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Re: Imaginary Teacher Shortage
Posted:
Oct 20, 2012 1:26 AM


On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 9:48 PM, Haim <hpipik@netzero.com> wrote: > http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443482404578042704123153548.html?mod=googlenews_wsj > Jay Greene: The Imaginary Teacher Shortage ... > > Yet math and reading scores for 17yearolds have remained virtually unchanged since 1970, according to the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress. >
Wrong. See the charts:
The chart for the blackwhite math performance gap for 17year olds shows a decrease from 40 points to 26 points over a 35 year period starting in 1973, all going up:
http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/library/chartgraph/trendwhiteblacknaepmathematicsaveragescoresandscoregaps913and17yearoldstudents
The chart for the Hispanicwhite math performance gap for 17year olds shows a decrease from 33 points to 21 points over a 35 year period starting in 1973, all going up:
http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/library/chartgraph/trendwhitehispanicnaepmathematicsaveragescoresandscoregaps913and17yearoldstudents
And please do not make any antimathematics and antiscience claims like longterm decreasing trends count as such only if they are strictly decreasing or monotonically decreasing. There can be temporary periods over the longterm where there will not be closings of the gaps  during such periods one should even expect to see increases in the gaps. I repeat: This is about longterm trends, and every attempt to say otherwise is not in line with what is at issue.
And there's more:
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 nonEastAsian nonwhite 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 USpublic 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.)



