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Topic: Imaginary Teacher Shortage
Replies: 2   Last Post: Oct 20, 2012 7:57 AM

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Paul A. Tanner III

Posts: 5,920
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Imaginary Teacher Shortage
Posted: Oct 20, 2012 1:26 AM
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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 17-year-olds 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 black-white math performance gap for 17-year 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/chart-graph/trend-white-black-naep-mathematics-average-scores-and-score-gaps-9-13-and-17-year-old-students

The chart for the Hispanic-white math performance gap for 17-year 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/chart-graph/trend-white-hispanic-naep-mathematics-average-scores-and-score-gaps-9-13-and-17-year-old-students

And please do not make any anti-mathematics and anti-science claims
like long-term decreasing trends count as such only if they are
strictly decreasing or monotonically decreasing. There can be
temporary periods over the long-term 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 long-term 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 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
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.)



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