Another round of global comparisons where U.S. falls short. But our kids can read well.

Another round of global studies of education prowess. Another round of laments over the under performance of U.S. students.

Two reports released today — the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study — found that U.S. students  perform better than the global average, but still lag behind many kids in East Asia and Europe.

There was one very bright spot: Fourth graders in this country are among the world’s top readers. (For a more upbeat spin on these results, check out Business Insider, which added all the scores and found the U.S. was 6th out the top 16 nations, surpassing, among others, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.)

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study examine the performance of elementary and middle school students.

(For a sense of what these tests mean, the Center for Public Education has some great primers on its site.)

In 2011, more than 60 countries and other education systems participated in TIMSS. More than 20,000 students in more than 1,000 U.S. schools took the math and science assessment in spring 2011, along with 500,000  students from around the world. The reading study was also given in 2011, with 53 education systems participating at grade 4.

South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore dominated in math and science. The United States ranked 11th in fourth-grade math, 9th in eighth-grade math, 7th in fourth-grade science and 10th in eighth-grade science.

(If testing expert and debunker Gerald Bracey were alive, I would have received an e-mail from him by now warning me that these results are prone to gross mischaracterization, pointing that the United States used to fare far worse in the TIMSS. In the original TIMSS from 1995, published in 1996, U. S. 8th graders ranked 23rd in math among 41 nations. Ninth, he would note, is a giant step up, not down.)

American students are not attaining the math proficiency of other nations, an important yardstick given the importance of STEM careers to national economies. For example, 7 percent of math students scored at the advanced level in eighth-grade here compared to 48 percent in Singapore and 47 percent  in South Korea.

(If testing expert and debunker Gerald Bracey were alive, I would have gotten an e-mail from him by now warning me that these results are prone to gross mischaracterization, pointing that the United States used to fare far worse. In the original TIMSS from 1995, published in 1996, U S 8th graders ranked 23rd in math among 41 nations.

The New York Times reported an interesting fact that affirms the value of pre-k: The test designers included questionnaires for parents about preparation before formal schooling. Ina V. S. Mullis, an executive director of the International Study Center, said that students whose parents reported singing or playing number games as well as reading aloud with their children early in life scored higher on their fourth-grade tests than those whose parents who did not report such activities. Similarly, students who had attended preschool performed better.

According to the news story on AJC.com:

Fourth-graders have improved their scores in reading and math over the past four years, according to a study released Tuesday. But progress seems to fall off by eighth grade, where math and science scores are stagnant.

Meanwhile, kids in countries like Finland and Singapore are outperforming American fourth-graders in science and reading. By eighth grade, American students have fallen behind their Russian, Japanese and Taiwanese counterparts in math, and trail students from Hong Kong, Slovenia and South Korea in science.

Reading skills are a major strength for American students. Only a few points separate American students from the top-scoring students in the world. In Florida, which took part in the study separately, reading scores are second only to Hong Kong.

Asia continues to dominate the top echelon of scores across subject fields. The tiny city-state of Singapore takes first place in eighth-grade science and fourth-grade math, with South Korea scoring nearly as high. Singapore takes second place to South Korea in eighth-grade math, with Taiwan in third.

The results also lean toward Asian nations when it comes to advanced levels of learning. In Singapore, 4 in 10 eighth-graders achieved the “advanced benchmark” in science, which requires an understanding of complex and abstract concepts in physics, chemistry, biology and other sciences. About 2 in 10 make the grade in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. In the U.S., it’s about 1 in 10.

Other findings released today:

— Some U.S. states that were measured separately were clear standouts, performing on par with or better than some top-performing Asian countries. Eighth-graders in Massachusetts and Minnesota score far better in math and science than the U.S. average. But in California and Alabama, eighth-graders fell short of the national average. (Georgia was not among the U.S. states measured separately; The states are California Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and North Carolina.)

— Racial and class disparities are all too real. In eighth grade, Americans in the schools with the highest poverty — those with 75 percent or more of students on free or reduced-price lunch — performed below both the U.S. average and the lower international average. Students at schools with fewer poor kids performed better. In fourth-grade reading, all ethnic groups outperformed the international average, but white and Asian students did better than their black and Hispanic classmates.

— Boys in the U.S. do better than girls in fourth-grade science and eighth-grade math. But girls rule when it comes to reading.

— On a global level, the gender gap appears to be closing. About half of the countries showed no statistically meaningful gap between boys and girls in math and science.

The tests are carried out by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement, a coalition of research institutions. The U.S. portion of the exams is coordinated by the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics.

57 comments Add your comment

Fred ™

December 11th, 2012
11:17 am

Just out of curiosity, do we rank so low because we suck or do we as a Country try to educate more of our children? As a non educator I have always wondered that.

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
12:12 pm

Cost of Health Services

I was wondering if you could explain how the Korean healthcare system works. It’s amazing, efficient and dirt-cheap… I’ve been amazed by the medical system here. Today I walked into an EMPTY throat specialist’s office with tonsillitis. Within 15 minutes I was out the door with a prescription in hand for less than 3500 won [= $3.50] and on top of that my medication cost all of 3200 won [= $3.20]! How? How does that happen? http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2010/01/healthcare-system-in-korea.html

The National Health Insurance (NHI) is the backbone of Taiwan’s healthcare system. http://www.thrf.org.tw/EN/Page_Show.asp?Page_ID=124

The Singapore government spent only 1.3 percent of GDP on healthcare in 2002, whereas the combined public and private expenditure on healthcare amounted to a low 4.3 percent of GDP. By contrast, the United States spent 14.6 percent of its GDP on healthcare that year, up from 7 percent in 1970… Yet, indicators such as infant mortality rates or years of average healthy life expectancy are slightly more favorable in Singapore than in the United States… international experts rank Singapore’s healthcare system among the most successful in the world in terms of cost-effectiveness and community health results. http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2008/01/singapores_heal.html
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Cost to Attend College

South Korea: Tuition at public universities is substantially less than at private universities. In 2009, public universities cost an average of 4.19 million won (approx. $3500 US) a year and private tuition was at 7.42 million won (approx $6000 US). http://www.braintrack.com/linknav.htm?pprevid=205&level=3

Taiwan: Generally speaking… no tuition and fees are charged (such as European nations before the reform). Since education costs are borne by all nationals, the percentages of taxes (including social security contributions) spent on education are relatively higher (UK 35.6%, France 43.4% and Germany 35.5%)… Taiwan’s rate of tax burden (including social security contributions) is… 11.8%.

Singapore: At present, undergraduate education at NUS is highly subsidized by the Government of Singapore, which pays for the bulk of the operating costs besides the infrastructural costs. The University’s fees are reviewed and adjusted periodically to reflect the cost of providing education to students. Tuition Grant – The substantial tuition subsidy from the Government of Singapore comes in the form of a tuition grant which is administered by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and offered to all admitted students. http://www.nus.edu.sg/registrar/edu/UG/fees.html

Mary Elizabeth

December 11th, 2012
12:29 pm

“In eighth grade, Americans in the schools with the highest poverty — those with 75 percent or more of students on free or reduced-price lunch — performed below both the U.S. average and the lower international average. Students at schools with fewer poor kids performed better.”
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In my 35 years in education, I found the above statement to be consistently true, year after year. A large part of the problem in public education, imo, is caused by poverty. If legislators would acknowledge and address that fact, which lies outside of a narrow educational domain and is more of a societal issue, education, itself, would improve significantly.

Americans must realize, again, that by investing in human beings who are part of the so-called “have-nots” in society, they not only will help to uplift people individually, but they will also save the taxpayers money, in the long run, by reducing the number of students who will become high school drop-outs, who frequently become part of a prison system which taxpayers must sustain.

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
12:34 pm

Connectivity

“South Korea’s Internet To Be 200 Times Faster Than In U.S… South Korea’s Internet is not just faster, it’s cheaper. The Times writes that U.S. residents pay about $46 a month for their comparatively slow service, while South Koreans who enjoy above-average connection speeds of 100 megabits per second pay only $38 a month.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/south-korea-gigabit-internet-2012_n_827145.html

“There are several different companies to choose from when considering internet service providers in Taiwan.” http://www.footprintsrecruiting.com/internet-in-taiwan/408-internet-choices-in-taiwan Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 15 (1999) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_in_Taiwan#Internet “Broadband in Taiwan is slow and expensive: consumer group… Speedtest, Chunghwa said the average broadband speed in Taiwan has improved from 8.32Mbps at the end of 2010 to the current 18.54Mbps. The country’s global ranking has climbed from 35th to 15th place during the same period, the company added, surpassing Japan, which is ranked 29th.” http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20120115000013&cid=1103

Note: United States is ranked 34th in internet speed at 15.4 Mbps. http://www.netindex.com/

Note (2): I just checked my personal internet speed, Comcast cable internet: 8.44 Mbps.
No other wired service provider obtainable at this location.

“Singapore is known to have the most readily available Internet in all of Asia. There are four main providers who offer both broadband and wireless internet.” http://www.justlanded.com/english/Singapore/Singapore-Guide/Telephone-Internet/Internet-access-in-Singapore

indigo

December 11th, 2012
12:36 pm

Private Citizen

Why is the Korean healthcare system so good? Maybe it’s because we spend tons of money on their military protection. Freed from having a large military budget, they can use that money for the healthcare needs of their people.

It is just soooooo great that we’re willing to protect so many countries in the world, even if it means letting thousands of our citizens die each year because of poor or no healthcare.

Hey, are we a great country or what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Parent Teacher

December 11th, 2012
12:44 pm

We need so much more information to make an apples to apples comparison this is useless.

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
12:52 pm

My internet speed of 8.44 Mbps is close to half of the G8 country average of 15.69 Mbps. I live in a populated area seven miles from courthouse (center of town) in a city. In other words, not a remote or rural area. Check your internet speed, be informed: http://www.speedtest.net/ I tried using wireless to give me choice and improve my connection speed. For $50./month “unlimited,” my wireless connection speed was 0.46 Mbps. That’s 1/30th of the G8 average. Here’s a screen capture of the speedtest, recently performed (19 July). http://postimage.org/image/6afy72m91/

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
12:55 pm

Indigo, looking at healthcare by coverage, effectiveness, and percentage of GDP has completely nothing to do with percentage of GDP used for military.

FlaTony

December 11th, 2012
12:58 pm

One of the statistical measures that should be reported alongside the averages that are presented from this round of tests is the variance by country.

dc

December 11th, 2012
1:20 pm

Are you sure poverty is the root issue? Or is it behaviors that lead to poverty, that are passed down from generation to generation? And are these behaviors what cause both the poverty, and the poor student performance?

And of course, someone will now exclaim that I’ve racist…..whatever.

But if in fact it’s the behavior that is the issue, then at least we’d know where to focus. Goodness knows we’ve poured hundreds of billions down the “war on poverty” hole, and it seems all we’ve gotten is more poverty.

indigo

December 11th, 2012
1:26 pm

Private Citizen – 12:56

Sure. All those billions we could save by not being the world’s policeman somehow just couldn’t be used for American healthcare?

I hope you don’t actually believe that.

Jerry Eads

December 11th, 2012
1:26 pm

Fred-
I haven’t of course yet seen analyses of methodology for this administration, but in the past there was some evidence that some other countries, um, selected their students differently than we did.

That said, again in past administrations, when the data were ‘pulled apart’ to compare students from different socioeconomic levels, the United States’ middle and upper income kids fared quite well. Our problem is that our proportion of low income kids has been much higher than for many of the countries with whom we were compared, so when all the kids are lumped together, the U.S. averages are lower.

There is much debate about how to go about addressing the issues, but it’s VERY clear that when we use the schools and our teachers as a simplistic scapegoat, we’re missing the point – and the more likely solutions. It’s MUCH harder to help poor students succeed and break away from poverty.

When state governments take billions of dollars from school operations (which hurts poor districts FAR, FAR more than the well-off ones) and sees as THE solution to school problems to simply create state charter schools outside the control of local government, which likely will primarily help segregate higher-income kids from the poor (we already know how “separate but equal” worked), it’s not likely we’ll see much improvement in international test score comparisons.

One Culture

December 11th, 2012
1:44 pm

Ok, so is the point of the comparison to South Korea and Singapore suppose to show that it is easier to manage healthcare and education in much smaller countries with far less diversity? Because thats all it shows. It is apples and oranges.

Mary Elizabeth

December 11th, 2012
1:49 pm

@ dc, 1:20 pm

Behaviors cannot be separated from poverty altogether. I am 70 years old and I grew up in south Georgia when poverty and illiteracy among African-Americans were much more dominant in that time and place than are present today. I remember well African-Americans having to live in dirt-floored, one-roomed “shacks,” in a separate part of town, because the Jim Crow social system denied them all kinds of opportunities which kept them in poverty.

Believe me as I state this to you from decades of observation – LBJ’s War on Poverty did help to lift many from poverty, in spite of what some conservatives will declare. Rarely are dirt-floored, one-roomed “shacks” seen today, among any demographic group. Both individual responsibility and societal care and intervention are needed in order to lift people from poverty effectively.

The political swing to the Right that has deliberately – and with forethought – occurred since the 1970s, has often resulted in a denial of the value of governmental programs to uplift people. That type of thinking is more result of a successful propaganda campaign produced by rightwing ideologues than it is substantive in truth.

paulo977

December 11th, 2012
2:07 pm

Fred.. “do we rank so low because we suck or do we as a Country try to educate more of our children?”
__________________________________________

Great question , which leads me to believe that you do know what happens in many of these countries inthe way they achive these rankings…… NOT ALL OF THEIR CHILDREN PARTICIPATE !!!!

In spite of the recent test taking frenzy here , there is still the drive by progressive forces to focus on EDUCATION for ALL of our children .

Prof

December 11th, 2012
2:14 pm

Well said, Mary Elizabeth.

Mel

December 11th, 2012
2:21 pm

I have to believe that the U.S. tests far more students – in part because far more students are required to attend school. The same case can be made when trying to compare SAT scores in this country. Georgia has many, many more test takers – not all of whom need to be taking it to get into college.

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
2:36 pm

Indigo, that is not the issue. the issue is efficiency with the amount of GDP spent on health care. Indigo, get a pumpkin pie and set out two plates. Cut two slices from the pumpkin pie and put one on each plate. Set one of the plates to the side. That is your percentage of GDP spent on military. Put the plate with the slice of pumpkin pie in front of you and stick a fork into it. That is your percentage of GDP for health care spending. Every country has a pumpkin pie and a slice for health care spending. This chart can give you some idea of it. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/04nov/images/john5.gif The point is efficiency with the slice of pie, what’s going on there, how it is done.

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
2:43 pm

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country’s standard of living. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gdp

The major disadvantage is that it is not a measure of standard of living. GDP is intended to be a measure of total national economic activity—a separate concept.
_____________________

Now, I’m going to go have a piece of pumpkin pie.

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
2:54 pm

Mary Elizabeth

December 11th, 2012
3:21 pm

Thank you, Prof.

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
3:27 pm

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
3:33 pm

Question from Finland: Does anyone know a cheap optician where I can get my regular eyesight test done and get a pair of my prescription glasses.

Answer from Finland: Most eye-tests are free… then go on and buy some glasses.

http://www.finlandforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=53601&f=3

Georgia

December 11th, 2012
3:46 pm

Few readers have adequate comprehension. Fewer writers express ideas succinctly. Thus we need picture menus to order our fast food garbage that most countries wouldn’t slop their hogs with.

bootney farnsworth

December 11th, 2012
4:07 pm

@ Fred,

its a lot of issues, but essentially it comes down to we don’t value education in this nation.
for about 100 years the goal of education has been to create a relatively docile population.

some (by no means all) of the contributing factors:

-massive population. bigger the pop, harder it is to reach them all
-diverse subcultures with a diversity of goals
-social experimentation by the gov’t
-an individualistic as opposed to monolithic/conformist national identity
-no real goals for what we actually want from education
-emphasis of sports over intellect

indigo

December 11th, 2012
4:07 pm

Private Citizen – 2:36

Let’s just pull all our Military out of South Korea and let them bear the full cost of protecting themselves. I can assure you money won’t magically appear to keep their current healthcare system in place. They would have to substantially raise taxes or cut benefits.

Money does NOT grow on trees.

Looking for the truth

December 11th, 2012
4:10 pm

Why do we constantly compare ourselves to other countries with homogeno us populations who make no attempt to educate immigrants. Let’s compare our results to other countries who are similar to us. Oh – wait! There is no other country that attempts to educate each and every child to the best of their ability – and rightly so.

Until we’re ready to confront and face the problems of poverty (and the educational difficulties it brings) faced by our own citizens as well as those who arrive without ANY formal education, we will be striving to be what others are.

bootney farnsworth

December 11th, 2012
4:10 pm

poverty is an issue, but not that big of one. the poverty angle is a political hobbyhorse, usually ridden by the left. despite what you’d hear, we are not socially straitified as many claim.

this nation has an amazing track record of rising from dire beginnings – if the desire is there.

indigo

December 11th, 2012
4:11 pm

Private Citizen – 2:36

The question you answered is not the one I asked.

That’s known as a non sequitur.

Don't Tread

December 11th, 2012
4:11 pm

“U.S. students perform better than the global average, but still lag behind many kids in East Asia and Europe”

Let’s put Facebook and Twitter proficiency in the metrics…I’ll bet we come out on top then. The kids get lots of practice. :roll:

bootney farnsworth

December 11th, 2012
4:16 pm

this isn’t Finland

Miki

December 11th, 2012
4:30 pm

OMG! U.S. kids just finished on the top of nations from western civilization, par or better than Finland, but with much more immigrants and complicated minorities, leaving countries like France and Germany behind. And still it is not good enough! What do you want! Those Asian countries keep their kids 240 days per year at school, US just 180. Yes, still space for improvement, but do not forget – they have higher suicide rate…Last 10 years US improved a lot-keep doing, stop whining!

Ole Guy

December 11th, 2012
5:11 pm

OK folks, all these…reasons…why the younger gen just don’t quite get it are very nice, and they’re also a bunch of crap. You can cite…studies, research, statistics on everything from poverty to the tooth fairy’s menstruel cycles…the bottom line…the adult world…the educational institutions specifically, are (to put it politely) out to lunch. Those institutions which bear the responsibility of fostering the younger generations have failed miserably. Those very institutions are simply too damn afraid; too damn timid to upset the apple cart of familiarity. We want these kids to like us, albiet superficially, at the expense of respecting us and, in the long run, respecting themselves. Like the destist who, despite his (or, for the politically-sensitive…her…) better judgement, gives the kids all the candy they want simply so that they will think he (or she) is the good guy…only to wind up with a crap-load of rotten teeth, these institutions are extremely short-term oriented in confusing short-term entertainment with the life-time ideals of knowledge, discipline, and respect, both for self and for those about.

In case all this appears a bit confusing, let’s just try to coagulate all this into a few (oft-mentioned) issues:
1) DEMAND performance, both academically and behavioraly. Far too many alibis have cropped up over the years which simply serve to excuse anything short of best efforts and standards-based results.
2) STOP trying to be these kids’ friends and buds. IF, in the course of best efforts and best results, friendships ensue, well and good.
3) Education, by it’s very nature, is not (and was never) intended to be fun. Once again, if (and that’s a big IF) in the course of learning, the issue of fun crops up, well and good, but, for cryin’ out loud, stop trying to inject the element of fun simply for fun’s sake…that is nothing short of horse plop (even the most sensitive pc-oriented religous zealot can’t argue that simple issue, unless, of course, that sensitive pc-oriented religous zealot is…simple.)

There it is, folks. Stop rubbing these kids’ fannys, salving it where it…hurts. Just as in physical conditioning, there is no benefit to be derived in the absence of overload. One simply cannot train for the marathon…of life, nor for the 26.2 mile version…without some overload and some applied training. Anything less will only result in injury…and ultimate failure to complete the objective.

So keep on quoting statistics, “findings”, and such. Keep on labeling schools as failing when, in reality, the only failures lie within those who insist on the easy way out of this mess we have left for these kids. Keep on finding excuses for less-than sub-par performance within the educational morass. Maybe, after a few gens have experienced life’s dullest, someone will have the spheroids to take some positive action. Don’t look to my gen…we’ve been there; done that. We know how to add, do arithmetic in our heads, and count with our shoes still tied.

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
5:28 pm

Indigo, I’m going to take this the distance with you, so to speak. The US health system is an uncoordinated mess with high priced “business doctors” and high priced hospitals and high price pharmaceutical prices. It is like going to buy beef or brocolli so you go to the most expensive boutique butcher and pay $22.50/lb. And picked up a $50. bottle of wine and a $15.00 sprig of broccoli on the way out the door before paying someone $18. to bag it for you and $25. for valet parking. And then every jerk and their brother/sister on the food-train to bill for ancillary services like “medical billing.” That’s what we’ve got here, an overpriced uncoordinated mess suited to care for the few and the rest get something but in an undignified manner (put the $22.50/lb beef on credit and wreck your credit score so you can not buy a car or a house). Compare this to going to Sam’s Club and paying cash for the big box of broccoli for $15. Are we getting anywhere? Anyone who runs or has run a business knows about the efficiencies of buying in bulk without a bunch of over sort. Let me give you one more example. Let’s say you’ve got a dirt drive and you want to put some gravel down. You can pay someone $400. for one ten-load of gravel for them to show up and dump it and drive off, or you have use your own truck and buy ten loads of ten-tons each for $175./load and actually get something done for result. It’s called “transfer” as was mentored to me by the technical director from one of the world’s top companies, a person I used to do business with. ‘Not trying to pull rank, but that is who taught me the term “transfer cost” and it was over the price of some stuff they has custom built for Disney and they had some overage and offered it to me at “transfer cost” which was the price it cost them to produce it. Maybe I’m over your head on this or something, but the same thing applies to truck tires, syringes and gauze and X-Ray machines, and container shipments of grapefruit. It’s called economies of scale. In Hong Kong, they have also defined and standardised their services at 50 hospitals for one city. And if don’t like that, there’s 12 private hospitals if the public service is not to your liking. But I guarantee to you that they are maximizing their use of economies of scale at the 50 coordinated hospitals. Got it? got MILK? “Just Do It? or is it “You get an F for “Flame?” (that’s a joke) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1jSPw5OSWw

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
5:45 pm

Ole Guy, How exactly do you plan on doing all of this “DEMAND!” stuff with children who do not have eyeglasses. PS In a lot of modern countries with coordinated services, they do dentistry, too. Maybe they have a bunch of trained dentists who are content to work in calm consistent environment and make $100k/ year instead of running their own office as “business doctors” and making $300k/ year. I mean, it is really that simple. Situation “A” here, get on an airplane and it is Situation “B” there. And the doctors are not all keyed up and greedy. And it’s going to weirder here as the ratio changes re: number of doctors / populace. Ohhhh yes, these U.S. doctors are going to become “very important” when they spend 5 minutes with you and then send you off to the elves to ramp up fees with diagnostics. Just turned your picnic into several thousand dollars for a couple hours. Well, that’s not how they do it in the civilized world. Here, it is sociopathic. It’s really uncivilised. Makes sense. Uncoordinated / uncivilised.

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
5:46 pm

These U.S. test score comparisons are probably judging French kids on how well they do on English reading tests. ha

Private Citizen

December 11th, 2012
5:49 pm

Did you just call all U. S. doctors self-important and greedy? Well, yes!

HS Math Teacher

December 11th, 2012
6:00 pm

Our underlying problems that keep U.S. from making larger gains are mostly being squelched. It’s not polite conversation to tell it like it is.

No matter – just keep banging that square peg in that round hole, and we will succeed!!! YIPEE!!!!

HS Math Teacher

December 11th, 2012
6:19 pm

correction: Obvious suggestions to our underlying problems that keep U.S. from making larger gains are mostly being squelched …

Lee

December 11th, 2012
7:09 pm

{{{yawn}}}

Call me when they publish the study comparing white kids in the US with white kids in Finland, Asian kids in the US with Asian kids in Singapore, etc, etc. You get the idea.

Everyone knows what (who) is dragging the US scores down…

Pride and Joy

December 11th, 2012
7:40 pm

Here’s a fair and honest question “Why do we constantly compare ourselves to other countries with homogeno us populations who make no attempt to educate immigrants.”
The answer is simple; because those countries are kicking our AZZEZ and China now owns us. If we don’t determine quickly how to change the tide, we will be the Mexico of 1970, a nation filled with people who earn low wages in the service industry.
We HAVE to have an educated work force or this country will continue to drown in debt to China and we will be their victims.
You’ve heard, haven’t you, about the horrible conditions Chinese people live in? Is that what you want?
We need an educated work force to sustain our economy; without it, we will be swallowed whole.

Lee

December 11th, 2012
7:57 pm

Hey, we could probably get an uptick of a couple of points if we could somehow rid ourselves of Detroit…

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/only-7-detroit-public-school-8th-graders-proficient-readinG

Fred ™

December 11th, 2012
7:58 pm

Thank to all of you who took your time to answer my question. I think everyone of you had merit in your answer.

Another View

December 11th, 2012
8:35 pm

“But our kids can read well.” Not at my university.

Private Citizen

December 12th, 2012
7:57 am

Lee, You’re so retrogressive and racist, you make me a little ashamed. I think you are “the one” dragging things down. You refuse an efficient modern system because you like feeling superior and are used to your profound self-important bigotry. You’re the reason I get exploited when I need basic services. It’s got nothing to do with being dragged down by plebians. It has everything to do with being dragged through the mud by retrogressive bigots. The whole world is moving ahead, including internet speeds. Your objection to progress is based in racist generalization. Class act.

Private Citizen

December 12th, 2012
8:02 am

Lee, You’ve got lots of company here in Georgia on your lazy puffy couch. Do a little work, own everything, make more than others and then look down your nose at them. Works out real well for you and your KKK cabal. Weird how this mentality is so alive and well, vibrant in Georgia. And then you wonder why the black business class builds these city government black Meccas. What a mess.

HS Math Teacher

December 12th, 2012
10:24 am

PC: As the late, great Atlanta Constitution syndicated columnist, Lewis Grizzard, once responded to a high-brow, know-it-all, fussbox from up North . . . “DELTA IS READY WHEN YOU ARE.”

living in an outdated ed system

December 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

@Private Citizen – welcome to my world : ) I applaud your courage in bringing rational thought to the commentary on the only blog the AJC puts out on education.

Private Citizen

December 12th, 2012
3:06 pm

living in an outdated system, Thanks!

HS Math Teacher, I have a logical response to your suggestion. If you’re not a hypocrite, then apply your “advice” to yourself. The late-great? You mean James Dickey, author of Deliverance? :-) Oh wait, you teach math, you wouldn’t know about that. How about this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Fourier You know, whatever he was, Napolean had some pretty cool guys hopping around on horseback with him.

HS Math Teacher

December 12th, 2012
3:29 pm

PC: I did watch the movie, Deliverance, when in high school. I take it you read the book, since you mentioned the author. Is that what inspired you to move down to Georgia?