On Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 6:07 PM, Robert Hansen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > On Oct 9, 2012, at 5:38 PM, Paul Tanner <email@example.com> wrote: > > "Re: An Algebra 2 Test" > http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7902915 > > > The problem is Paul, that even if we use your 5% number (It's actually a bit > lower if you use 4/5 as passing rather than 3), all of our teachers, > doctors, lawyers and stem professionals need to come out of that 5%. > > 5% is > not enough. >
Wrong. My Dad was a great doctor but he would have not been one of the top 5%. Not even close.
Hell, I was not one of the top 5% when I graduated from high school. And I ended up getting a math degree and getting published before getting an undergraduate math degree at middle age.
But even if you wanted to stick to just that 5% - that's roughly 200,000 people out of 4 million each and every year graduating having taken and passed an AP calculus test.
That's more than enough.
Don't think so?
Compare that to the fact that in the Russian Federation, according to the coverage indexes of TIMSS Advanced, only about 1.5% of the high school senior aged population each year ever takes an advanced math course before they graduate, defined as at least precalculus level math (about only 30,000 out of about 2 million). It was like that in both 1995 and 2008. It's evidently a;ways been like that. So that country is having a shortage of STEM majors out of high school; each and every year? I don't think so.
And you think that 5% of China's entire high school senior population is that well educated in calculus as high school seniors. Not even close. Most of that country is still third world, quite poor and rural like the backwoods US used to be, especially the western parts of that country.
"Experts say the disparity between rural and urban educational standards is one reason why the proportion of rural students in universities ? particularly the top ones ? is falling rapidly. According to Chinese media, pupils from the countryside made up 62% of those sitting national college entrance exams last year, but only 17% of those entering the elite Tsinghua University."
Note: They have only their three best cherry-picked school districts participating in international tests, Shanghai, Hong Kong,and Macau. This third one does not score anywhere near as well as the first two. And that's their third best. Just extend that downward slope through their entire population and you would see only a small percentage of their entire high school senior aged population educated so well in advanced math so as to pass an AP Calculus test. But their numbers are so large, they still swamp the rest of the world, creating the false impression that their percentage of well-educated are as high as the West.