs (for babies and toddlers) and a one-year "pre-school" (or kindergarten for six-year olds); a nine-year compulsory basic comprehensive school (starting at age seven and ending at the age of fifteen); post-compulsory secondary general academic and vocational education; higher education (University and Polytechnical); and adult (lifelong, continuing) education. The Nordic strategy for achieving equality and excellence in education has been based on constructing a publicly funded comprehensive school system without selecting, tracking, or streaming students during their common basic education.[1] Part of the strategy has been to spread the school network so that pupils have a school near their homes whenever possible or, if this is not feasible, e.g. in rural areas, to provide free transportation to more widely dispersed schools. Inclusive special education within the classroom and instructional efforts to minimize low achievement are also typical of Nordic educational systems.
 
2012-12-14 08:55:39 PM

draypresct: rwfan: I never said you had poor critical thinking skills but on the other hand you could not figure out that I had clearly and obvious shown that your main point was totally wrong.
rwfan: Now apply some critical thinking skills and get back to me on whether you think your argument holds any water.

The implication of your statement was that I had not been applying critical thinking skills.


That's correct. You stated that the reason the U.S. had not done better on the test as compared to Finland was due to the fact that only half the Finnish students took the test. I pointed out that that was completely false but I did not do the math for you. Compulsary education for Finns ends when they are 15-16, that is their final year is 10th grade, the test was given to 8th graders (in the US system). You still stick to the claim the half the Finnish students do not take the test but that is wrong.
 
2012-12-14 08:59:44 PM

draypresct: So far your response has been solely about Finland, ignoring every other country.


Yes. You attacked the Finnish system and I defended it. You said that only half the Finnish students took the test mentioned in the article, which is untrue. Then you moved the goal post and claimed I am wrong because I did not address your point. I take it you are the only one who gets to choose the topic.
 
2012-12-14 09:13:22 PM

draypresct: To sum up your last couple of posts:
30% (Wikipedia says it's actually 13%, but you ignore that) of Americans don't have high school diplomas. And that's a serious problem.


A GED is not the same as a high school diploma. Roughly 30% of U.S. students drop out. Once again you are lying when you suggest I said that 30% of americans don't have high school diplomas.

34% of Finns never finish secondary education. And the Finnish educational system is "awesome".

Secondary education that you are referring covers the last two age groups of U.S. high school and the first year of college. To compare you have to include how many students finish a year of college. Furthermore you are assuming US and Finnish schools cover the same material at the same rate. Not true. Your own link indicates that Finnish students have completed the equivalent of US high school by the time they are done with compulsory education. They have completed "high school" (or secondary education in the US) they are just 16 when their done.
 
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