Quote from: daniel_von_flanagan
on December 16, 2008, 04:18:36 PM
from: jacobisrael on December 16, 2008, 04:10:44 PM
Are you sure that you've
read that TIMSS study about our 12th grade scores? The methodology for
picking the cohorts was the same in both the 8th and 12th grade
They nevertheless are not the same cohort. The reason is
that the 8th graders were in 8th grade that year, and the 12th graders were in
12th grade that year. In many cases, when the 12th graders were in middle
school they had different curricula than the 8th graders did when they
were in middle school.
This is not complicated stuff. Really. - DvF
Now I understand your point. Thank
you very much for clarifying it.
Please point me to the evidence that there was a national, across the board,
change in the curricula between 1991 and 1995 if you believe this to be a
possible explanation. Can the same be said for all of the other countries
which took TIMSS?
If anything DID change (and this is not to even hint that anything changed)
then would you not agree that our change was clearly for the worse and theirs
was for the better?
Austria's scores were an exception in Europe, as they followed a similar
pattern to the US, only more extreme. While our boys' scores decreased 56
points, theirs decreased 85 points. And while our girls' scores decreased
104 points, their decreased 137 points. So while just the increase in the
gender gap was 48 points in the US, it was 52 points in Austria. This is
not an insignificant decrease, since the standard deviation for US girls was
53, making this 0.91 S.D. Since the standard deviation for Austrian girls
was larger, at 71, the increase in their gender gap was smaller, at 0.73 S.D.
But there was already an 8 point gender gap in Austrian 8th graders, making
their total gender gap by 12th grade 0.85 S.D.
I'm not clear on how changes in the curricula could have affected any of
this. I don't even know what can be changed to cause such huge race and
sex gaps, or to make them bigger or smaller. So it would be greatly
appreciated if you'd provide an example.
Actually, I can think of one small example. Not too long ago, Chinese
educators were invited to visit the US to study our education system.
They asked many great questions, and my input was they should implement
calculus in high school as Japan had. They did that, and now 95% of
Chinese students complete calculus before they graduate from high school.
Pretty smart, eh? What have our educators done
lately to top that?
I've tried to stay out of this one as DvF has done an
admirable job of presenting the points I wanted to make. However, please allow
me to add my two cents' worth. First, you are comparing different systems that
do different things. You are comparisons are being made between countries where
there are NATIONAL curricula, those where there are STATE curricula, and at
least one where it is a hodgepodge of STATE and LOCAL curricula. So, we are
comparing apples to oranges to pears.
The entire PURPOSE of an international study IS to compare
different education systems to each other, which is exactly what TIMSS
does.� Just like the entire PURPOSE of a
national study like NAEP is to make state to state comparisons to see what
works and what fails. It�s not BAD to make international and national comparisons,
Also, we need to address the differences in systemic student handling. In the
US, we send the vast majority of our students to high school; other countries
reverse this entirely. Thus, the 12th-grade cohorts aren't even comparable
between countries, even though they are presented as such by the media (among
many others). While the 4th-grade cohorts may be similar, there is even some
question about the comparing 8th-grade cohorts by some. For the two reasons
above, I don't believe TIMSS is as valid an indicator of differences between
national systems as its exhorters proclaim.
This is patently false.�
Fortunately, it�s PROVABLY false.�
Our OWN data from NCES claims that 74% of American 18 year olds graduate
from high school, compared to more than 90% in most industrialized nations:
The reason nobody has ever posted a cite which disputes that
is that there is no cite, AND TIMSS disputes it in a different direction,
claiming that they found that only 63% of American students are in their �TCI�,
compared to 82% in Switzerland, 84% in Norway, 75% in Germany, 88% in Slovenia,
They found that 1,245,594 American children of high school
graduation age, 67% of that population, weren�t even IN high school, and thus
were never included in our already LOW TIMSS scores.� If the worst students were the ones who
weren�t in high school, can you even IMAGINE how low our scores would have been
had they been INCLUDED?� If this is the
reason you don�t �believe
TIMSS is as valid an indicator of differences between national systems as its
exhorters proclaim�, you need to use your new-found
knowledge to go back and rethink your position.
Finally, a word about why DvF keeps trying to get you
to understand why comparing cohorts is important. Many states have been
adjusting/rewriting their regulations (Pennsylvania), their state-mandated
tests (Ohio), and their state-mandated curricula (Georgia) for the past decade
or more. In mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
issued its first set of standards on K-12 mathematics in 1989. This was the
first step in the reform process, and several states began the process of
reforming state curricula in the early 1990s. Others waited longer. However,
the process is not an instantaneous one. As an example, Georgia instituted the
Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) in 2003 or 2004. The standards still aren't
fully implemented throughout the schools yet, and they won't be for two more
years. So, yes, cohort matters, and we need to deal with the data that way. The
only fair comparisons about gains and losses in the report's 12th-grade cohort
would be to take the 2007 report's 12th-graders and compare that gap (assuming
all the other confounding variables didn't exist) to the gap found in the 2003
report's 8th-graders and to the gap found in 1999 report's 4th-graders. This
assumes that the tests across that EIGHT-YEAR SPREAD are equivalent.
None of which is relevant.�
The entire POINT of TIMSS is to make international comparisons, not
state to state comparisons.� Your idea
that something in our education system was the �first step in the reform process� is the
same thing educators have been mimicking for years, and none of it ever worked.� Furthermore, all American parents I know
believe that every single one of these so-called �reforms� only brought us back
quicker to the stone age and improved nothing.
TIMSS also proves how SAT scores have been politicized,
feminized, manipulated, and watered down to the point they�re no longer
�For another view of it, let's look
at your classroom. In a large lecture class, grades tend to be distributed
"normally". This being the case, "curving" (with its true
meaning) would assign Cs to the 68% of the students whose scores are within 1
SD of the mean. So, let's assume that the mean on Test 1 was 75 with a standard
deviation of 8. So, any student with a score between 67 and 83, inclusive,
should get a C. However, Susie with her 81 and Johnny with his 69 both got Cs!
Is the difference significant? We don't know until we run tests on the scores.
Even though the difference is 12 points (which is 1.5 SD), it is likely that
this difference is NOT "statistically significant" at any appreciable
level. To constantly quote raw numbers with no test results is worthless and
misleading. Even those with an agenda don't do this because they know they will
be accused of trying to bamboozle the people reading the report.�
You complain about referring to
different cohorts, then launch into a comparison between a large lecture room
and an international study of hundreds of thousands of students.
You CANNOT compare these and make any
sense out of it. You literally can�t adjust for guesses on multiple choice
questions in the �large� lecture hall, but you CAN when there are hundreds of
thousands of students taking the SAME test in their own languages.� Do you know what TIMSS is?� Before you invite anyone to �take a
statistics class� again, you ought to invite yourself to examine their
methodology.� You are as wrong about this
as you are about �In the US, we send the vast majority of our
students to high school�.
from: daniel_von_flanagan on December 12, 2008,
As for performance differences by race in the US, I would guess
that the average African-American at New Trier High has better math scores than
the average white student at Henry Ford High in Detroit. - DvF
Why would you believe that?
Because I've taught mathematics to minority students from good high schools,
and to white kids from bad ones, and the former
perform better than the latter in my experience.
Could you explain what you mean by that?
I think it is pretty self-explanatory.
Am I right in assuming you are jacobisrael under a
new login name? � DvF
� Reply #95 on: December 12, 2008, 01:47:20 AM �
from: jacobisrael on December 12, 2008, 01:42:01 AM
Not every step along the way is necessarily cumulative, but it's also
not impossible that the total number of standard deviations of
separation between American black females in DC and boys in Norway is
a total of 14 to 18.5 standard deviations.
It is if we're assuming anything even remotely like a normal
distribution. Getting outside of three standard deviations is very
unlikely (three-tenths of a percent); getting outside of 10 or 12 is a miracle
of Biblical proportions.
12/23/2008 9:49:28 PM
So you don't believe Obama when he says his IQ is 132?
In 2003, 3 African nations, Ghana, s. Africa, and Botswana participated in
TIMSS physics. The average score for the 5,150 students in Botswana who
took the test was 443, seven of whom scored over 505, and none of whom scored
over 549. The average score for the 8,952 students in South Africa who
took the test was 244, thirteen of whom scored over 447, and none of whom
scored over 514. So also in Ghana, where the average score for their
5,100 students was 239, seven of whom scored over 427, and none of whom scored
Conversely, the average score for the 6,018 students in Singapore was 579,
eight of whom scored lower than 462, and none of whom scored lower than
423. At best we can say that eight students in Singapore MAY have scored
lower than SEVERAL of the thirteen highest scoring students in South Africa and
SEVERAL of the seven highest scoring students in Ghana. No student in
Singapore scored 4 standard deviations higher than their mean, or 735, much
less 5 standard deviations higher, at 774.
So needless to say, no student in Botswana, South Africa, nor
Ghana ever scored four standard deviations higher, or 549, 514, or 489,
respectively, either, much less five standard deviations higher, or 593, 581,
or 551 respectively. Such scores are in the range of the average for
Taipei and Korea, whose IQs are in the range of 105 IQ
points. It simply boggles the imagination for us to be expected to
believe that Obama was the ONE Kenyan in the entire world who scored not just
one but TWO standard deviations higher than a place where NO Ghanan, Botswanan, or South
African has ever ventured. To claim that his IQ is 132 IQ points, yet
another three standard deviations higher than the impossible, is the height of
absurdity. Yet that�s exactly the claim that his presidential campaign
made and you should be embarrassed to the hilt to see so many of your fellow
countrymen fall for this circus act.
The average IQ of Kenya is 71 IQ points, the same as for Ghana, and 1 point
lower than both Botswana and South Africa, at 72 IQ points. Out of 38
million Kenyans, do you know how many score more than 5 standard deviations
higher than that? Only 11 do, at an IQ of only 96 IQ points, four
standard deviations higher than their mean, and NONE have an IQ higher than 101
IQ points, five standard deviations higher than the mean. Obama�s not
even a Kenyan. He�s a mixed breed and most mixed breeds of most species
are of lower quality and intelligence than the pure breeds (otherwise why don�t
mules race in horse races)?
California voters consider affirmative action to be CHEATING, which is why we
outlawed it with Proposition 209 which actually amended the state constitution
for the express purpose of KILLING it. Obama is clearly left over from
Why not simply require him to take the normal IQ test which any dog catcher in
the country has to take in order to qualify for his job?
You can bet that this would settle the matter once and for all.
Correction, Tues. Dec. 23, 2008: 7% of the population of
Botswana are Whites who score similar to their brethren back in England
at 545, meaning that the 93% who�re blacks scored 358. Only seven black
students from Botswana scored over 456 and none of them scored over 514.
Therefore, none of the lowest scoring eight students in Singapore who scored
lower than 462 are likely to have scored lower than the seven top scoring black
students from Botswana, meaning there was no overlap of test scores between
Singapore and Botswana.
from: polly_mer on Yesterday at 10:11:01 PM
[I know I will regret this, but I'm
going to jump in here anyway]The ability to think logically, use references
appropriately, and pick the right tool for the job means nothing in terms of
success in school or life.
This is a breathtaking admission.
And of course you'll claim I'm singling you out simply because you're a
"minority" [even though 52% of our population are
women and only 48% men].
What you discard as irrelevant happens to be EXACTLY, *precisely*, where the rubber meets the road. Yet, you
probably will never know that, and your cohorts will be groveling all over the
floor to prove you right.
In a competitive "global economy", when you throw all that out, and
our competitors don't, we're history, plain and simple. That's not even
However--that's not the original point, nor the original theory. What you
suggest for the reason for the gender gap between American girls and Norwegian
boys being 3.6 S.D. is in my view only a partial explanation, if it's
applicable at all.
But as an educator, you might have some insights here that might be valuable to
our understanding our problem. Do you believe this is the only
explanation? Do you believe that the only reason
Norwegian boys scored so high is their "ability to think logically, use
references appropriately, and pick the right tool for the job", whereas
American girls don't? Or can't? Or don't want to?
Since you raise this theory, could you elaborate on it? Why do you believe this
would be the case? Do you believe this is the result of poor education
policy on our part, or an innate ability in Norwegians? Do you believe we
can change our education policy to improve the situation, or do you believe
we're doomed to oblivion?