Skip to comments.Terrific: America Lags Behind 31 Other Countries in Mathematics
Posted on 09/23/2012 12:43:28 AM PDT by Kaslin
I understand that we are more than $16 Trillion in debt and unemployment has been above eight percent for 43 straight months, but education reform is a moral imperative that cannot wait:
We have a crisis in our schools. This is not a new revelation, but it needs to be stated regardless, particularly at the start of another academic year and at a time when America is struggling to compete in the very fields math, science, technology that are defining the global economy. Consider that U.S. high school students graduate with just a 32 percent proficiency rate in math, according to a Harvard study a figure that puts America behind 31 other countries, including Japan, Korea, Switzerland and Canada.
Wow. The United States spends more on education per pupil than other country on earth, except for Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Norway. And yet, according to the Harvard study cited above, U.S. high school students graduate with just a 32 percent proficiency rate in math. This is disgraceful. Sadly, however, it gets worse:
The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.
So how is it possible we are spending massive sums of money on education yet student achievement remains stagnant? Perhaps one reason is because taxpayer dollars are increasingly going to fund teachers pension funds -- not educating children. Case in point: As Katie reported last week, the city of Chicago might be a microcosm of all that is wrong with the US public education system. Indeed, according to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, by 2016 the state will spend more on pension contributions than education funding. Every thoughtful citizen with an ounce of moral fiber in their bones should be outraged by that statement. Even worse, the average teacher salary in the Windy City is $76,000 and yet, somehow, the high school graduation rate barely exceeds fifty percent. In short, how can America compete in a global economy if the greatest, most prosperous nation in the world cant even educate its own citizens?
There is a solution to this crisis. We must increase competition. Period. For instance, even in Chicago -- a city controlled by the teachers unions -- charter schools have created real hope for thousands of American children. The graduation rate in these kinds of schools (which are non-union, by the way), is 76 percent. And these teachers make substantially less money than their unionized counterparts. Do people actually believe this is just a coincidence? When families are given more options -- and teachers are held to higher standards -- everybody benefits. We need to wake up.
I believe if you broke the US statistics up...into states...we’d have twenty states very high up in the competition level with various countries. This attitude of continuing to act like it’s a national problem is a joke. Let’s see the state numbers.
It is a matter of basic grade 5 math that two exponents (debt to GDP) that diverge cannot work.
Has the US ever been a leader in high school math?
you can not go by states against other countries, unless the other countries go by regions in their countries
The American Left needs stupid voters. And the Teacher Unions provide them.
I bet half them countries got bad grammar and the other 80% are so bad at geology they couldn't find Finland on a map of South America.
Not really true. Some of those countries might be more comparable to states based on their size. And some may have complete national control of their schools, vs. our more state-by-state model here.
There are several different kind of rankings of graduation rates at this page about halfway down. I’ll post the high school graduation rates. They appear to be all over the map by liberal/conservative standards. Both California and Texas are almost dead last. None of this is measuring what the kids actually knew when they graduated though.
State Education Rankings: High School Graduate or Higher
1. Minnesota (91.2%)
2. Wyoming (90.9%)
3. (tie) Alaska (90.6%); Montana (90.6%)
5. New Hampshire (90.4%)
6. Utah (90.3%)
7. Vermont (90.3%)
8. Iowa (89.7%)
10. Hawaii (89.5%)
11. Washington (89.4%)
12. Maine (89.3%)
13. (tie) Kansas (89.0%); South Dakota (89.0%)
15. (tie) North Dakota (88.9%); Wisconsin (88.9%)
17. Colorado (88.6%)
18. Massachusetts (88.3%)
19. Connecticut (88.2%)
20. Oregon (88.0%)
21. Idaho (87.8%)
22. (tie) Maryland (87.6%); Michigan (87.6%)
24. (te) New Jersey (86.9%); Ohio (86.9%); Pennsylvania (86.9%)
27. Delaware (86.7%)
28. Virginia (85.8%)
29. (tie) Illinois (85.7%); Missouri (85.7%); Indiana(85.7%)
32. Oklahoma (85.0%)
33. Florida (84.9%)
34. New York (84.2%)
35. Nevada (83.8%)
36. Arizona (83.6%)
37. Georgia (83.1%)
38. Rhode Island (83.0%)
39. North Carolina (82.9%)
40. Tennessee (82.4%)
41. South Carolina (82.3%)
42. New Mexico (82.0%)
43. West Virginia (81.4%)
44. Arkansas (81.3%)
45. Alabama (80.9%)
46. Kentucky (80.4%)
47. Louisiana (80.3%)
48. California (80.2%)
49. Texas (79.1%)
50. Mississippi (78.7%)
Better yet, extract the concentrated Democrat parasite nests ("cities") and see what the numbers look like.
” I bet half them countries got bad grammar and the other 80% are so bad at geology they couldn’t find Finland on a map of South America. “
Grammar ? THEM countries ???
Pardon moi ...Just woke up ...Ddidn’t get it first time around ...Got it now .
My gosh, this puts us in thirtyith place or is it
twentyninth, well somewhere near there....
Putting it to use in the real world was a problem for them. They couldn't figure out solutions to problems but could do the math once they were told what to do and how to do it. He called them “automatons”. I thought he might have been exaggerating.
Until I saw a 30-something year-old, mid-level engineer go around to the front of his overheating Toyota. The steam of course caught my attention as I was working on something else. Him spending a long time figuring out how to pop the hood kept me watching to see what would unfold.
Luckily one of the first words I learned was “Bahaya” - means “Danger”. I shouted that at him as he went, with his bare hands, to unscrew the radiator cap where the steam was billowing out!
Soon enough, everyone is going to be stupid.
Now this is just a matter of perspective. We can’t have students proficient in math (or any critical thinking) in the new America based upon feelings, hope and change, and an economy based on handing out “free things.”
If you break these numbers down by demographics, you find something very interesting.
Students of Swedish descent in America outperform Swedes in Sweden.
Students of African descent in America drastically outperform Africans in Africa.
Students of Chinese and Japanese descent in America outperform their counterparts in Asia.
Students of Mexican descent in America outperform their amigos in Mexico.
Notice a pattern?
Much of our performance is related to our large admixture of groups that don’t perform well anywhere on earth.
You said it
The world of Hope & Change & Redistribution ain’t got no numbers!
Unfortunately, the issue is better correlated with racial demographics. You don’t see nations or states with significant black or Hispanic populations at the top of the rankings.
Going by like-demographic comparisons—American Asian kids to other Asian kids, etc.—there’s not a big difference worldwide.
Yep, you’ve got.
That’s not so much the issue. E.g., MA does well on such tests—including especially kids from liberal, upper-middle-class suburbs.
I believe if you broke the US statistics up...into states...wed have twenty states very high up in the competition level with various countries. This attitude of continuing to act like its a national problem is a joke. Lets see the state numbers.
You are probably correct.
There are states that always do quite well on SAT, ACT, and other assessment testing, while other states are poor
And this may not be “Politically Correct”...but the states that have poor scores have large populations of blacks and Third World hispanics.
I do not threat over these “poor math scores”....almost all computations these days are done by computers and machines. Those third world and second world nations need good math skills because they still use pencil and paper for calculations.
It is very simple, the teachers do not teach math and reading and writing, they are busy teaching their views on politics and social issues.
They are more concerned about how they can get more money out of the taxpayers.
The local and state dictators are mostly concerned about getting the credit for the new school building which costs millions of dollars in a one horse town where a 20 thousand dollar building would do just as well.
They, just like the parents feels guilty for hating children so they throw money at the kids to show every one they love them.
The parents falls for all of the malarkey so they are willing to encourage people to pay more taxes in hopes that the taxpayers will make a professor, doctor, layer, football star or even a president out of their child.
But what they are really doing is making socialists out of them and i believe the proof as the saying goes is in the pudding, it is here, we talk about it all of the time, every day.
I propose that every one be responsible for sending their own kids to school or do their own teaching, then if the child becomes rich and famous they can honestly take the credit.
None of those other countries are pursuing the insane notion of universal academic education through twelfth grade.
The students with whom our “students” are being compared are all selected at age 8 or 11 for further academic work. The rest go on to vocational education, or holding pens called “schools” that do not count in the international comparisons.
Of course there is. If We the People were to count properly....there’d be more than a few hundred million dollar bankers in striped suits and behind bars. As long as We can’t....or won’t..........
You missed a few.
Where are the other seven states? :-)
We tend to over-diagnose to put kids in that category ( laws allow tax hikes over caps for special ed, more jobs for union teachers, etc.).
I'll leave it to others to debate if it's worth it, or if students who have nothing wrong with them per se, but have cruddy home lives, should run up the bill and deter others from access to resources.
But I would like to see what the comparison is to other countries in terms of how these students are treated - it's more than academics, it's a social issue.
As someone pointed out, many countries have an ethnic homogeneity way over and above the US, and this has impact in terms of norms, efficiency and attitude.
We have an Affirmative Action to catch us up.
Because we are requiring millions of low IQ students to attend high schools, and trying to teach them things that are beyond their ability to comprehend.
Perhaps one reason is because taxpayer dollars are increasingly going to fund teachers pension funds -- not educating children
Taxpayer dollars do not educate children. This author buys completely the leftist lie that spending=education.
the average teacher salary in the Windy City is $76,000 and yet, somehow, the high school graduation rate barely exceeds fifty percent
FIFTY PERCENT HS GRADUATION? With an average IQ of 85 in the students? That is an amazing triumph!!! (except, of course, to get to 50% there's a lot of cheating).
Look. In 1941, the US white HS graduation rate was 25%. That's probably close to the "natural" ability curve of that population - that is to say, without coercion and with real tests and real grades, about one in four white students has the combination of curiosity, work ethic, and IQ necessary to master twelfth grade work, traditionally defined. In 1941, times were hard and some white kids had to work, so let's add 10% for a natural HS graduation rate of 35%
The notion that a rate "barely exceeding 50%" is a problem implies that MORE than 50% of the unselected Chicago Public population is capable of high school work.
There is no evidence - none whatsoever - that this is true, and the evidence that it is false is all around.
And it has nothing to do with money, or with unions.
You and Iowahawk.
“We have a crisis in our schools.”
Sorry, but I have to disagree with this line. Things are going JUST FINE in our schools, if we take a few moments to understand the primary objectives of the people who run our schools. Their first goal is ‘equality’ in the classroom, thereby making sure there are no stand-out students. The easiest way is to do things like starting (real) reading in 4th grade (and using Sight Words as a delaying tactic prior), and doing similar in math. The second goal is ‘equality’ in the world - which means bringing us down to some level roughly equal to Mexico’s.
So, I’d say things are JUST FINE, at least from their standpoint, which is why nothing changes. It’s just such a shame that so many parents agree with them...for if they didn’t agree, there is NO WAY they would be sending their kids to those institutions.
“Has the US ever been a leader in high school math?”
Yes, but that was decades ago.
Teaching Math In 1960:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?
Teaching Math In 1970:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?
Teaching Math In 1980:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20
Your assignment: Underline the word 'profit'.
Teaching Math In 1990-2010:
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit. What do you think of this way of making a living?
**Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, providing they support the liberal-leftist viewpoint.)
Slightly modified by myself, ETL, Sept, 2012
Original at link:
A big cause of this decline is liability.
For example, schools can no longer teach hands-on chemistry or retain biology specimens. Even physics is limited because of the threat of lawsuits.
However, the teaching of mathematics is moribund, because of the “It’s an abstract. Just figure it out”, attitude.
It is known that people process abstracts differently. Some people find it next to impossible to learn musical notation, for example, but are quite capable at “playing by ear.”
For many people, mathematics will never exist in the realm of the abstract in their minds, so every bit of it must be explained through tangible means. This is just the opposite of most mathematicians, who are quite able to understand and imagine abstracts as abstracts.
In practice, the former group are often able to understand and interpret mathematics in practical terms, but they cannot innovate with mathematics. But trying to force them to understand abstracts as abstracts is doomed to failure.
This is what you get when your math teachers only have degrees in “Education.” They know how to teach (indoctrinate) but not what to teach (except global warming, hatred of America, and sex ed).
Can you please be more specific?