December 6, 2007

Hooray For The Top Half

It boggles my mind to read this:

“It shows we’re not doing as badly as some say,” Mr. Toch said. “We’re in the top half of the table, and a number of states are outperforming the majority of the nations in the study. But our performance in math and science lags behind that of the front-running Asian nations.”

An independent policy director on education is celebrating the fact that America is in the top half of the performance graph of the latest TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study)?

Yay - we’re not in the bottom half! Crack the champagne!

SH sent this cartoon along. We need to be worried about the future of this country.

It’s too bad we don’t see the islamofacistterrorists as technological competitors. Then there might be some chest-beating and investment in math and science. For pride reasons. As it is, we only have to worry about an ignorant population that won’t be able to compete against a growing world of technology-driven prosperity and we’ll only be able to blow them up until our expertise in the sciences is eclipsed.

It’s frustrating. Maybe the Math Wars are only the first battle to lose in a much larger war.

(If you’re looking for my suggestion regarding solutions to this problem, I want to tell you that you’re not going to find solutions in one blog post. I suggest funding research. I suggest that cutting funding for research for a decade and emphasis on testing students has no positive effect on the situation.)

Posted by James at December 6, 2007 11:13 AM
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And questioning science because it does not fit into our belief system does not help, either.

Posted by: briwei at December 6, 2007 1:18 PM

James, how can you ignore the benefits of testing vs. research?

Fer Chrissake, man, we're better than Norway now! And Uganda? HA!!!

Posted by: Bull at December 6, 2007 10:06 PM

I want a T-shirt:


Posted by: James at December 6, 2007 10:11 PM

Yeah, yeah...a tee shirt...with, like, ummm...a drawing of Calvin pissing on the Ugandan flag and, like, um, a equal sign and a pi on it...

Posted by: Bull at December 6, 2007 10:21 PM

pi might be stretching it a bit. maybe a plus and minus.

reminds me there's a great pie plate that I need to pick up. It has pi around the rim to like 20 decimal places and the bottom (under the pie itself) is a pi symbol! Maybe that could be one of the math tests. Make a pie in the pi plate and bring it to class. If half the kids can tell you why it's funny then they pass. If not they get shipped to Uganda.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at December 7, 2007 8:15 AM

They actually have "pi day" in schools now on March 14 at 1:59:27. And they eat pie.

That plate would be perfect.

Posted by: James at December 7, 2007 9:21 AM

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