On Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 9:45 PM, Paul Tanner <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > This is a complete conflation. > > One has "absolute zero" to do with the other. > > My point in reporting what others have reported, which are the scores > of certain subsets of the US student population on TIMSS, is to show > that it is a lie to say that US teachers are not teaching in a way > sufficient to have their students perform at world-class levels. There > exists a sub-population - not the top 51% of the population, but a > demographic subset that happens to be a majority of the population - > that is turning in world-class levels of performance. That's a fact.
I haven't been participating along this branch of the thread, preferring to use this topic for more autobio and historical overview.
Just wanted to say though, that "world class" sounds like "meeting mature standards" or "acceptable" but in theory, and I would argue in fact in some cases, keeping up with the best does not constitute proof of either satisfactory teaching or curriculum.
A better test is the 10-year test, similar to tests used in whiskey making: does this material and content still look optimal after 10 years, and is student performance looking good 10 years out? Consumer Reports has us look at cars this way. You need a repair history or maintenance history as it were.
In my niche little world, some of the focal points I think most important, having to do with polyhedrons and such, simply are not covered in the curriculum, and so the products of this curriculum are not "world class" in the sense of "employable without remediation". It's all about remediation over here, including with math professors and physicists or whatever i.e. I don't, in the normal course of events, meet adults who know the basic 3rd grade level math I would like them to know. No one taught it to them. They never learned it.
To me, that's a deficiency and it's world around i.e. it's like an epidemic of ignorance. So I don't just sit back and feel comforted by test results that bleep over so much stuff that's important to my subculture.