I have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do so I became a
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 « Reply #195 on: December 25, 2008, 01:43:46 PM »

Toda2 has upped the ante.  Do I see another blue chip from the suited king-jack showing?

You can't hold a conversation in a bucket.

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 « Reply #196 on: December 25, 2008, 05:44:04 PM »

[quote author=jacobisrael

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.

Take a stats class, and then come back into the discussion.

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're comparing apples to trucks.

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” in the following statement:

"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:

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2001/2001034.pdf

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, etc.

http://timss.bc.edu/timss1995i/TIMSSPDF/SRAppA.pdf

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.

"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, it’s GOOD.

"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 decades, 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 credible.  That's why TIMSS will most likely take over as the standard.

I have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do so I became a
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 « Reply #197 on: December 25, 2008, 06:09:35 PM »

So all bets have been placed this round?  Good.  Another up card for the table.

Oooh, king, jack, ten all in clubs has the first bet.

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 « Reply #198 on: December 25, 2008, 09:06:06 PM »

TIMSS also proves how SAT scores have been politicized, feminized, manipulated, and watered down to the point they’re no longer credible.

A few posts ago you were claiming that boys did better on SATs than girls, and that is why we should trust them, instead of college performance, as indicators.  Now you are saying that SATs are "feminized" (whatever that means).  Make up your mind, please.

Here is a nice interpretation of the TIMSS results by Gerald Bracey:

Quote

It might be good to keep a few things in mind when considering the data:

1. The Institute for Management Development rates the U. S. #1 in global competitiveness.

2. The World Economic Forum ranks the U. S. #1 in global competitiveness.

3. The U. S. has the most productive workforce in the world.

4. "The fact is that test-score comparisons tell us little about the quality of education in any country." (Iris Rotberg, Education Week June 11, 2008).

5. "That the U. S., the world's top economic performing country, was found to have schooling attainments that are only middling casts fundamental doubts on the value, and approach, of these surveys." British economist, S. J. Prais, PISA According to PISA, p. 154 (a terrible title since the chapters, all by European researchers, severely criticize PISA).

- DvF

The U.S. Education Department is establishing a new national research center to study colleges' ability to successfully educate the country's growing numbers of academically underprepared administrators.

I have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do so I became a
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 « Reply #199 on: December 25, 2008, 09:11:25 PM »

Wow.  Remember the limit was three raises for a maximum of a twenty dollars per betting round.  DvF has pushed us near that limit.  Next bet, please.

You can't hold a conversation in a bucket.

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 « Reply #200 on: December 26, 2008, 03:00:00 PM »

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)?

This is the statement I was referencing.

In the first place, a mule is an inter-species crossbreed, not merely a mixed breed. This is why most of them are sterile. I do hope you're not arguing that black people and white people are different species.

In the second place, your statement about mixed breeds of most species being of lower quality and intelligence than the pure breeds is flatly not true. A cross between two pure breeds of livestock will often be significantly stronger and hardier and higher quality than either parent, assuming that the parents were chosen to pass on the desirable qualities to their offspring.  Mules are not racing animals because donkeys are not racing animals, and one of the parents of a mule is a donkey. They are quite a bit more intelligent than either horses or donkeys.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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 « Reply #201 on: Yesterday at 12:58:40 PM »

TIMSS also proves how SAT scores have been politicized, feminized, manipulated, and watered down to the point they’re no longer credible.

A few posts ago you were claiming that boys did better on SATs than girls, and that is why we should trust them, instead of college performance, as indicators.  Now you are saying that SATs are "feminized" (whatever that means).  Make up your mind, please.

Here is a nice interpretation of the TIMSS results by Gerald Bracey:

Quote

It might be good to keep a few things in mind when considering the data:

1. The Institute for Management Development rates the U. S. #1 in global competitiveness.

2. The World Economic Forum ranks the U. S. #1 in global competitiveness.

3. The U. S. has the most productive workforce in the world.

4. "The fact is that test-score comparisons tell us little about the quality of education in any country." (Iris Rotberg, Education Week June 11, 2008).

5. "That the U. S., the world's top economic performing country, was found to have schooling attainments that are only middling casts fundamental doubts on the value, and approach, of these surveys." British economist, S. J. Prais, PISA According to PISA, p. 154 (a terrible title since the chapters, all by European researchers, severely criticize PISA).

- DvF

The so-called "gender gap" in SAT scores is only .7 S.D.

But TIMSS shows it to be as high as 2 S.D.

And NAEP claims that the 7 point "gender gap" in their math scores is "statistically insignificant".

Since us idiot sheeple "don't understand statistics", why don't you oh so "intelligent educators" explain to us exactly how that can be?

In order to try to "narrow the gender gap", SAT added an entire new part to the test which nobody pays attention to, because they cannot be graded objectively.  Can you explain why they would do that?

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 « Reply #202 on: Yesterday at 01:14:58 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.

Sorry, I forgot that your sarcasm meter was probably broken.  No, of course I don't believe that, but your posts about minutiae on this one stupid test lead me to think that you believe that.

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].

*chuckle*
Oh, I don't even know where to begin on this one.  I have a Ph.D. in engineering.  Professionally, I am surrounded by men, many of them foreign nationals from the countries you cite, every single day.  I can play with the big boys who are, according to you, better educated than I am and not get crushed.  Bring it on.

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.

Yes.  Please continue to make my point for me.

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 economics 101.

And there is my point.  The American educational system, unlike those in many of the countries that score higher than the US on this particular test does not educate primarily for rote memorization on one test.  We do not educate for specialization in high school, unlike nearly every European country.  Yet somehow, we do somehow manage to graduate people who are creative thinkers able to do great things if allowed to acquire the necessary tools for the job.

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.

Must I really hammer again on the "don't compare apples to screwdrivers" argument?  (1) Standard deviation doesn't mean what you appear to think it means.  (2) Since I didn't suggest a reason for the gender gap between American girls and Norwegian boys, I'm completely clueless about how it would be a partial explanation.

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?

Sorry, I'll try to type slower and use fewer big words this time.  I don't believe that the TIMSS test indicates anything other than the fact that some groups of people have the skills to do better on this one test this particular sitting of it than other groups.  However, scores on the test mean nothing about how well any of those groups of people would actually do in a real world setting--which apparently you agree is the true test of education.

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?

I grew up in an area where the dominant heritage was Norwegian so I assure you that it's not some innate genetic ability.  The Norwegian educational system is vastly different from the American system.  I'm not really sure what your purpose is in continuing to claim that the comparison between the Norwegian students who are specialized in math and science at the middle-school and high-school level and the general American population that hasn't specialized yet is valid.  It's not.  It doesn't matter.  Our best graduates can compete with the best graduates anywhere.  The fact that our future English and history majors are not as good as the future engineers and scientists of other countries at science and math doesn't bother me.

I think a very telling piece of evidence is the flow patterns between countries for higher education.  Which way does that flow go?  If the American system were really extremely poor, why would so many of the top students from other countries come here for their postsecondary education?  That's another case of where the rubber meets the road.

You can't hold a conversation in a bucket.

In person, your shuck and jive might be cute, even sexy, even entertaining, but on an internet forum it comes across about as flat as your "irony"--it appears sad, even pathetic.  If you're trying to prove that you "can play with the big boys", you're doing a miserable job of it by avoiding all of the key questions, particularly the ones asking you to explain exactly what you mean by your vague, confusing remarks.

I know lots of "big boys".  If I ask them a simple question like this, they can answer it in seconds without a single arm waving, without jumping up and down even once, without a single irrelevant slur, without trying to distract attention from the original point even once, and without claiming that questions that test reasoning ability simply test "rote memorization".

Are you going to qualify what you meant by that?  Can you at least tell us which question you think tests "rote memorization", why you think so, and post a question which you think would be a better test of reasoning ability than that?

I would think that you would at least realize that the more you obfuscate about this point, the more you prove the original point?

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 « Reply #203 on: Yesterday at 02:18:10 PM »

There are 72 different breeds or species of dogs.  Most of them can be interbred, and in fact entire businesses have been created doing just that.  Can you name just one cross breed which is more viable, desirable, or of better quality or intelligence than the original pure breeds from which they were bred?

My limited understanding of dog breeds is that many pure breeds have physical problems (hip displasia, etc.) that can be minimized with interbreeding.

However, I'm not a dog expert and I've also not stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

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 « Reply #204 on: Yesterday at 05:23:24 PM »

In order to try to "narrow the gender gap", SAT added an entire new part to the test which nobody pays attention to, because they cannot be graded objectively.  Can you explain why they would do that?

The writing part of the SAT is there to determine the level of competency students have in composition.  I do not know of any way to judge a student's writing skills using multiple choice exams, but they can certainly be graded objectively.  In particularly, the people doing the marking use very detailed rubriks, and do not know whether the paper they are marking was written by a male, female, person of color, or anyone else. - DvF

The U.S. Education Department is establishing a new national research center to study colleges' ability to successfully educate the country's growing numbers of academically underprepared administrators.

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 « Reply #205 on: Yesterday at 08:38:15 PM »

Are you going to qualify what you meant by that?  Can you at least tell us which question you think tests "rote memorization", why you think so, and post a question which you think would be a better test of reasoning ability than that?

Well, we could return to your complex number question or even the combination question about the books.  Both of them are immediately obvious if one has been taught those concepts and are hugely time consuming to think through if one has to go with pure reasoning.  Indeed, most of the math questions fall into this category; straightforward if one has encountered the concepts and can identify a standard method of approach, but will chew up a lot of time (thereby resulting in a lower score because fewer questions can be completed) if one must start from scratch.  Huh, imagine that.  One gets a very poor score by attempting to reason out many questions and must guess on some because of lack of time, but one obtains a good score if one has encountered many questions of the similar type and can immediately apply the proper method for solution.

Irrelevant anecdote: I competed on the math team in middle and high school in a very rural, poor area because I was one of the best students.  The only reason that I encountered many of these "basic" mathematical ideas before college is because the team had a lot of "reason this out and then I'll show you the fast way" practice sessions with the math teacher.

The science questions are often more amenable to reason, but again, one cannot reason some basic nomenclature or have the time to think deeply about every single question.  If one is familiar with the material, taking the next step is easy.  If one has to start from square one with observations from daily life, well, that person will not be able to complete very many questions.

Many of the questions presented on the TIMSS are perfectly fine for testing reasoning ability among comparably educated populations.  They would also be perfectly fine questions if the students had unlimited time and/or access to reference materials.  However, saying "Explain why people who only have algebra preparation score lower in math than people who have had training in calculus" itself demonstrates a lack of reasoning.

I would think that you would at least realize that the more you obfuscate about this point, the more you prove the original point?

Yes?  No?  Maybe?  Am I unable to answer that because I'm only a poorly educated American woman of mixed heritage or because I have no idea what to do about a statement that ends in a question mark?

So, do you want that last card up or down?  Remember, it's a communist option so you don't have to pay extra either way.

You can't hold a conversation in a bucket.

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 « Reply #206 on: Yesterday at 09:29:56 PM »

Are you going to qualify what you meant by that?  Can you at least tell us which question you think tests "rote memorization", why you think so, and post a question which you think would be a better test of reasoning ability than that?

Well, we could return to your complex number question or even the combination question about the books.  Both of them are immediately obvious if one has been taught those concepts and are hugely time consuming to think through if one has to go with pure reasoning.  Indeed, most of the math questions fall into this category; straightforward if one has encountered the concepts and can identify a standard method of approach, but will chew up a lot of time (thereby resulting in a lower score because fewer questions can be completed) if one must start from scratch.  Huh, imagine that.  One gets a very poor score by attempting to reason out many questions and must guess on some because of lack of time, but one obtains a good score if one has encountered many questions of the similar type and can immediately apply the proper method for solution.

Irrelevant anecdote: I competed on the math team in middle and high school in a very rural, poor area because I was one of the best students.  The only reason that I encountered many of these "basic" mathematical ideas before college is because the team had a lot of "reason this out and then I'll show you the fast way" practice sessions with the math teacher.

The science questions are often more amenable to reason, but again, one cannot reason some basic nomenclature or have the time to think deeply about every single question.  If one is familiar with the material, taking the next step is easy.  If one has to start from square one with observations from daily life, well, that person will not be able to complete very many questions.

Many of the questions presented on the TIMSS are perfectly fine for testing reasoning ability among comparably educated populations.  They would also be perfectly fine questions if the students had unlimited time and/or access to reference materials.  However, saying "Explain why people who only have algebra preparation score lower in math than people who have had training in calculus" itself demonstrates a lack of reasoning.

I would think that you would at least realize that the more you obfuscate about this point, the more you prove the original point?

Yes?  No?  Maybe?  Am I unable to answer that because I'm only a poorly educated American woman of mixed heritage or because I have no idea what to do about a statement that ends in a question mark?

So, do you want that last card up or down?  Remember, it's a communist option so you don't have to pay extra either way.

The whole point of posting that question about the order of the books is that it demonstrated a few things:

A) When only 16% of your students answer such a five part multiple guess question correctly, you prove not that they know nothing about the subject, but that they DO know something--and that something was wrong.

B) Only Austria and Italy had this problem--the rest of the countries at least scored higher than if they'd just guessed.

c) In each and every country, two to three times as many boys as girls answered correctly.

D)  As the "gender gap" increased, the percent of boys AND girls who answered correctly increased--46% of Israeli boys answered correctly, but only 33% of Israeli girls did.

E) As noted before, American girls did very well on the "rote memorization" questions, of which there were plenty, but on the reasoning questions like this (one third of the test) they scored lower than if they'd just guessed.

F) It disputes the assertions that:

1) We can't compare different education systems around the world.

2)  TIMSS was "biased" or "invalid".

3) You need to quote the confidence level to understand the significance.

4) Just like the rest of TIMSS, this question is statistically insignificant.

5) Statistically insignificance implies insignificance.

What does it mean to you that r-squared for correlation of "gender gap" to boys' scores is 0.82?

What other factors do you believe there are, and how much do you believe they influenced the correlation?

Does it tell you anything about how we scored so durn low on 12th grade TIMSS?

Do you believe the assertions on this forum that our children just don't want to learn math are true?  Or do you believe that the purpose of education is to *educate* children, not to blame the failure by grown up adults to educate them *on the children* themselves?

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 « Reply #207 on: Yesterday at 10:05:28 PM »

E) As noted before, American girls did very well on the "rote memorization" questions, of which there were plenty, but on the reasoning questions like this (one third of the test) they scored lower than if they'd just guessed.

I know that DvF answered this question already, but I will give it another go.  Having many people choose an answer at a rate lower than pure chance indicates that they are using a logical method to choose that answer and we should ask what they are doing to choose that answer.

F) It disputes the assertions that:

1) We can't compare different education systems around the world.

2)  TIMSS was "biased" or "invalid".

3) You need to quote the confidence level to understand the significance.

4) Just like the rest of TIMSS, this question is statistically insignificant.

5) Statistically insignificance implies insignificance.

Well, all of those things add up to me to indicate that your reading comprehension isn't good and that you still need a remedial course in statistics.  If the words "Statistically insignificant" doesn't imply "insignificant" to you, I cannot help you.

What does it mean to you that r-squared for correlation of "gender gap" to boys' scores is 0.82?
What other factors do you believe there are, and how much do you believe they influenced the correlation?

We've been over this.  Apparently, I'm not the only one who cannot carry a conversation in a bucket.

Does it tell you anything about how we scored so durn low on 12th grade TIMSS?

Is your current conclusion is that I personally lowered the scores by sheer force of will or is it that we have too many girls taking the test and if we only had Israeli boys, we would do better?  What happened to the Norwegians?  Weren't they the gold standard a couple of posts ago?  I'm sticking by the fact that we scored low in part because the majority of Americans do not take calculus in high school while the majority of students in other countries who graduate from high school do.

Do you believe the assertions on this forum that our children just don't want to learn math are true?

No.  Have you read any of my other hundred posts on this topic on other threads?  I am a vocal proponent of math and science education for everyone.

Or do you believe that the purpose of education is to *educate* children, not to blame the failure by grown up adults to educate them *on the children* themselves?

Why does the question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" come to mind?

What is your point?  Some children are failed by their school systems and, through no fault of their own, receive a substandard education.  Many of us (including the posters on this thread with whom you keep arguing) are working to fix those systems so that every child will have the opportunity to get a quality education.  Yelling at us for having our heads in the sand about education in the US just makes you look foolish when (A) we are working on fixing the actual problem and (B) you use faulty logic to make specious arguments about a substantially less important issue.

That being said, your arguments, particularly the racist/sexist/nationalist comments irritate the tar out of those of us who are working on bettering education for the masses.  Even if your premises were true (which for the record, a substantial body of evidence indicates they are not), what would that prove?  Would you be happy if we all just threw up our hands and said, "Nope, can't teach any except the select few genetically gifted"?  Does no one teach Twain's Puddin' Head Wilson any more?

I didn't see an answer to my question: do you want that last card up or down or are you folding?

You can't hold a conversation in a bucket.

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 « Reply #208 on: Today at 07:17:35 PM »

It's the cross breeds, not the pure breeds, which have these problems, and many others.

This is incorrect. Pure breeds have inherited health problems, the occurrence of which are minimized in mixed breeds. Please see any number of articles on the subject in Dog Fancy, Dog World, Dog's Life, or just talk to your vet.

Or take a high school biology class.

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 « Reply #180 on: December 24, 2008, 05:00:23 PM »

Pry:  I hadn't seen that mnemonic before; it is delightful.

Quote

I think a very telling piece of evidence is the flow patterns between countries for higher education.  Which way does that flow go?  If the American system were really extremely poor, why would so many of the top students from other countries come here for their postsecondary education?

We could also count Nobel Prizes in Physics.  (How many have gone to Norwegians?  And where did he do his higher education?)  Of course, this is only somewhat better as a test of the US educational system than standardized multiple-choice tests.

Sorry all for feeding the troll, especially as I was probably the first to call for his starvation back after his first post.  For a while I thought he was serious, and not just another mindless angry troglodyte. - DvF

The U.S. Education Department is establishing a new national research center to study colleges' ability to successfully educate the country's growing numbers of academically underprepared administrators.

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 « Reply #181 on: December 25, 2008, 09:46:44 AM »

Pry:  I hadn't seen that mnemonic before; it is delightful.

Quote

I think a very telling piece of evidence is the flow patterns between countries for higher education.  Which way does that flow go?  If the American system were really extremely poor, why would so many of the top students from other countries come here for their postsecondary education?

We could also count Nobel Prizes in Physics.  (How many have gone to Norwegians?  And where did he do his higher education?)  Of course, this is only somewhat better as a test of the US educational system than standardized multiple-choice tests.

Sorry all for feeding the troll, especially as I was probably the first to call for his starvation back after his first post.  For a while I thought he was serious, and not just another mindless angry troglodyte. - DvF

Affirmative action.

The average IQ of India is 81 IQ points, perfectly in line with their average income of \$79 per month.

So what happens to Indian students who're too stupid to get into med or veterinarian schools in India?

They come here where they are all readily admitted through affirmative action.

Does that make them smarter.  Absolutely not.  Do they then qualify as  "many of the top students from other countries [who] come here for their postsecondary education"?

Did you know that 85% of the top patent holders of AMERICAN patents are JAPANESE, not Indians?  Nor Americans.  Do THEY "come here for their postsecondary education"?  No.  Their "top students" already scored two standard deviations higher than their AVERAGE students at the 8th grade, their AVERAGE student already scored a standard deviation higher than us by the 8th grade, the REAL competition in education there begins after that, and we don't even know how well they do by the 12th grade because no Asian country even participated in TIMSS at that level.  There's NOTHING a "top student" from Japan could learn here.  In the semiconductor industry, Japan is already two generations ahead of us, and Korea is another generation ahead of Japan.  95% of their high school students FINISH calculus, while less than 5% of ours TAKE calculus "OR pre-calculus".

Funny that you should mention Nobel Prizes.  Per million people, Norway has won 2.4 of them, more than twice as many as us.  As well as ten times as many Olympic Gold Medals as us, and 403 times as many as Kenya.

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 « Reply #182 on: December 25, 2008, 10:07:36 AM »

When did the PR flack for Stormfront start posting in the CHE?

I go away for a bit to fiddle with SPSS and when I come back someone's trying to start a Race War.

Be honest, you don't interview anyone for a job, let alone give the IQ tests.  It doesn't take a high IQ to spray paint a swastika or shoot rifles while listening to Skrewdriver in your wife-beater tank top.

Go back to your Coeur d'Alene compound.

Please, I've lived near Coeur d'Alene.  Even those people have standards for engagement that aren't met by our newest ... forumite.

Now on the order of operations argument, apparently that's becoming a lost art.  I was using Excel one day (stop snickering) and kept getting strange plots.  Well, eventually I tracked down the problem to the fact that while parentheses are evaluated first, all the other operations went in order from left to right, which did very bad things because my exponential operations happened to be last and the base was raised to an additive power.

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 « Reply #183 on: December 25, 2008, 10:13:39 AM »

[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.

Sorry, I forgot that your sarcasm meter was probably broken.  No, of course I don't believe that, but your posts about minutiae on this one stupid test lead me to think that you believe that.

Sarcasm?

That is NOT a good idea on an internet forum.

Before replying to the rest of your erroneous assumptions, why don't you quit playing games and explain EXACTLY what you meant by the remark?

No, never mind.  Let's address this one first:

<<<And there is my point.  The American educational system, unlike those in many of the countries that score higher than the US on this particular test does not educate primarily for rote memorization on one test.  We do not educate for specialization in high school, unlike nearly every European country.  Yet somehow, we do somehow manage to graduate people who are creative thinkers able to do great things if allowed to acquire the necessary tools for the job>>>

Have you seen the test questions which were posted?  Can you point out which is NOT the result of reasoning rather than "rote memorization"?

I'm in the semiconductor industry.  Do you have any idea how many people in my industry can't answer these BASIC questions?  Or how long they would last if they can't?

Do you know WHERE all our semiconductors are made now?  The same place ALL our cars, and EVEN SHOES, are made now?  And it's NOT HERE?

Because of our poor education system?  Of course.

The following table of top AMERICAN patent holders didn't post properly--the first figure is the number of patents, the second is the percent of the total, and the third is the percent which are held by Japanese?  Can you read that table?  Can you tell us why so FEW Americans are top patent holders?

Even though Motorola is listed as having no Japanese patent holders, I can tell you that in my industry, 99% of the top scientists in AMERICAN companies are ASIAN engineers:

1,867
17.1%
17.1%

Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
1,541
14.1%
14.1%

Motorola Inc.
1,064
9.8%
9.8%

NEC
1,043
9.6%
9.6%

Hitachi, LTD
963
8.8%
8.8%

Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
934
8.6%
8.6%

Toshiba Corporation
914
8.4%
8.4%

Fujitsu Limited
869
8.0%
8.0%

Sony Corporation
855
7.9%
7.9%

Matsus***a Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
841
7.7%
7.7%

Percent of Patents
10,891
100.0%
73.1%

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 « Reply #184 on: December 25, 2008, 10:58:41 AM »

[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.

Sorry, I forgot that your sarcasm meter was probably broken.  No, of course I don't believe that, but your posts about minutiae on this one stupid test lead me to think that you believe that.

Sarcasm?

That is NOT a good idea on an internet forum.

Works for me.

(I would have been more sarcastic, but I wanted to be inclusive.)

Conjugate's alternate self.  Or is that vice versa?

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 « Reply #185 on: December 25, 2008, 11:05:39 AM »

Actually, Japan has really fallen off the turnip truck since that chart was first made.  Today, "only" 46% of the top 25 holders of AMERICAN patents are Japanese, Koreans are 9%, Germans 5%, and Dutch 2.5%.

This leaves 38% for "American" patent holders of AMERICAN patents, with the caveat that NONE of the top scientists and engineers I deal with in "American" companies are actually Americans--they are almost all ASIANS, with a few Iranians sprinkled in (giving you an idea of just how perverse affirmative action really is).  It would be extremely conservative to say that 4% of that 38% are Americans and the rest or 34% Asians [mostly not even American "citizens" either].

In this technological age, if you don't know calculus, you don't get patents.  And if you don't learn it by high school, your chances of learning it approach zero fast:

1 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP -- 3651
2 SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO LTD KR -- 2453
3 CANON K K JP -- 2378
4 MATSUs***A ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO LTD JP -- 2273
5 HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT CO L P -- 2113
6 INTEL CORP -- 1962
7 SONY CORP JP -- 1810
8 HITACHI LTD JP -- 1749
9 TOSHIBA CORP JP -- 1717
10 MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC -- 1612
11 FUJITSU LTD JP -- 1513
12 MICROSOFT CORP -- 1463
13 SEIKO EPSON CORP JP -- 1205
14 GENERAL ELECTRIC CO -- 1051
15 FUJI PHOTO FILM CO LT D JP -- 918
16 INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES AG DE -- 904
17 KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS ELECTRONICS NV NL -- 901
18 TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC -- 884
19 SIEMENS AG DE -- 857
20 HONDA MOTOR CO LTD JP -- 836
21 SUN MICROSYSTEMS INC -- 776
22 DENSO CORP JP -- 770
23 NEC CORP JP -- 744
24 RICOH CO LTD JP -- 695
25 LG ELECTRONICS INC KR -- 695

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 « Reply #186 on: December 25, 2008, 11:10:06 AM »

WARNING!  WARNING!  WARNING!  This is the final warning to put your kittens in a safe place and break out your balloon animals or <whisper so Grasshopper can't hear> snacks of choice.  This thread is about to go BOOOM!

Sarcasm?

That is NOT a good idea on an internet forum.

Hmmm.  I hadn't considered that.  Why do you think that is?  Are Americans incapable of using sarcasm effectively in a global setting?  Are we sarcasm deficient and just watching our feeble attempts makes people from other countries feel embarrassed for us?  I would like your thoughts on this matter.

Before replying to the rest of your erroneous assumptions, why don't you quit playing games and explain EXACTLY what you meant by the remark?

<aside to the viewers at home>  He don't know me very well, do he?  Imagine just asking me to do something like that.

You want me to explain EXACTLY what I meant by that remark?  What remark?  Whose remark?  I don't know.  THIRD BASE!

Have you seen the test questions which were posted?  Can you point out which is NOT the result of reasoning rather than "rote memorization"?

Pointing is not polite.  Did you just ask me to be impolite?  I must refuse on the basis that my mama didn't raise me to be lead astray by the first troll man who came along.

I'm in the semiconductor industry.  Do you have any idea how many people in my industry can't answer these BASIC questions?  Or how long they would last if they can't?

518.5.  The 0.5 comes from Edgar who can but only when his coin is in good working order.   George, Frieda, and Emile can when they haven't been drinking.  Jorge, Hassan, Ramona, and Iris can, but they don't feel that tests adequately reflect their abilities, so they won't.

3.76 months on average with a standard deviation of two years.  It's a skewed distribution, but, hey, waddaya gonna do?

Do you know WHERE all our semiconductors are made now?  The same place ALL our cars, and EVEN SHOES, are made now?  And it's NOT HERE?

And by HERE, you mean, my office?  Well, of course not.  The rolltop desk and the three filing cabinets hardly fit.  How would I add a whole car assembly line?  Your basic reasoning skills are failing you.  Silly man, thinking he could fit an assembly line into an 8x8x10 ft office.

Because of our poor education system?  Of course.

Yep, because manufacturing requires huge levels of education while design is so easy even a child can do it.  Let me just break out my legos and spirograph to get Blocky on the road to success.

The following table of top AMERICAN patent holders didn't post properly--the first figure is the number of patents, the second is the percent of the total, and the third is the percent which are held by Japanese?  Can you read that table?  Can you tell us why so FEW Americans are top patent holders?

Yep, yep, and yep.  Can you explain why you have two questions, but three question marks?  Yes, even with my poor American education, I can identify a table.  Do I get extra points for that?

You have selected one particular industry to give statistics from INTERNATIONAL companies who filed AMERICAN patents to protect their interests in the American market.  My basic reasoning skills tell me not to be shocked about one carefully selected data point that supports one's argument.  Many patents filed with the American patent office are to protect the interests of INTERNATIONAL companies in one of the biggest markets in the world.  So what?

Hey, let's continue to play games with basic reasoning skills.  The game is seven card stud, high low, reverse hold card is wild, last card comes up or down on a Communist option.  Ready?

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 « Reply #187 on: December 25, 2008, 11:17:47 AM »

I resent the implied criticism of Ramona.  I know Ramona.  She's a valued coworker, a kind heart, and a team player.

You don't was to go too far and come across as Sparky the Wonder Poodle.

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 « Reply #188 on: December 25, 2008, 11:20:18 AM »

I resent the implied criticism of Ramona.  I know Ramona.  She's a valued coworker, a kind heart, and a team player.

But she refuses to take the test or ante.

King of Clubs has first bet.

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 « Reply #189 on: December 25, 2008, 12:56:23 PM »

I see your white chip and raise two blue ones.

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 « Reply #190 on: December 25, 2008, 01:09:17 PM »

Sarcasm?

That is NOT a good idea on an internet forum.

Hmmm.  I hadn't considered that.  Why do you think that is?  Are Americans incapable of using sarcasm effectively in a global setting?  Are we sarcasm deficient and just watching our feeble attempts makes people from other countries feel embarrassed for us?  I would like your thoughts on this matter.

Before replying to the rest of your erroneous assumptions, why don't you quit playing games and explain EXACTLY what you meant by the remark?

<aside to the viewers at home>  He don't know me very well, do he?  Imagine just asking me to do something like that.

You want me to explain EXACTLY what I meant by that remark?  What remark?  Whose remark?  I don't know.  THIRD BASE!

Have you seen the test questions which were posted?  Can you point out which is NOT the result of reasoning rather than "rote memorization"?

Pointing is not polite.  Did you just ask me to be impolite?  I must refuse on the basis that my mama didn't raise me to be lead astray by the first troll man who came along.

You ought to know that none of the problems which were posted were memorization questions, and that they were reasoning questions.

There were many memorization questions though, and American girls actually did fairly well there, demonstrating that they were even BETTER at "rote memorization" than Norwegian boys.  They haven't been posted though.

The point about the Asian dominance in OUR patents is that employees in Asian companies are not educated in OUR education system which you think is doing so well.  The fact that the percent of AMERICAN companies who hold AMERICAN patents dropped  from 65% to less than 40% SHOULD give you a clue that "education" here is not working as you claim it is, or at least think it is.

No Asian company would agree with you that they are an "international" company.  Just because they sell stuff here doesn't mean you'll ever see their intellectual property no matter how many patents they file.

You may have missed the link to the Digest of Education Statistics which shows that, contrary to the claims on this forum that we have a high rate of educating students, more than ONE MILLION 18 year olds annually don't even graduate from high school, compared to 93% in Norway, Belgium and Finland who DO, 97% in Sweden who DO, and 94% in Japan who DO.  Wherever that sheer misleading rumor started, it ought to END here:

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2001/2001034.pdf

Additional proof that nobody's knocking the doors down to be educated here as you believe, the above url shows that the percent of 22 to 25 year olds enrolled in postsecondary institutions in the US is no higher than most other industrialized nations, and in fact is significantly lower than Finland, Denmark, Norway, and even Spain.

iow, even Spain has more students knocking down their doors than we do.

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 « Reply #191 on: December 25, 2008, 01:17:41 PM »

So the board is right?  Great.

<deals another card to everyone>

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 « Reply #192 on: December 25, 2008, 01:18:58 PM »

Math knowledge is not highly valued in many classrooms around the country, and students as well as some teachers "delegate" the skill to TI calculators. By so doing, they are essentially throwing out the substantial part of logical training. You can find very basic mistakes e.g., 1/p+1/q=2/(p+q) even in a graduate student's exam.

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 « Reply #193 on: December 25, 2008, 01:24:57 PM »

Funny that you should mention Nobel Prizes.  Per million people, Norway has won 2.4 of them, more than twice as many as us.

Not in the sciences.  It is certainly true that Norwegian writers have won the Literature Nobel way out of proportion to their population.

Our higher education system is the envy of the world.  I did recently visit a colleague in Oslo, and will admit that their office chairs are far more comfortable than ours.

Jonesey, I think you've got it about right. - DvF

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 « Reply #194 on: December 25, 2008, 01:34:18 PM »

I think average quality of math/science education in public schools is not directly related to high achievements such as Nobel prizes. The fact that US has resources to attract the best and brightest minds from around the world, is the most significant factor, not the excellence in education.

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 « Reply #165 on: December 23, 2008, 06:28:46 PM »

How much more patient can someone be with someone who keeps saying STFU, who appears to have an educator's rather than a scientist's view of statistics, and many of whose students probably understand probability and statistics better than him?

Just to be absolutely clear, I am a university educator and also a researcher in a STEM field with 30 years of publications in fields including Mathematics, Statistics, Biostatistics, and Computer Science.  I believe cgmathfunguy is similarly credentialed, but if not he is right nevertheless.

Aside from your misunderstandings of statistics - which are legion - and your inability to accept that below-random results on a multiple choice exam is a strong indicator of too-attractive alternate answers (the whole idea of testing mathematics with multiple choice exams is wrongheaded, of course) , nobody has any idea of your point.  What specific action are you proposing?  For example, should girls not be admitted into college - despite the fact that they perform better there than boys on average - because their SATs are lower?  - DvF

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 « Reply #166 on: December 23, 2008, 08:36:08 PM »

My syllabus for Statistics now contains the following phrases:

"Will I pass this class?

That depends on your arithmetic skills. In particular, you need to know how to change 0.575 to a percent and how to change 47.2% to a decimal. You also need to be able to tell me which is larger, 0.006 or 0.052. If you cannot do these things, I am telling you on day one of the class that I do not expect you to pass the class unless you spend a  substantial amount of time in the learning center beginning today."

You would be amazed how many of my students think 0.006 is larger than 0.052. This makes p-values difficult to discuss.

I love this, Wittgenstein! I must adopt a similar statement -- in my math classes!

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 « Reply #167 on: December 23, 2008, 08:39:37 PM »

How much more patient can someone be with someone who keeps saying STFU, who appears to have an educator's rather than a scientist's view of statistics, and many of whose students probably understand probability and statistics better than him?

Just to be absolutely clear, I am a university educator and also a researcher in a STEM field with 30 years of publications in fields including Mathematics, Statistics, Biostatistics, and Computer Science.  I believe cgmathfunguy is similarly credentialed, but if not he is right nevertheless.

Aside from your misunderstandings of statistics - which are legion - and your inability to accept that below-random results on a multiple choice exam is a strong indicator of too-attractive alternate answers (the whole idea of testing mathematics with multiple choice exams is wrongheaded, of course) , nobody has any idea of your point.  What specific action are you proposing?  For example, should girls not be admitted into college - despite the fact that they perform better there than boys on average - because their SATs are lower?  - DvF

Explain.

Exactly how can girls "perform better there than boys on average - because their SATs are lower"??

If their "SATs are lower", then they certainly cannot "perform better there than boys on average", can they?

Did you read that Howard Wainer study?  Do you know the phenomenon I'm referring to?

As an employer, I know how wildly and arbitrarily grades are awarded.  The only real objective measurements, at least to an employer, are scores like SAT (and GRE, TIMSS, NAEP, IAEP, PISA, etc.).

You have heard of affirmative action, right?  I know that 78% of college professors in California can't even define it properly, but your presence on this forum suggests you might have a little better understanding of how affirmative action works than them?

Even AFTER we OUTLAWED affirmative action in California, the UC system got caught DISOBEYING the law, as they had been for several years before they got caught.

<<<At UC Berkeley, where it's called "comprehensive review," the system is under attack. A study last month commissioned by UC Board of Regents Chairman John Moores and reported by the Los Angeles Times found that in 2002 Berkeley admitted 375 students with SAT scores between 600 and 1000, and rejected about 3,200 students with SAT scores above 1400.>>>

<<<Data subsequently released by the University of California show that UC Berkeley and UCLA in the past two years collectively have rejected more than 10,000 applicants who scored above 1400 (out of a possible 1600) on the SAT. That's nearly half the applicants in that category who applied to Berkeley, and nearly a third of those who applied to UCLA.>>>

Do you like that?  Is that something that you believe a just nation should engage in?  Does none of this matter when you have just one TA who defies all the odds?

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 « Reply #168 on: December 23, 2008, 09:52:48 PM »

Exactly how can girls "perform better there than boys on average - because their SATs are lower"??

In college.  Girls perform better in college, have done for years.  Please read my posts before frothing off at the mouth.  Oh, and don't forget the two exercises I've set you: first, the elementary statistics problem; and second, an articulation of your point. - DvF

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 « Reply #169 on: December 23, 2008, 10:11:01 PM »

[I know I will regret this, but I'm going to jump in here anyway]

Jacobisrael,

In addition to the excellent points made by DvF, Cfunmathguy, and others, have you even considered the fact that all of those test scores don't matter if the tests are testing the wrong things or are effectively comparing apples, cheese, and screwdrivers?

I am touched by your firm belief that any one particular test given at one particular moment in time tells us everything we need to know about people's ability to function as competent adults later in life.  Yes, no one ever does poorly on random standardized tests that cover material that hasn't yet been taught to the testtakers or is irrelevant to the real-world tasks that one wants people to be able to do.  Success only means doing well on timed, closed-book tests.  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.

Every so often your true agenda peeks out with the rants against affirmative action.  Apparently, women, people with certain levels of melanin, and people who have specific accents are all just lost causes and should be dismissed out of hand.  Therefore, the few outliers can be safely ignored as irrelevant.  I hope that you aren't teaching anywhere with that attitude and certainly not statistics, logic, rhetoric, or composition based on your posts here.

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 « Reply #170 on: December 24, 2008, 12:10:25 AM »

[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.

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 economics 101.

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?

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 « Reply #171 on: December 24, 2008, 12:43:15 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.

So you don't believe Obama when he says his IQ is 132?

Great point.

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 over 514.

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.  [Edited because of offensive language. -moderator]

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 those days.

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.

 « Last Edit: Today at 08:17:10 PM by moderator »

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 « Reply #172 on: December 24, 2008, 01:30:49 AM »

[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.

Sorry, I forgot that your sarcasm meter was probably broken.  No, of course I don't believe that, but your posts about minutiae on this one stupid test lead me to think that you believe that.

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].

*chuckle*
Oh, I don't even know where to begin on this one.  I have a Ph.D. in engineering.  Professionally, I am surrounded by men, many of them foreign nationals from the countries you cite, every single day.  I can play with the big boys who are, according to you, better educated than I am and not get crushed.  Bring it on.

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.

Yes.  Please continue to make my point for me.

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 economics 101.

And there is my point.  The American educational system, unlike those in many of the countries that score higher than the US on this particular test does not educate primarily for rote memorization on one test.  We do not educate for specialization in high school, unlike nearly every European country.  Yet somehow, we do somehow manage to graduate people who are creative thinkers able to do great things if allowed to acquire the necessary tools for the job.

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.

Must I really hammer again on the "don't compare apples to screwdrivers" argument?  (1) Standard deviation doesn't mean what you appear to think it means.  (2) Since I didn't suggest a reason for the gender gap between American girls and Norwegian boys, I'm completely clueless about how it would be a partial explanation.

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?

Sorry, I'll try to type slower and use fewer big words this time.  I don't believe that the TIMSS test indicates anything other than the fact that some groups of people have the skills to do better on this one test this particular sitting of it than other groups.  However, scores on the test mean nothing about how well any of those groups of people would actually do in a real world setting--which apparently you agree is the true test of education.

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?

I grew up in an area where the dominant heritage was Norwegian so I assure you that it's not some innate genetic ability.  The Norwegian educational system is vastly different from the American system.  I'm not really sure what your purpose is in continuing to claim that the comparison between the Norwegian students who are specialized in math and science at the middle-school and high-school level and the general American population that hasn't specialized yet is valid.  It's not.  It doesn't matter.  Our best graduates can compete with the best graduates anywhere.  The fact that our future English and history majors are not as good as the future engineers and scientists of other countries at science and math doesn't bother me.

I think a very telling piece of evidence is the flow patterns between countries for higher education.  Which way does that flow go?  If the American system were really extremely poor, why would so many of the top students from other countries come here for their postsecondary education?  That's another case of where the rubber meets the road.

You can't hold a conversation in a bucket.

New member

Posts: 1

 « Reply #173 on: December 24, 2008, 06:54:34 AM »

I think you better give your student an extra task to motivate her study algebra. Like writing a paper about it. I don't think she's dumb. She just missed the opportunity to learn about it.

Junior member

Posts: 59

 « Reply #174 on: December 24, 2008, 08:42:12 AM »

Folks, why in the world are you feeding this troll?

Distinguished Senior Member

Posts: 20,690

Prytania, the Foracle

 « Reply #175 on: December 24, 2008, 10:11:37 AM »

I am not sure that some of them even know that the concept of order of operations exists.

Order of Operations

Excuse
My Dear
Aunt Sally

1st solve what is in Parentheses
2nd do the Exponents
3rd Multiply and Divide

If only I could make my living as a thread starter.

Distinguished Senior Member

Posts: 20,690

Prytania, the Foracle

 « Reply #176 on: December 24, 2008, 10:19:58 AM »

Wow.

I'm sorry, but this has turned into the land of dead kittens.

 « Last Edit: Today at 08:18:00 PM by moderator »

If only I could make my living as a thread starter.

is a wossname
Distinguished Senior Member

Posts: 3,374

Current Custodian of the Zambartini Beer Cart

 « Reply #177 on: December 24, 2008, 10:50:53 AM »

Shh... I've discovered that they deep-fry really well.

<grabs a basket of popcorn kittens and a very large Pepsi>

<with an innocent look on his face>

Please go on. This is fascinating!

Alan

 « Last Edit: Today at 08:18:24 PM by moderator »

All-Purpose Savage, Barroom Sociologist, and
Distinguished Senior Member

Posts: 3,223

 « Reply #178 on: December 24, 2008, 11:29:47 AM »

When did the PR flack for Stormfront start posting in the CHE?

I go away for a bit to fiddle with SPSS and when I come back someone's trying to start a Race War.

Be honest, you don't interview anyone for a job, let alone give the IQ tests.  It doesn't take a high IQ to spray paint a swastika or shoot rifles while listening to Skrewdriver in your wife-beater tank top.

Go back to your Coeur d'Alene compound.

"You wasted \$150,000 on an education you coulda got for a buck fifty in late charges at the public library."
-Will Hunting

“I only swear because I ran out of ideas for saying the same thing better.” -Clive James

Senior member

Posts: 501

 « Reply #179 on: December 24, 2008, 04:38:51 PM »

Someone's never heard of hybrid vigor either.

Edited: I'm being rather sarcastic in response to his allusions to livestock breeding, which he clearly knows nothing about. I hope noone would think I was serious, but felt I had to add.

 « Last Edit: Today at 08:19:01 PM by moderator »

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.