Summary of TIMSS
The TIMSS (Third International Math & Science Study) provided an unprecedented opportunity for debate and analysis of the US education system.
It dispelled notions of education commonly held by educators, parents, and students worldwide, and introduced new theories about how and what and why children learn. It was an objective, unassailable, scientific survey of students' skills around the world which enables international comparisons to be made free of political, partisan, and nationalistic claims. It included both sexes and a wide array of students of all geographies, income strata, races, nationalities and religions, eliminating the usual arguments that such standardized tests are biased against a certain minority group.
It proved that the US education system is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the world's worst.
WORLD'S HIGHEST EDUCATION COSTS & LOWEST SCORES
As a percent of GDP, only two countries spend more for education than the US, but no country's 12th graders scored lower than everyone else in so many different subjects. Of 34 TIMSS subjects, the US was dead last in 17 of them. Japan and Korea, who spend half as much as a percent of GDP for education, educate their 8th graders well enough to score more than 100 points higher than ours, proof that spending more money isn't a prerequisite to improving education. Within the G-7 countries, a 1% increase in education spending as a percent of GDP correlates to a 40 point decrease in TIMSS scores. Where the 12th graders of most countries scored higher than their 8th graders (as much as 92 points higher), the 12th graders in the US scored 72 points lower, suggesting that American high schools may have a serious adverse effect on students. It demonstrated that the "gender gap" (the difference between boys' and girls' test scores) is constant across the world and is not the result of some systemic discrimination against girls and in favor of boys in the US, as claimed by feminists. It demonstrates that American 12th grade girls had been taught math and physics principles, but that zero percent of them were able to apply those principles to problem solving.
US HAS WORLD'S LOWEST TIMSS SCORES
At the 12th grade level, compared to American girls, French boys scored 130 points higher in Calculus and 147 points higher in Advanced Math, Swedish boys scored 193 points higher in Mechanics and 154 points higher in Wave Phenomena, Russian boys scored 166 points higher in Electricity & Magnetism and 91 points higher in heat, Lithuanian boys scored 121 points higher in Numbers and Equations, Swiss boys scored 161 points higher in Geometry, German boys scored 115 points higher in Modern Physics, Dutch boys scored 129 points higher in General Math and 113 points higher in General Science, Norwegian boys scored 189 points higher in Physics
American boys compared to American girls scored 41 points higher in Calculus, 92 points higher in Advanced Math, 52 points higher in Mechanics, 18 points higher in Wave Phenomena, 28 points higher in Electricity & Magnetism, 26 points higher in Heat, 3 points higher in Numbers & Equations, 31 points higher in Geometry, 20 points higher in Modern Physics, 54 points higher in General Math, 61 points higher in General Science, 91 points higher in Physics, and 33 points higher in Advanced Science.
AMERICAN 12TH GRADERS SCORE LOWER THAN AMERICAN 8TH GRADERS
To add insult to injury, there was no subject in which American 12th graders scored higher than American 8th graders scored in General Math, while the 12th graders in most other countries scored higher. Some countries' 12th graders scored as much as 91 points higher where American 12th graders scored as much as 76 points lower. It's impossible to believe that US education could be this bad by accident. It amounts to statistical evidence of an intentional effort to destroy the country by destroying the education of our youth.
In Geometry, 12th graders in Cyprus scored 42 points higher than their 8th graders. They scored 35 points higher in Australia, 23 in Denmark, 4 in France, 11 in Greece, 23 in Lithuania, 13 in Russia, and 1 in Switzerland.
American 12th graders scored 76 points lower than American 8th graders in Geometry.
In Advanced Math, Greek 12th graders scored 26 points than their 8th graders. 12th graders scored 4 points higher in Australia, 18 in Denmark, 25 in France, 2 in Canada, 67 in Lithuania, 53 in Russia, and 21 in Switzerland.
American 12th graders scored 45 points lower than American 8th graders in Advanced Math.
In Calculus, 97 points in Cyprus, 6 in Denmark, 27 in France, 50 in Greece, 41 in Lithuania, 25 in Russia, and 12 in Switzerland.
American 12th graders scored 42 points lower than American 8th graders in Calculus.
In Physics, 11 in Greece, 35 in Cyprus, 2 in Australia, 40 in Denmark, 16 in Latvia, 70 in Sweden, 91 in Norway, 33 in Germany, 40 in Russia, and 5 in Slovenia.
American 12th graders scored 63 points lower than American 8th graders in Physics.
In General Science, 35 in New Zealand, 4 in Lithuania, 23 in Canada, 13 in South Africa, 17 in Australia, 5 in Germany, 30 in Denmark, 85 in Iceland, 41 in Netherlands, 16 in Sweden, 15 in Austria, and 71 in Norway.
American 12th graders scored 10 points lower than American 8th graders in General Science.
In General Math, 12th graders in South Africa scored 11 points higher than their 8th graders, 8 in Lithuania, 28 in New Zealand, 10 in Australia, 10 in Switzerland, 10 in Canada, 6 in France, 6 in Austria, 54 in Sweden, 71 in Iceland, 73 in Denmark, 44 in Netherlands, and 52 in Norway.
American 12th grader scored 37 points lower than American 8th graders in General Math.
In Modern Physics, 6 points in Australia, 35 in Denmark, 49 in Germany, 15 in Latvia, 84 in Norway, 26 in Russia, and 52 in Sweden.
American 12th grader scored 36 points lower than American 8th graders in Modern Physics.
AMERICAN GIRLS' LOWER THAN IF THEY JUST GUESSED
There were questions which required only that a student remember a math or physics principle, and questions that required students to solve problems using those principles. Most of them were multiple choice questions with 4 or 5 choices. If students guess on a series of 4 choice questions, they will get 25% of them correct, and if they guess on a series of 5 choice questions, they will get 20% of them correct. Once adjusted for multiple choice guesses, American 12th grade girls demonstrated that they remembered an average of half of the math and physics principles on the test. But their aggregate score on both math and physics questions which required those principles to be applied to problem solving was zero percent. Of these problem solving questions, on 7 of the 20 multiple choice physics questions and on 4 of the 16 multiple choice math questions, they correctly answered fewer questions than if they had just guessed. Such consistently wrong answers cannot be explained by sheer probability theory. For example, question K10 ANGLE INSCRIBED BY FIGURES INSIDE A SEMICIRCLE had 4 possible answers, so 25% of students guessing on the question would have guessed correctly. But only 9% American girls correctly answered this question, 16% fewer than if they had just guessed. American boys didn't do well on this question either, with only 33.7% correct answers, but the 8.7% more correct answers that they got than if they had just guessed is infinitely greater than zero percent.
None of the average international scores for any of the math questions for girls followed this pattern. Adjusted for guesses, the average international score for girls for all of the math problem solving questions was 14.5%, compared to 1.9% for American girls. Because the error was plus or minus 3%, a score of 1.9% is a demonstration of zero problem solving skills for American girls, compared to at least 11.5% for girls internationally.
The international math scores for all boys was lower than if they had just guessed on only one question, which is the above question, on which they scored 3% lower. This can be explained entirely by the plus or minus 3% error. Their average score on these questions was 18.3%, which is 3.9% higher than the international girls' score.
BOYS ANSWER 6% MORE QUESTIONS CORRECTLY THAN GIRLS, A 31 POINT DIFFERENCE
The average percent correct in advanced math for American boys was 7.9%, which is 6% higher than American girls, but 6.6% lower than girls internationally and 10.4% lower than boys internationally. It was also lower than if they had just guessed on only one question, which is a different question than the one above. They scored 4% lower on a question regarding permutations, which would suggest that (had it not been for the dismal performance of girls) the American education system is not teaching this subject correctly. In other words, this would otherwise suggest that American text books and/or teachers are teaching permutations incorrectly.
The difference between boys and girls in the final score in advanced math was 31 points (457 vs. 426), evidence that a score of 426 is the TIMSS score someone with no problem solving skills would receive. The average international scores for girls (482) was 25 points higher than for American boys, the international score for boys (519) was 62 points higher, and Swiss boys scored 102 points higher, at 559. Thus the 10.4% difference between American boys and boys internationally is equivalent to a 62 point difference in TIMSS scores.
The difference between 426 and 457 doesn't seem like much of a difference, until you realize that it's the difference between zero percent having problem solving skills and 6% having problem solving skills.
WHY DID GIRLS SCORE LOWER THAN IF THEY HAD JUST GUESSED?
Without considering any other factors, it's impossible for girls to score consistently lower on 11 of 36 math and physics questions (almost a third of them) than if they had just guessed, without knowing enough about the subject in order to answer these questions incorrectly. Analyzing this data solely by itself, it would appear that our education system is somehow encouraging American girls to intentionally answer such questions incorrectly, in a way that no other education system does. The low score of American boys relative to the average international score for girls suggests that either this also decreases boys' scores, or that a similar thing is happening to boys but they are rejecting the disinformation and relying on innate math skills more often than girls.
NO RESPONSE TO SOME QUESTIONS?
A possible explanation suggested by the National Center for Education Statistics is a poor test taking strategy by American girls. If a large percentage of them didn't answer these questions at all, then they would have scored lower than if they had just guessed on all the questions. The test results containing the percent of students who didn't answer each question shows that only a small percent of American girls didn't answer these questions at all, eliminating this is as a possible factor.
FROM IGNORANCE TO DENIAL AND BACK
There are few parents in this country who would disagree with the observation that spending more of their tax dollars for education just isn't going to solve our education crisis. For those who are interested, the entire solution to this crisis was provided to us by foreign, not American, educators, through TIMSS. This study contains far more important information than just our low test scores, which by themselves are prerequisites to quantifying the damage done to our nation's boys and girls through feminism.
The mindset created by feminism created a lockstep between denial and ignorance which we simply must break out of. It starts with feminism's Holy Grail that boys and girls are "equal" (ignorance) and ends with their insulting any challenge to this Holy Grail as misogyny (denial). It's difficult for those of us who have both boys and girls to understand how feminists or teachers or bureaucrats or courts could even start their day with such an outlandish assumption, until you realize how many of them have neither and could care less about both. Rush Limbaugh's recent diatribe about how easily he would remove Elian Gonzalez from his father proved that only parents understand children, or care enough about them to ensure that their parents, rather than childless bureaucrats, are their primary decision makers. The preponderance of such bureaucrats in American "education" is only a partial explanation for why so many Americans accept this basic false feminist premise.
If you are unaware of the vast emotional, physical, and intellectual differences between boys and girls, then you are more likely to accept the false notion that the entire reason for the differences is the way each sex is socialized, rather than God's and nature's plan. Telling girls that they are intellectually equal to boys when they aren't, but then continuing to give them thousands of excuses for their shortcomings, eliminates all desire on their part to excel. Why should they try hard to learn anything when it's a given that they can't overcome "thousands of years of discrimination against women" by the nasty patriarchy? Why bother to learn if the solution is merely to raise girls' self esteem? Unfortunately, as William Bennett points out, for each 1% increase in the percent of students who feel "I am good at math", scores of that country are 2 TIMSS points lower [read:
By denying these differences, our educators are propagating a social pathology of immense proportions. American girls are clearly the biggest losers of this denial, so it's the exact opposite of "misogyny" to make the following observation: pretending that our girls aren't being adversely impacted by feminism ensures that they will forever rank last in the world in academic skills, which adversely impacts boys, which further undermines girls' future family income and stability.
MEN VERSUS WOMEN TEACHERS--SACRIFICING QUALITY ISN'T CHEAP
We cannot deny that there is a huge difference in public attitudes about education between the US and many other countries. One example is the low proportion of American teachers who are men, compared to more than three quarters of the teachers in Japan and Korea and Switzerland, the highest scoring countries in TIMSS. Only a quarter of the teachers in the US, and other low scoring countries like Austria, Greece, and the Czech Republic, are men. You can deny that this is a factor in our poor international standing, as many American educators and students and even parents commonly do, but you cannot deny that this is clear evidence of an important and significant difference in attitudes about education.
This is the classic case of how quality is less expensive than going third class. Not only does Japan spend less than half as much as a percent of GDP for education than us, not only did their 8th graders score more than 100 points higher than ours, but their predominately men teachers receive salaries which are two to three times higher than our predominately women teachers. In an obtuse sense our teachers are correct--American teachers should be paid more. But the money must be spent to attract more competent American men to teaching rather than to continue to prop up the deadwood educators who dishonored our youth.
How can American girls who scored a statistical zero percent on TIMSS math and physics at the 12th grade level gain the knowledge or skills within the next 4 or 8 or 10 years necessary to teach American boys, many of whom understand math and physics better than most [if not all] of their own teachers? The reality is that they can't, they don't, and they never will. Furthermore, those who major in education, who are most of those who become teachers, score 55 SAT math points lower than the average college student and 161 SAT math points lower than the average math major. Thus most of our teachers are already coming from the left side of a very flat bell curve which is to the left of the male bell curve which is one of the lowest in the world. Does a college education or teachers' training or an advanced degree improve these critical skills? Not by much, and certainly not by enough to make any significant difference. The gap between these bell curves is even bigger after graduation than before--88 GRE (Graduate Record Exam) points.
290 TO 380 POINT GAP BETWEEN JAPANESE AND AMERICAN TEACHERS
Conversely, Japan's teachers come from a labor pool whose 8th grade TIMSS scores were 105 points higher than ours and whose 12th grade scores would have been between 180 and 250 points higher had they participated in 12th grade TIMSS. They hire mostly Japanese men who, if the difference between Japanese men and women is equivalent to the difference between Swiss, Czech, Austrian, or Slovenian men and women, have academic skills which are the equivalent of more than 80 TIMSS points higher in both math and physics than Japanese women. And they pay enough to attract teachers from the right side of the men's bell curve, which adds another 30-50 points to their teachers' average academic skills. Ignoring any overlap between these three factors, the majority of Japan's teachers have math and physics skills which are the equivalent of 290 to 380 TIMSS points higher than the majority of our teachers. And it cannot be said that Japanese men teachers "discriminate against" girls by doing such a good of teaching their boys--their 8th grade girls scored 98 points higher than our boys!
The defect in US education policy adversely impacts the entire country, almost universally, but there are exceptions to the rule. Crosslinking 8th grade TIMSS scores to the NAEP (National Assessment of Education Progress) shows that academic skills of 13 year olds in public schools in North Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota are equivalent to those of Hungary and France, but that students in their public schools are equivalent to Korea and Taiwan.
We need no further studies or tests to achieve a national understanding of the significance of such a wide gap between the academic skills of Japanese and American teachers. We don't even need to test our or Japan's teachers to get a ballpark estimate of their relative academic performance--TIMSS gave that to us on a silver platter. We don't need to ask whether or not teachers who can't grasp their subjects can teach it--TIMSS is scientific proof that they can't. We don't need to listen any longer to excuses for why testing teachers is "unfair"--TIMSS proved why they might think so. We don't need to ponder whether or not the SAT test is "biased against girls"--TIMSS proved that accepting such an awkward premise is bad for both boys and girls. We don't need to continue to squander our nation's resources in a futile attempt to "narrow the gender gap"--TIMSS proved that this merely destroys academic performance for both sexes.
Each year, more than 35,000 American students score higher than 650 on SAT Math, and over the last three decades, more than one million scored higher. With this level of math expertise available in the country, there is no excuse for denying any student a good math education just because their teachers don't understand math. More importantly, rather than focusing all of our attention on the lowest common denominator as we now do, a program must be established which develops the math skills of our best students to their fullest potential. The Japanese proved for us that the initial increased cost necessary to attract these math experts to education is both a good immediate investment and, in the long run, less expensive than hiring unqualified teachers to merely baby-sit.
The median monthly salaries of those who majored in math are 68% higher than those who majored in education ($2,569 vs. $1,352). It would take a monthly salary twice that of math majors, or $5,138, to encourage the math experts to leave their existing jobs, careers, and businesses to become teachers. At current attrition levels, up to 100,000 of these math experts, or 10% of the existing pool, could be hired each year, if education salaries for them were increased by $3.1 billion per year.
This might be the best "investment" this government ever made.