Title: **Re: assuming too much math knowledge?**

Post by: **polly_mer** on **October
15, 2010, 07:13:12 PM**

I'm still wondering about the disconnect between (a) oh, my, oh,
my look how the American math education establishment has failed basically
everyone and (b) hardly anyone in the US has the basic genetic capacity to
learn all that hard math so why bother?

Which is it, Benami? Are we incompetent
teachers who should be sacked or is the situation just that we have such poor
material that even the best Asian teachers would throw their hands up in
despair?

Regardless of the condescending tone of this question, it deserves
a complete and honest and accurate response, as this teacher has a five star
rating on the Chronicle of Higher Education, has submitted 20,000 posts, and
has a following of teachers who agree with her every word:

http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,49290.915.html

First, we should note that the Asian teachers she so admirably refers to are also revered by their own students, as well as the parents of their students, because most Asian teachers come from the highest intellectual strata, whereas our teachers come from the lowest, scoring only 446 in SAT math and 467 in GRE quantitative. This is a GRE score only 33 points higher than sociology majors, almost 200 points lower than math, physics, computer science, chemistry, engineering, and economics majors, and 50 points lower than Mexican men; and an SAT score 18 points lower than sociology majors, 161 points lower than math majors, and 3 points lower than Hispanic females.

If you review the above thread called “**assuming too
much math knowledge**” you will see that NONE of the educators on that forum
can understand the first thing about math, and most understand less than most
12 year old boys, including my son.

And this explains why, after a year of reading these posts,
this particular educator was not even capable of accurately paraphrasing the
discussion. We must note first that it
was SHE who denied that there is a relationship between increased math skills
and increased incomes, claiming it was not the result of “causation”, even
after seeing the data which correlated to within 0.90. And there are 3 million American 12^{th}
graders each year who take either ACT or SAT whose AVERAGE SAT math score is 59
points higher than education majors, one sixth of whom score more than 160
points higher.

Sure, from her perspective, surrounded by mediocrity, all of America looks mediocre, but when entire states like North Dakota and Iowa have SAT math scores of 592 and 583 (about 146 points higher than education majors), there IS a silver lining on this dark cloud of education.