Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(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  
•       •       •

2968 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Dec 2012 at 2:36 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



173 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2012-12-12 11:19:35 AM  
27% geeze that's over half!!
 
2012-12-12 11:41:03 AM  
No... it's closer to 11/8th of every class.
 
2012-12-12 11:43:26 AM  
But on the plus side, they feel 53% better about their scores.
 
2012-12-12 12:16:25 PM  
i105.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-12 12:37:16 PM  
twenty-eleven percent

Uhhh....That's the joke, right?
 
2012-12-12 12:56:55 PM  

Apos: twenty-eleven percent

Uhhh....That's the joke, right?


i159.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-12 12:57:49 PM  
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...
 
2012-12-12 01:06:18 PM  

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!!
 
2012-12-12 01:09:26 PM  
Lberal media conveniently left out the part about how we've jumped from 50th to 2nd in Creationism Science. Look out, Saudi Arabia! We're gaining on you!
 
2012-12-12 01:12:38 PM  
has america ever been first in these studies? the media makes a big deal out of our slipping advantage in educated kids, but i feel like i've been hearing that same story my entire life.
 
2012-12-12 01:12:53 PM  
Perhaps because instead of focusing on "skills" the modern education system focuses on passing standardized tests.
 
2012-12-12 01:14:04 PM  

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?
 
2012-12-12 01:16:58 PM  

thomps: has america ever been first in these studies? the media makes a big deal out of our slipping advantage in educated kids, but i feel like i've been hearing that same story my entire life.


From about the time this went up:
www.vibrationdata.com

to the time we did this:

static.ddmcdn.com

There was a massive concerted and antional effort to improve Math and science skills in this country and train more scientists and engineers since it was consiered a matter of national security. After that? Not so much.
 
2012-12-12 01:18:35 PM  

Lionel Mandrake: Apos: twenty-eleven percent

Uhhh....That's the joke, right?

[i159.photobucket.com image 500x367]


Thought so. On a related note, FL finally has something to proudly boast of!
 
2012-12-12 01:30:53 PM  

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.
 
2012-12-12 01:33:26 PM  

Magorn: thomps: has america ever been first in these studies? the media makes a big deal out of our slipping advantage in educated kids, but i feel like i've been hearing that same story my entire life.

From about the time this went up:
[www.vibrationdata.com image 259x186]

to the time we did this:

[static.ddmcdn.com image 400x394]

There was a massive concerted and antional effort to improve Math and science skills in this country and train more scientists and engineers since it was consiered a matter of national security. After that? Not so much.


We don't care much about edumacating our kids unless there's bragging rights to be gained over godless commies.
 
2012-12-12 01:35:26 PM  

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?


I think the key word that you need to realize here is "standardized". See, to a naive person, that word means that everybody does it in the same way--or in this case everybody teaches to the same test.
That's not the case however, you see. I'll refer you to the dictionary definition of the word standardize:
standardize (v.): to do something in a ridiculous way, that is different from the ridiculous way that other countries do it.

See, I hope that clears things up. Those Korean kids, they're just not meeting the right standards.
 
2012-12-12 01:39:48 PM  
talkingpointsmemo.com

"I'm shocked!"
 
2012-12-12 01:49:34 PM  
American students do as well as anyone on the planet, right up to about 8th grade, where they fall off a cliff.

This indicates to me that our educational problems are not systemic to the educational system, but systemic to the culture. When kids hit that age, they become much more socially aware and subject to the "it's cool to be dumb" pop-culture we now live in.
 
2012-12-12 01:51:40 PM  

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


We always complain about test scores of Americans vs, in particular, east asians (but also, in some ways, south asians), but...

Here's the thing, at least in my experience, while many high performing east and south asian students can kick your ass in mechanical / rote recollection and application, there is a seeming lack of teaching folks how to do non-linear problem solving in their educational institutions. So, if you run into a problem that isn't a "yellow + blue = green" situation, usually North American and Western European students will start to show the areas they excel within.

It's similar to the problem I saw expressed by the Editor-in-Chief from Yen Press in that the submissions from new artists for comic series from Japanese and Korean amateurs have top notch visual artwork, but the stories are usually pretty linear and by-the-numbers, while the North American submissions often don't reach those same lofty visual heights, but the stories tend to be more often less straight-forward or formulaic affairs.

The word needs both kinds of people, of course.
 
2012-12-12 01:54:32 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: The word *world* needs both kinds of people, of course.


My world also needs a proofreader, apparently.
 
2012-12-12 02:00:47 PM  

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

We always complain about test scores of Americans vs, in particular, east asians (but also, in some ways, south asians), but...

Here's the thing, at least in my experience, while many high performing east and south asian students can kick your ass in mechanical / rote recollection and application, there is a seeming lack of teaching folks how to do non-linear problem solving in their educational institutions. So, if you run into a problem that isn't a "yellow + blue = green" situation, usually North American and Western European students will start to show the areas they excel within.

It's similar to the problem I saw expressed by the Editor-in-Chief from Yen Press in that the submissions from new artists for comic series from Japanese and Korean amateurs have top notch visual artwork, but the stories are usually pretty linear and by-the-numbers, while the North American submissions often don't reach those same lofty visual heights, but the stories tend to be more often less straight-forward or formulaic affairs.

The word needs both kinds of people, of course.


Absolutely true, But that doesn't really address the fact that as our student's abilities have been steadily decreasing over the last couple of decades, our engineering and scientific workforce has declined as well. People talk about unemployment problems, but there are a ton of jobs out there that can't be filled because we don't have enough qualified candidates in those disciplines. Being able to create less formulaic stories has left us with more unemployed hipsters and fewer PhD's.
 
2012-12-12 02:05:48 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: The word needs both kinds of people, of course.


i.imgur.com

Y'all are slipping in international Farker cliche competitions
 
2012-12-12 02:08:11 PM  

timujin: People talk about unemployment problems, but there are a ton of jobs out there that can't be filled because we don't have enough qualified candidates in those disciplines


I dunno, most of the time this is not exactly true in my experience.

By far the most common scenario (outside of rather demanding and esoteric medical fields) is that the folks looking to hire people for those "tons of jobs" don't want to pay the going rate for experienced people in those positions, and then bemoan the fact that they can't find a "qualified candidate" for their cut-rate offer.
 
2012-12-12 02:10:03 PM  
FTFA: But girls rule when it comes to reading.

i.imgur.com

JK. Good on Florida too, actually. 
 
2012-12-12 02:13:56 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: timujin: People talk about unemployment problems, but there are a ton of jobs out there that can't be filled because we don't have enough qualified candidates in those disciplines

I dunno, most of the time this is not exactly true in my experience.

By far the most common scenario (outside of rather demanding and esoteric medical fields) is that the folks looking to hire people for those "tons of jobs" don't want to pay the going rate for experienced people in those positions, and then bemoan the fact that they can't find a "qualified candidate" for their cut-rate offer.


Perhaps, but the articles I've read almost always point to a lack of qualified candidates, whether in nursing (especially in nursing, actually), IT, engineering or other such disciplines that require an understanding of math and/or science.
 
2012-12-12 02:17:51 PM  
US 8th-grader's math skills have declined nearly twenty-eleven percent when compared to those of many of our global competitors

Average Fark submitter's grammar skills aren't looking so great either.
 
2012-12-12 02:20:19 PM  

timujin: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: timujin: People talk about unemployment problems, but there are a ton of jobs out there that can't be filled because we don't have enough qualified candidates in those disciplines

I dunno, most of the time this is not exactly true in my experience.

By far the most common scenario (outside of rather demanding and esoteric medical fields) is that the folks looking to hire people for those "tons of jobs" don't want to pay the going rate for experienced people in those positions, and then bemoan the fact that they can't find a "qualified candidate" for their cut-rate offer.

Perhaps, but the articles I've read almost always point to a lack of qualified candidates, whether in nursing (especially in nursing, actually), IT, engineering or other such disciplines that require an understanding of math and/or science.


Nursing is a demand field right now, though the pay for qualified applicants is actually in-line.

I can tell you that in IT it is *routinely* the case that companies underbid, basically because they can then justify an H1B. I watched my own company need but not hire anyone for an Oracle DBA position for 18 months because they didn't want to pay the going rate for someone with the skillset required.
 
2012-12-12 02:21:31 PM  
Five out of four Math teachers disagree.
 
2012-12-12 02:22:19 PM  

siyuntz: US 8th-grader's math skills have declined nearly twenty-eleven percent when compared to those of many of our global competitors

Average Fark submitter's grammar skills aren't looking so great either.


"[T]o those of many of our" is correct.

"US 8th-grader's math skills" was the error.
 
2012-12-12 02:22:33 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats:
I can tell you that in IT it is *routinely* the case that companies underbid, basically because they can then justify an H1B. I watched my own company need but not hire anyone for an Oracle DBA position for 18 months because they didn't want to pay the going rate for someone with the skillset required.


If I'm operating that business, and I have an open rec for 18 months, it would make me question the need for the position in the first place.
 
2012-12-12 02:27:45 PM  

doyner: siyuntz: US 8th-grader's math skills have declined nearly twenty-eleven percent when compared to those of many of our global competitors

Average Fark submitter's grammar skills aren't looking so great either.

"[T]o those of many of our" is correct.

"US 8th-grader's math skills" was the error.


Maybe subs was refering to one specific US 8th-grader.

/ Though I do have to ponder whether that was an acronym for the United States (of America), or the word "us" capitalized to denote emphasis.
 
2012-12-12 02:28:28 PM  

doyner: siyuntz: US 8th-grader's math skills have declined nearly twenty-eleven percent when compared to those of many of our global competitors

Average Fark submitter's grammar skills aren't looking so great either.

"[T]o those of many of our" is correct.

"US 8th-grader's math skills" was the error.


You're right. I actually didn't mean to embolden anything, and am not quite sure how it happened. My life was easier when my comments auto-previewed.

/Well, thank goodness it's only one 8th-grader
 
2012-12-12 02:31:30 PM  

Rent Party: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats:
I can tell you that in IT it is *routinely* the case that companies underbid, basically because they can then justify an H1B. I watched my own company need but not hire anyone for an Oracle DBA position for 18 months because they didn't want to pay the going rate for someone with the skillset required.

If I'm operating that business, and I have an open rec for 18 months, it would make me question the need for the position in the first place.


It was a situation where the existing people could do station-holding on issues basically forever, but it required someone with a more advanced skillset and prior experience to move forward. I have no doubt that there was a business impact in terms of new project progress.
 
2012-12-12 02:40:59 PM  
Asians are better than us at math and science? Who would have guessed?
 
2012-12-12 02:41:45 PM  
My relatives in Ireland are horrible spellers.
 
2012-12-12 02:43:52 PM  
US 8th-graders? Try OUR 8th-graders, subby. I guess our grammer skills is failing to.
 
2012-12-12 02:45:12 PM  

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

We always complain about test scores of Americans vs, in particular, east asians (but also, in some ways, south asians), but...

Here's the thing, at least in my experience, while many high performing east and south asian students can kick your ass in mechanical / rote recollection and application, there is a seeming lack of teaching folks how to do non-linear problem solving in their educational institutions. So, if you run into a problem that isn't a "yellow + blue = green" situation, usually North American and Western European students will start to show the areas they excel within.

It's similar to the problem I saw expressed by the Editor-in-Chief from Yen Press in that the submissions from new artists for comic series from Japanese and Korean amateurs have top notch visual artwork, but the stories are usually pretty linear and by-the-numbers, while the North American submissions often don't reach those same lofty visual heights, but the stories tend to be more often less straight-forward or formulaic affairs.

The word needs both kinds of people, of course.

Absolutely true, But that doesn't really address the fact that as our student's abilities have been steadily decreasing over the last couple of decades, our engineering and scientific workforce has declined as well. People talk about unemployment problems, but there are a ton of jobs out there that can't be filled because we don't have enough qualified candidates in those disciplines. Being able to create less formulaic stories has left us with more unemployed hipsters and fewer PhD's.


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.
 
2012-12-12 02:46:04 PM  
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.
 
2012-12-12 02:46:37 PM  
So we should cut taxes for the wealthy. This will then sure it's to restructure funding for education.
 
2012-12-12 02:46:39 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: timujin: People talk about unemployment problems, but there are a ton of jobs out there that can't be filled because we don't have enough qualified candidates in those disciplines

I dunno, most of the time this is not exactly true in my experience.

By far the most common scenario (outside of rather demanding and esoteric medical fields) is that the folks looking to hire people for those "tons of jobs" don't want to pay the going rate for experienced people in those positions, and then bemoan the fact that they can't find a "qualified candidate" for their cut-rate offer.


My company probably has a couple hundred openings right now, and we pay well. Finding good IT people who are also good at interacting with customers is hard. We have non-IT jobs too, and the dearth of talent is so great we pay bonuses for referrals.
 
2012-12-12 02:46:58 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: timujin: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: timujin: People talk about unemployment problems, but there are a ton of jobs out there that can't be filled because we don't have enough qualified candidates in those disciplines

I dunno, most of the time this is not exactly true in my experience.

By far the most common scenario (outside of rather demanding and esoteric medical fields) is that the folks looking to hire people for those "tons of jobs" don't want to pay the going rate for experienced people in those positions, and then bemoan the fact that they can't find a "qualified candidate" for their cut-rate offer.

Perhaps, but the articles I've read almost always point to a lack of qualified candidates, whether in nursing (especially in nursing, actually), IT, engineering or other such disciplines that require an understanding of math and/or science.

Nursing is a demand field right now, though the pay for qualified applicants is actually in-line.

I can tell you that in IT it is *routinely* the case that companies underbid, basically because they can then justify an H1B. I watched my own company need but not hire anyone for an Oracle DBA position for 18 months because they didn't want to pay the going rate for someone with the skillset required.


my wife is an RN certified. Pediatric Trauma and transport experience. She can't find a job. The reason...despite meeting the level of Registered Nurse, she only has an associates in Nursing. The potential employers say she needs a Bacherlors. She contacted some nursing schools about getting a BSN. They reviewed her transcript and there wasn't a single nursing course they said she should take. All of the courses she needs are liberal arts stuff- English, History, Intro to microcomputing, etc...It's almost insulting. Then she looked at all the people they are hiring for those jobs...Haiti, Philliphines, Central America...they are registered nurses but none of them have Bachelors. Seems like they can hire them for cheaper though.
 
GBB
2012-12-12 02:47:34 PM  

Magorn: thomps: has america ever been first in these studies? the media makes a big deal out of our slipping advantage in educated kids, but i feel like i've been hearing that same story my entire life.

From about the time this went up:
[www.vibrationdata.com image 259x186]

to the time we did this:

[static.ddmcdn.com image 400x394]

There was a massive concerted and antional effort to improve Math and science skills in this country and train more scientists and engineers since it was consiered a matter of national security. After that? Not so much.


That's because we won. Who keeps training after they win and there are no more competitions??

www.thetimes.co.uk

It's the American way.
 
2012-12-12 02:48:56 PM  

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


I can see we are fading in English too
 
2012-12-12 02:54:25 PM  
However the average age of our 8th-graders is highest in the world.

WERE NUMBER WON!
 
2012-12-12 02:55:30 PM  
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.
 
2012-12-12 02:57:49 PM  
60% of the time these statistics are correct EVERY TIME!
 
2012-12-12 02:58:01 PM  

CruJones: Asians are better than us at math and science? Who would have guessed?


Math sure, its just memorizing formulas usually. Science...if its anything remotely related to rote memorization or just relaying of facts, sure. Asians are like computers. Think amazingly fast, spit out great data. But at the risk of already sounding incredibly generalizing, if it has to do with creativity or unorthodox thinking, they'll just sit there with a "C:\" blank look on their faces. With rare exceptions such as certain entertainment or robotic fields (which in the case of robotics is really just the study of mechanical movement, or physics, so again there its just math) most of the truly groundbreaking scientific theory and discovery comes from the US and Western nations.

Don't mix-up regurgitation of numbers with true intellectual accomplishments of discovery.

/brb, my NSDAP armband fell off
//binders full of women
 
2012-12-12 03:00:48 PM  

CruJones: Asians are better than us at math and science? Who would have guessed?


Archimedes of Syracuse was, of course, a Sicilian.

Newton, Leibniz, Euler, don't sound very Asian, neither.
 
2012-12-12 03:01:28 PM  

Rent Party: American students do as well as anyone on the planet, right up to about 8th grade, where they fall off a cliff.

This indicates to me that our educational problems are not systemic to the educational system, but systemic to the culture. When kids hit that age, they become much more socially aware and subject to the "it's cool to be dumb" pop-culture we now live in.


Oh, now you are just being logical. Stop that.

Consider too that many middle and high school teachers do not have degrees in mathematic, but have only taken a course in teaching mathematics. Now combine your idea with this one and add that so many of these kids parents have the flawed "I never used algebra after high school, so it's a waste of time" mentality and you've pretty much nailed the causes.
 
2012-12-12 03:01:36 PM  
US 8th-grader's math skills have declined nearly twenty-eleven percent when compared to those of many of our global competitors

Heh.
 
2012-12-12 03:02:24 PM  

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.


Through 8th grade they do. After 8th grade I would like to see us shift to some sort of track system that many other countries use. It's not realistic to try to prepare every kid for an engineering track. All we do is water down the stuff so the average kid passes with an A.
 
2012-12-12 03:02:37 PM  
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".
 
2012-12-12 03:03:40 PM  
Am I the only one that is sick of this "gotta be #1" mentality that is ceaselessly pounded into the heads of American's from day -10? Seems to me that from my work experience and school experience, problems are never solved by "the best" in the group, always from a concerted effort of all involved. If you apply this to worldwide problems, we're better off training kids to recognize their own skills and develop them, along with recognizing others', rather than perpetuating the competition.
 
2012-12-12 03:04:12 PM  

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 
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.
 
2012-12-12 03:04:36 PM  

Sir Not Sure The Unscannable: Am I the only one that is sick of this "gotta be #1" mentality that is ceaselessly pounded into the heads of American's from day -10? Seems to me that from my work experience and school experience, problems are never solved by "the best" in the group, always from a concerted effort of all involved. If you apply this to worldwide problems, we're better off training kids to recognize their own skills and develop them, along with recognizing others', rather than perpetuating the competition.


Go back to Russia
 
2012-12-12 03:05:04 PM  
Obvious tag forget to carry the one?
 
2012-12-12 03:05:45 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: Rent Party: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats:
I can tell you that in IT it is *routinely* the case that companies underbid, basically because they can then justify an H1B. I watched my own company need but not hire anyone for an Oracle DBA position for 18 months because they didn't want to pay the going rate for someone with the skillset required.

If I'm operating that business, and I have an open rec for 18 months, it would make me question the need for the position in the first place.

It was a situation where the existing people could do station-holding on issues basically forever, but it required someone with a more advanced skillset and prior experience to move forward. I have no doubt that there was a business impact in terms of new project progress.


YEP!
"we don't need a QA or support team. the engineers can do that too."
6 months later: "hey engineering, how come you haven't built any new stuff."
engineering: "we're overworked. At least let us hire some more people."
management: "look, I can't give you a hiring budget, because you haven't been productive for the last 6 months. Take sales for example! They really make things happen!"
engineering: "well, they sold all the crap that didn't exist at the time and still doesn't because we're too overloaded with support work to build it..."
management: "ok, fine, I'll hire some trained monkeys to do support work."
6 months later: "you told me those trained monkeys would solve the problem"
engineering: "well no, we told you we needed some more support people, not trained monkeys, actual people...."
management: "you're even less productive! Look how good these trained monkeys are though! They're escalating tickets faster than ever, and you guys just sit on them"
engineering: "yeah, that's because the monkeys don't actually work the tickets. They just instantly escalate them to engineering, so then we have to do the support work while putting up the guise of training the monkeys who are in fact untrainable...."
management: "screw it, you're all fired. get me some trained monkey developers for less than half the price. Then I'll change the sales guy's title to 'Architect' and have him lord over the monkeys."
support monkey: "ticket too hard, escalate to engineering monkey"
engineering monkey: "ticket too hard, escalate to 'Architect'"
architect monkey: "delegate ticket to support monkeys, send emails letting management know that I'm on the case and stuff's about to get done"
infinite loop

ok, sorry I'm having one of those days and this was a good opportunity for catharsis.
We're actually hiring engineers again. People finally realized the monkey pyramid scheme was a bad idea.
But they only replaced the engineering piece of the pyramid sales and support are still morans.
 
2012-12-12 03:17:57 PM  
I wonder how much of this is driven by the fact that kids (at least here in GA) see no consistency in the curriculum form year to year as they line the pockets of their cronies who own companies that sell educational materials.

Down here, most on the school boards are Republicans and many have gone on the record in some fashion as being AGAINST public education. And they seem to be doing a great job of destroying the schools from within, while lining their pockets of course.

I can't count how many different "methods" of teaching math my kids have been exposed to thanks to GOP school board members changing to a new "program" every year or two. Get elected to school board, set your brother up selling "educational materials" and profit.
 
2012-12-12 03:20:12 PM  
With positive results like this, obviously, teachers deserve a raise
 
2012-12-12 03:22:12 PM  

Crewmannumber6: My relatives in Ireland are horrible spellers.


I always tell them "That looks (or sounds) like English, but it ain't English."
 
2012-12-12 03:22:37 PM  

timujin: Absolutely true, But that doesn't really address the fact that as our student's abilities have been steadily decreasing over the last couple of decades, our engineering and scientific workforce has declined as well.

Not true. US student test scores have improved across the board over the past few decades. The US isn't ranked as relatively high anymore because other nations are doing better economically and, most importantly, alleviating poverty while they're at it. Poverty is by far the number one correlate of poor student performance. The reason why the US is falling behind in education (relatively) is that more Americans are going to bed hungry.

People talk about unemployment problems, but there are a ton of jobs out there that can't be filled because we don't have enough qualified candidates in those disciplines. Being able to create less formulaic stories has left us with more unemployed hipsters and fewer PhD's.

And this is laughably false. The US churns out Ph.D.s like crazy. I know, I'm one of them. In the biomedical sciences alone, 7000 Ph.D.s are minted in the US every year yet there are a grand total of 20000 tenured biomed faculty positions. We could replenish the tenured faculty every three years.

That's just an illustration. My generation was told to work hard, get an education, and you'll have a good career. Well, there isn't funding and thus jobs for everyone getting an advanced degree. Those of us in the sciences have been sold a bill of goods because the US is decreasingly spending resources on science (and complementary engineering) because TAX CUTS ÜBER ALLES and corporations now only care about quarterly earnings reports.

 
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.
 
2012-12-12 03:24:54 PM  
FTFM:

timujin : Absolutely true, But that doesn't really address the fact that as our student's abilities have been steadily decreasing over the last couple of decades, our engineering and scientific workforce has declined as well.

Not true. US student test scores have improved across the board over the past few decades. The US isn't ranked as relatively high anymore because other nations are doing better economically and, most importantly, alleviating poverty while they're at it. Poverty is by far the number one correlate of poor student performance. The reason why the US is falling behind in education (relatively) is that more Americans are going to bed hungry.

People talk about unemployment problems, but there are a ton of jobs out there that can't be filled because we don't have enough qualified candidates in those disciplines. Being able to create less formulaic stories has left us with more unemployed hipsters and fewer PhD's.

And this is laughably false. The US churns out Ph.D.s like crazy. I know, I'm one of them. In the biomedical sciences alone, 7000 Ph.D.s are minted in the US every year yet there are a grand total of 20000 tenured biomed faculty positions. We could replenish the tenured faculty every three years.

That's just an illustration. My generation was told to work hard, get an education, and you'll have a good career. Well, there isn't funding and thus jobs for everyone getting an advanced degree. Those of us in the sciences have been sold a bill of goods because the US is decreasingly spending resources on science (and complementary engineering) because TAX CUTS ÜBER ALLES and corporations now only care about quarterly earnings reports.
 
2012-12-12 03:25:07 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.


The reason I mentioned Finland is their education system truly focuses on all the students. It is basically the opposite of what people think is a successful school system, there are no elite schools, there are no private schools. And yet in 2006, Finland's pupils scored the highest average results in science and reading in the whole of the developed world. In the OECD's exams for 15 year-olds, known as PISA, they also came second in maths, beaten only by teenagers in South Korea.
 
2012-12-12 03:30:46 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.


---------------------------

What nonsense. Anybody who understands economics knows that the only people worth offering a monetary incentive to are CEOs.
 
2012-12-12 03:31:36 PM  
I bet they can count up to their killstreak.
 
2012-12-12 03:31:45 PM  
And I bet we spend more 'per child' than just about anyone else.

Quick - vote yes on 'Prop 5a' - to ensure our CHILDREN get the education they DESERVE'

//Prop 5a is a raise for teachers.
 
2012-12-12 03:32:13 PM  
Thanks Detroit, you blew the curve!!
 
2012-12-12 03:33:30 PM  

JackieRabbit:
Oh, now you are just being logical. Stop that.

Consider too that many middle and high school teachers do not have degrees in mathematic, but have only taken a course in teaching mathematics. Now combine your idea with this one and add that so many of these kids parents have the flawed "I never used algebra after high school, so it's a waste of time" mentality and you've pretty much nailed the causes.


T farkin HAT.

I have always argued that mathematics is taught backwards in American schools, and the fact that it is so poorly integrated into the science curriculum (where, you know, it can be used) is a national failing.

We seem to think that linear algebra is appropriate for middle school kids, but physics, the most easily taught science application for algebra, is best reserved for high school students. It's farking dumb. We could have these kids doing calculus and not even know it.

There is a great white paper on the failings of math education called "The Mathematician's Lament." Google it up for a good read.
 
2012-12-12 03:39:44 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: And I bet we spend more 'per child' than just about anyone else.

Quick - vote yes on 'Prop 5a' - to ensure our CHILDREN get the education they DESERVE'

//Prop 5a is a raise for teachers.


It varies state to state. Generally, there is no correlation between per student spending and performance on the high end, but there is on the low end. There seems to be a break point at around $7500 per student that gains you very little above it, but will absolutely lose you ground below it.

*Adequately* funded schools can work. Over funded schools are not guaranteed to work. Underfunded schools are at risk of not working.
 
2012-12-12 03:40:39 PM  

Insatiable Jesus: 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.


---------------------------

What nonsense. Anybody who understands economics knows that the only people worth offering a monetary incentive to are CEOs.


I really don't see the argument for teacher's being underpaid.
i.stack.imgur.com

When you consider the number of days actually worked each year - teaching is a very well paid job. That's just the salary though, the benefits are what really sweeten the deal. And, you have to remember that the salary for a teacher doesn't include the higher-earning jobs teaching leads into, like being a principal or superintendent or any of those administrative type positions.
 
2012-12-12 03:42:32 PM  
Um, article fails on some basic background research. The US is ranked 18th in math literacy worldwide.
 
2012-12-12 03:46:25 PM  
READ 'OUTLIERS'

FORCE KIDS TO LEARN CHINESE

Watch them DOMINATE at math.
 
2012-12-12 03:52:41 PM  
Hopefully it's not the 27% who are gonna have to pay for all this stuff .
 
2012-12-12 03:56:57 PM  
We're keeping grades now?!?!?!

thelifeofjwo.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-12-12 03:58:27 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: I really don't see the argument for teacher's being underpaid.


You don't deal with many children, do you? Nor know many teachers and how many hours they spend on the job but off campus. Or how much of their own paychecks they spend on class supplies.

When you consider the number of days actually worked each year - teaching is a very well paid job. That's just the salary though, the benefits are what really sweeten the deal. And, you have to remember that the salary for a teacher doesn't include the higher-earning jobs teaching leads into, like being a principal or superintendent or any of those administrative type positions.

Admittedly, administration has proliferated quite a bit, probably to the detriment of everyone except themselves. But they're still only a small proportion of a school's workers. Teachers' pensions are more generous than the typical 401(k) but I'd contend that other sectors' workers are getting the shaft rather than teachers are overcompensated.
 
2012-12-12 03:59:59 PM  
Twenty Eleven!! That's like almost half!!!
 
2012-12-12 04:00:28 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:
 
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?
 
2012-12-12 04:00:44 PM  

TofuTheAlmighty: Fark_Guy_Rob: I really don't see the argument for teacher's being underpaid.

You don't deal with many children, do you? Nor know many teachers and how many hours they spend on the job but off campus. Or how much of their own paychecks they spend on class supplies.


Welcome to the world of work. Anyone in a professional position works more than 40 hours a week, takes shiat home, and sometimes spends some of their own cash to get the job done.

Teachers aren't special in that regard. By understanding that the career path for a teacher never takes them out of an academic environment, the fact that they think they are special in that regard becomes clear.
 
2012-12-12 04:01:43 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: I really don't see the argument for teacher's being underpaid.


I'm guessing you've never been a teacher.
 
2012-12-12 04:02:35 PM  
media.rhizome.org

Class, get out your math books.....
 
2012-12-12 04:03:45 PM  
www.esc19.net

Some farkers will understand

Most won't
 
2012-12-12 04:04:10 PM  

TofuTheAlmighty: FTFM:

Not true. US student test scores have improved across the board over the past few decades. The US isn't ranked as relatively high anymore because other nations are doing better economically and, most importantly, alleviating poverty while they're at it. Poverty is by far the number one correlate of poor student performance. The reason why the US is falling behind in education (relatively) is that more Americans are going to bed hungry.


Yes, we've improved internally, because we have focused on passing the particular tests the U.S. has standardized on. Poverty? Are so many U.S. students suffering that it is allowing other countries to surpass us?


And this is laughably false. The US churns out Ph.D.s like crazy. I know, I'm one of them. In the biomedical sciences alone, 7000 Ph.D.s are minted in the US every year yet there are a grand total of 20000 tenured biomed faculty positions. We could replenish the tenured faculty every three years.

That's just an illustration. My generation was told to work hard, get an education, and you'll have a good career. Well, there isn't funding and thus jobs for everyone getting an advanced degree. Those of us in the sciences have been sold a bill of goods because the US is decreasingly spending resources on science (and complementary engineering) because TAX CUTS ÜBER ALLES and corporations now only care about quarterly earnings reports.


I intended "PhD's" to be tongue-in-cheek, I thought that would be obvious as it followed "hipster". However, there are PhD's in fields other than biomedicine. We are falling behind in degrees in engineering. We have a 50% drop out rate for engineering majors. Why? Plenty of reasons. Business degrees can easily pay better.. Engineering isn't "sexy". Engineering is hard, people get into it without the proper foundation and find out they can't catch up. There are lots of reasons. There are jobs available for people with those degrees that can't be filled.
 
2012-12-12 04:07:57 PM  
According to subby It's only one kid, so I'm not that worried.
 
2012-12-12 04:09:51 PM  

vogonity: According to subby It's only one kid, so I'm not that worried.


heh, nice catch.
 
2012-12-12 04:15:22 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Insatiable Jesus: 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.


---------------------------

What nonsense. Anybody who understands economics knows that the only people worth offering a monetary incentive to are CEOs.

I really don't see the argument for teacher's being underpaid.
[i.stack.imgur.com image 841x1500]

When you consider the number of days actually worked each year - teaching is a very well paid job. That's just the salary though, the benefits are what really sweeten the deal. And, you have to remember that the salary for a teacher doesn't include the higher-earning jobs teaching leads into, like being a principal or superintendent or any of those administrative type positions.


I tend to agree with the sentiment that 3 months of vacation is a damned good perk that teachers overlook. The "I'm still 'working' over the summer. I go to conferences and stuff and evaluate textbooks, so it's not really a vacation" argument is a laughable copout that I used to agree to until I started working. shiat caught fire while I was skiing with the parents for Christmas so I spent a couple hours every evening in the Starbucks on my laptop. My mom--seriously the hardest working teacher ever--asked me why I even brought my computer on vacation, and that's when I realized she and other teachers are working on a skewed definition of the word "vacation". For any real job, there's still obligations when you're on vacation, just less of them. Teachers tend to think a vacation should be an absolute lack of work, but that's just not realistic.

But by no stretch of the imagination is teaching a "well paid job" compared to the other options for smart folks. Good math and science teachers are generally also qualified to be good engineers, so you force them to choose between $50k with 3 months vacation, vs $125K with 4 weeks of vacation. gee, tough choice. I can buy more happiness in my 4 weeks than you can even imagine during your whole summer.
Let's pay teachers a competitive salary AND give 3 months vacation, then hire the best possible people and fire the duds.
And crush teachers unions who want to equalize pay across all subjects. Teachers' pay should be based on what jobs they'd otherwise be qualified for outside of teaching, not some feel good sensitivity about wanting to make the same as their colleagues.
 
WGJ
2012-12-12 04:19:36 PM  
Better find that 8th grader and learn him some math.
 
2012-12-12 04:21:22 PM  
Lol public schooling
 
2012-12-12 04:24:24 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.


While they're maybe not going about it the best way, at least they're trying to teach her what multiplication is. I don't think that's "dumbing down the curriculum" at all. Frankly I think memorizing times tables is the dumber approach, since it doesn't actually promote any mathematical understanding, it's just memorizing grids of meaningless numbers. Making them do every problem that way is excessive, but teaching them how it works and having them do a few problems that way I don't think is a terrible idea at all. Being able to think of multiplication as multiple additions can be useful, and the idea could be used to introduce the concept of factorization.
 
2012-12-12 04:24:25 PM  
I remember in middle school being administered some kind of aptitude test. It indicated that I read and wrote at a Freshman college level, but my math skills were somewhere around a third-grade level. I have a hard time wrapping my head round math for some reason. A friend had a similar problem, but when he went back to college in his 40's, he muscled through it and was successful. Maybe there's hope.
 
2012-12-12 04:24:35 PM  
We just need more unions!!

Liberal solution to everything. More union power = better education for kids.
 
2012-12-12 04:25:56 PM  

Thunderpipes: We just need more unions!!

Liberal solution to everything. More union power = better education for kids.


You are gifted with a very special kind of dumb. Revel in it!
 
2012-12-12 04:27:06 PM  

buckler: I remember in middle school being administered some kind of aptitude test. It indicated that I read and wrote at a Freshman college level, but my math skills were somewhere around a third-grade level. I have a hard time wrapping my head round math for some reason. A friend had a similar problem, but when he went back to college in his 40's, he muscled through it and was successful. Maybe there's hope.


There is nothing inherently difficult about math. We are just told from the day we are born that "MATH IS HARD!!!!" The way we teach it is highly farking dumb, but no one has an inherent difficulty with it.
 
2012-12-12 04:27:31 PM  
Balance in your checking account does not matter. What DOES matter is how many checks you have left in your check book.

/got to be true, read it on the internet!
 
2012-12-12 04:27:50 PM  

Gawdzila: 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.

While they're maybe not going about it the best way, at least they're trying to teach her what multiplication is. I don't think that's "dumbing down the curriculum" at all. Frankly I think memorizing times tables is the dumber approach, since it doesn't actually promote any mathematical understanding, it's just memorizing grids of meaningless numbers. Making them do every problem that way is excessive, but teaching them how it works and having them do a few problems that way I don't think is a terrible idea at all. Being able to think of multiplication as multiple additions can be useful, and the idea could be used to introduce the concept of factorization.


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

Old ways are better, period. Statistics show this. Our kids today are retards. They are because they can be, and get free stuff.
 
2012-12-12 04:30:14 PM  

Rent Party: buckler: I remember in middle school being administered some kind of aptitude test. It indicated that I read and wrote at a Freshman college level, but my math skills were somewhere around a third-grade level. I have a hard time wrapping my head round math for some reason. A friend had a similar problem, but when he went back to college in his 40's, he muscled through it and was successful. Maybe there's hope.

There is nothing inherently difficult about math. We are just told from the day we are born that "MATH IS HARD!!!!" The way we teach it is highly farking dumb, but no one has an inherent difficulty with it.


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. Ironically, this would seem to have been an excellent launching pad for a career in science, if only my math skills had been better.
 
2012-12-12 04:36:56 PM  

buckler: Rent Party: buckler: I remember in middle school being administered some kind of aptitude test. It indicated that I read and wrote at a Freshman college level, but my math skills were somewhere around a third-grade level. I have a hard time wrapping my head round math for some reason. A friend had a similar problem, but when he went back to college in his 40's, he muscled through it and was successful. Maybe there's hope.

There is nothing inherently difficult about math. We are just told from the day we are born that "MATH IS HARD!!!!" The way we teach it is highly farking dumb, but no one has an inherent difficulty with it.

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. Ironically, this would seem to have been an excellent launching pad for a career in science, if only my math skills had been better.


Well, that's my point. The problem isn't you, it's the way you were taught. Math is the only language appropriate to answering those *why is it like that* questions that most kids have. Had someone bothered to explain it to you in those terms, you'd be a math fiend today.

Instead, they tell kids "I never use math, it's hard."
 
2012-12-12 04:39:24 PM  

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.
 
2012-12-12 04:42:07 PM  

timujin: And this is laughably false. The US churns out Ph.D.s like crazy. I know, I'm one of them. In the biomedical sciences alone, 7000 Ph.D.s are minted in the US every year yet there are a grand total of 20000 tenured biomed faculty positions. We could replenish the tenured faculty every three years.


A very large percentage of them are foreign students. I have a relative who actual interviews graduate candidates for a health science research facility and for two years in a row they did not take on any American students but they simply were not the best qualified.

Go to any large university and look at the students majoring in the hard science, engineering and medicine degrees. A large chunk of them are foreign students. Then look at those majoring in Psychology , Gender studies, communications, etc. Not too many foreign kid's parents wasting their money on that B.S.

The only plus side is that a lot of these foreign kids find a way to stay in the US to put their education to use.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Displayed 173 of 173 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report