Date: Oct 9, 2012 6:36 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: An Algebra 2 Test

On Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 6:07 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:
> On Oct 9, 2012, at 5:38 PM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:
> "Re: An Algebra 2 Test"
> 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

Here is one of many reports about the truth:


"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