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Scholar: international education comparisons misleading

Original post made on Jan 15, 2013

Rankings that show U.S. students lagging their international peers in academic achievement are misleading because they inadequately account for social inequality, a Stanford University scholar has asserted.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 4:00 PM

Comments (16)

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Presumably this is good news--but there is so much data involved in this study, and who knows how much statistical hand-waving, that the authors of this study are probably the only two people within a thousand miles who have any idea what they have done.

However--it does call into question: "Who, other than these two Stanford types, is actually minding the store--when it comes to designing/evaluating/comparing student performance tests here in the US?"


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm


In fact most credible research shows academic achievement are misleading

-because they inadequately account for ethic genetic differences in IQ.

For example- ethnic Finns in Finland and elsewhere score the world highest in IQ

Finland also at the top in academic performance

High IQ is an inherited trait.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:27 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Doubting Thomas
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Let's address this as well:

When Sharon uses terms like "in fact" as in "In fact most credible research shows...." you are advised to ALWAYS doubt the claim that follows. Sharon rarely substantiates or documents her claims when requested. She usually ignores any request, as frequently she is unable to prove her absurd claims.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I'm curious about the association/link between achievement and length of the school day.


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Posted by silly study
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:56 pm

This is silly. Those other countries have a different social class composition because right now, they're all making more investments in their people than we are. Other work shows the US is no longer the upwardly mobile leader it once was. The question is: if we made comparable investments, would we have a more educated population, too, that would perform better? We have only to look back to our past and the explosion in knowledge, technology, and productivity that happened when we educated the greatest generation through the GI Bill after WWII.

This is like saying our average income would be as high as those nations if we just didn't include poor people in the numbers. Or that our medical outcomes would be better if we just didn't include all the uninsured.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Finland has less class time and less homework and the highest achievement.


I know China

A key factor in China is eugenics
-the policy of ending the birth of any children who have heredity handicaps--how many Downs Syndrome children do you see in China?

-Zero

The one child edict was designed to limit the population of the peasants and boost the population of the the elites

-pure eugenics

It is horrific-but it worked from a cold eugenics perspective.

My parents are from China, they escaped


-in China many female children are aborted.

China is trying to achieve higher IQs through forced abortion

But Finland does it naturally and organically as a result of a general genetic high IQ and appropriate education.

In California we need to test for IQ at 11 years and stream kids into vocational schools or academic schools based upon their IQ-




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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:52 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Gerg
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:47 am

I find the notion of intrinsic intelligence differences among races disturbing. Although it is easy to find academic literature that backs up the notion one way or another, it is difficult to prove that the lack of intelligence is innate to race, rather than socioeconomic or environmental reasons. Giving up on our attempt to raise educational standards because we cannot compete with other races is ridiculous.


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Posted by What-Darwin-Said
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm

> I find the notion of intrinsic intelligence differences
> among races disturbing.

If you believe in evolution--then it stands to reason that once the human race began to diverge from a common ancestor that all aspects of the human condition (skin color, height, weight, IQ) would be subject to the inputs that are alleged to be the drivers of Darwinian-style breeding, or just adaptivity to the myriad of local conditions where "Homo Sapiens" found himself, over time.

If you don't believe in evolution--then maybe one might settle on a belief that all races have the same IQs.


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Posted by Moved
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:36 pm

IQ has been shown to be highly correlated to socio-economic status and maternal education. IQ has also been shown to be racially biased. The use of IQ for anything is suspect . . . Suggesting that people be laned at 11 according to their IQ score suggests that we want a world dominated by a class of persons who perform a certain way on a test designed by old dead white guys. My mom was a child psychologist who refused to let us be tested, I refused to let my kids be tested - we are all doing great and contributing to society in many ways. Go figure.


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Posted by Doubting Thomas
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Again, Sharon posts opinions (vile ones at that - eugenics) without any collaborative evidence or links. ALWAYS doubt her claims. Verify yourself (if possible, obviously, so many are off base and cannot be verified)

So Sharon alludes to China's alleged smaller population of Down's babies as a reason. Does she really think American Down's population slant the studies?






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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I read an article in the Chronicle that implied that there were more disadvantaged people in the US than in the other countries studied. Can that be so?

BTW, Sharon, if IQ is always inherited, why did my friend and her husband, both PhDs, have have one autistic and one Down's Syndrome child? There is a study going on now, reported in the Wall St Journal, about the fact that so many MIT PhDs have children who are autistic, learning disabled, etc, ESPECIALLY when both parents are MIT grads!!!!


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm

The EPI put the students into six social classes but didn't specify the criteria by which the students were segregated. In the U.S., 20% of the students were in the lowest social class. In S. Korea, it was 5%. 18% of U.S. students were in the next lowest social class. Based on this class distinction, 38% of U.S. students were in the lowest social classes where test results were terrible. On the other hand, the highest U.S. social class had results comparable to Western Europe's highest social class. It then recomputed the countries' average assuming they all had the same distribution of class structure to lift the U.S. to fourth place.

The methodology seems pretty dubious because it's not at all clear how the students were segregated into classes. And the redistribution effectively reduced the weighting of real test results.


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Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Mike Alexander is a registered user.

It's not about income or IQ. From the report, re: social class groups: "There is no clear way to divide test takers from different countries into social class groups that reflect comparable social background characteristics relevant to academic performance. For this report, we chose differences in THE NUMBER OF BOOKS IN ADOLESCENTS' HOMES (my emphasis) to distinguish them by social class group; we consider that children in different countries have similar social class backgrounds if their homes have similar numbers of books. We think that this indicator of household literacy is plausibly relevant to student academic performance, and it has been used frequently for this purpose by social scientists."


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