Sunday, March 2, 2008


In Case you are just becoming aware of the fiasco in Mathematics, here is a bit of relevant data.

PISA is given to 15 year olds as this is the last grade of compulsory education in many countries.

The PISA test of math and Science is given every three years it is also a bit on the conceptual side rather than computational. It should thus slightly favor the increase in reform math texts, well theoretically anyway. That of course would presume that students are learning more conceptually which is the PC line of spin emanating from OSPI, NSF (in many cases) and UW and until the recent Focal Points document the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics said the same thing.

In short we are pathetic and getting worse
USA 2003 scored 483 and in 2006 scored 474

English speaking nations in bold below.

Mathematics scores PISA 2006 (change from 2003)

Japan changed Standards in 2002 to be more like the USA.
Japan modifies math direction every ten years - they are not waiting until 2012 to fix this mess.
New Zealand ...522...(-1)
Australia 520 (-4)
Denmark 513 (-1)
Czech Republic 510 (-7)
Iceland 506 (-10)
Austria 505 (+0)
Germany 504 (+1)
Sweden 502 (-7)
Ireland 501 (-1)
France 496 (-15)
United Kingdom 495 not tested in 2003
Poland 495 (+5)
Slovak Republic 492 (-6)
Hungary 491 (+1)
Luxembourg 490 (-3)
Norway 490 (-5)
Spain 480 (-5)
United States 474 (-9)
Portugal 466 (+0)
Italy 462 (-4)
Greece 459 (+14)
Turkey 424 (+1)
Mexico 406 (+20)
OECD average 498 (-2)

Hong Kong-China 547 (-3)
Macao-China 525 (-2)
Liechtenstein 525 (-11)
Latvia 486 (+3)
Russian Federation 476 (+7)
Uruguay 427 (+5)
Thailand 417 (+0)
Indonesia 391 (+31)
Brazil 370 (+13)
Tunisia 365 (+7)

In 2006 the only countries scoring lower than the US are:
Portugal 466
Italy 462
Greece 459
Turkey 424
Mexico 406
Uruguay 427
Thailand 417
Indonesia 391
Brazil 370
Tunisia 365

The USA is not below either Russia or Spain by a Statistically Significant amount.

The USA is below, by a statistically significant amount, 23 OECD members and 4 partners.
It appears that the only significantly advanced credible industrialized country that the US outscored in math was Italy.

Welcome to McJobs USA - land of the mathematically non-competitive.

Sending out a "big shout out" to Dr Bergeson and the OSPI math leadership team.
A "big shout out" also goes to the Seattle Schools for an accompanying decade of math disaster. Lets have a special round of applause for those SPS school directors who prefer to trust their hired professional experts rather than relevant data and intelligent decision making.

I thought to be an expert you needed to show a history of good results, obviously not so in Seattle.

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