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Topic: None Dare Call It "The Gap"
Replies: 6   Last Post: Sep 23, 2012 12:16 PM

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Paul A. Tanner III

Posts: 5,920
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: None Dare Call It "The Gap"
Posted: Sep 20, 2012 12:40 PM
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On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 6:59 AM, Haim <hpipik@netzero.com> wrote:
> Gosh, I wonder why. (Hint: it's The Prime Directive.)
>

>>Mostly, the system ignores them, with policies and
>>budget priorities that concentrate on raising the floor
>>under low-achieving students. A good and necessary thing
>>to do, yes, but we?ve failed to raise the ceiling for
>>those already well above the floor.

>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/opinion/gifted-students-deserve-more-opportunities.html?hp
>
> September 18, 2012
> Young, Gifted and Neglected
> By CHESTER E. FINN Jr.
>


Finn is a conservative and, true to conservative form, has left out
part of the whole truth about the education of gifted students in the
US - which is that the US public school system in some measurable ways
is doing as well or better than just about any other country in the
world not only for its whole population but for its advanced students:

Fact: When we correct for demographics, we see that US white students
score as well or better on international tests like TIMSS and PISA
than the white students of just about every other country on the
planet, US black students score as well or better on international
tests like TIMSS and PISA than the black students of just about every
other country on the planet, and so on. The reason the overall scores
are not as high on these tests as they could be in comparison to some
other countries is because in all countries, the scores by each
segment of non-East-Asian non-white students are significantly lower
and because the percentage of the US student population of this much
lower scoring overall population segment is much higher than it is in
those countries that have overall higher scores than the US.

Fact: Because of the success of advanced math education in the US
public school system, the US now has roughly 5% of its entire high
school senior aged population (and this includes all those not in
school or in vocational schools or whatever) take *and* pass a
national calculus exam covering an entire year of high school
calculus. Very few countries on the entire planet - regardless of the
ethnic demographic of the country's student population - could say
that they have an advanced math education system that yields this high
a percentage of the its entire high school senior aged population that
could take *and* pass a national calculus exam covering an entire year
of high school calculus. And when we look at only those US high school
students that actually completed calculus classes that actually were
certified by the AP Calculus testing body to follow the AP Calculus
guidelines, we see these students scoring very much higher on advanced
international tests than those advanced students of all other
countries taking the tests.

Note: In roughly 30 years, this percentage of the entire high school
senior aged population of the US that has taken *and* passed a
national calculus exam has increased from roughly half a percent to
the present roughly five percent, an entire order of magnitude
increase.

Here is a post I gave recently outlining some of all these facts above
- - this post contains many citations and links to these citations:

"Re: Discussion: Do US Math Teachers Suck?"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7752982

We need to look beneath the surface to be fair, to see what is really
happening in the US, to see that, again, the US pubic school system in
some measurable ways is doing as well or better than just about any
other country in the world not only for its whole population but for
its advanced students. (This does not mean of course that the system
could not do even better, even a lot better.)

------- End of Forwarded Message



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