Jump to content

Menu

Are we falling behind in Math and Science


ThomasTigerino
 Share

Recommended Posts

North American students' decline in the maths and sciences is becoming more apparent.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorrison/2016/11/29/far-east-strengthens-grip-on-math-science-rankings-u-s-students-slip-further-behind/

 

Standing at the top tier are nations from East Asia, leading us to ask if our education and performance is lacking some element that leads to success.

 

Consistently outsourcing for products like video games to East Asian countries is on the rise, so what do we have to do to bring North America up to those high standards?

 

 

Sites like StudyPugThinkific and a few others are decent still as they do simplify concepts so more students can understand but it's not good enough. The simplification of education has to be done on the ground level (Schools).

 

We need more revolutionary thinkers like Sir Isaac Newton in North America.
 

What can be done to bring such a dramatic change?

 

Edited by ThomasTigerino
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's likely that the US can compete with Asian schools in math, from a cultural standpoint .

Adult Americans do not think math is important, flat out. It is culturally OK to say "I am not good at math" with zero shame. 

Homeschool parents are mixed on math. Child-led / relaxed homeschoolers will usually do the minimum to pass college boards get to college, unless it comes easily to the kid. 

Not to mention unschoolers  who all say "my kid will just pick up math when she realizes she needs it for a job". 

Outside of homescooling I've seen that Mike Rowe "welders make six figures" video and

shared by many, many people.

 

 

I am surprised to see Ireland and Russia ahead of the US and UK.  Interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's likely that the US can compete with Asian schools in math, from a cultural standpoint .

Adult Americans do not think math is important, flat out. It is culturally OK to say "I am not good at math" with zero shame. 

Homeschool parents are mixed on math. Child-led / relaxed homeschoolers will usually do the minimum to pass college boards get to college, unless it comes easily to the kid. 

Not to mention unschoolers  who all say "my kid will just pick up math when she realizes she needs it for a job". 

Outside of homescooling I've seen that Mike Rowe "welders make six figures" video and this guy's rant shared by many, many people.

 

 

I am surprised to see Ireland and Russia ahead of the US and UK.  Interesting.

 

Yep....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What can be done?

Qualified teachers who have subject expertise and like to teach math. 

Differentiation in schools so that strong students get to learn at their pace and don't have to wait for the classmate who is three grades behind.

Making education cool and respected again and "elite" not a dirty word.

 

America, you have a looong way to go.

 

As for pp: it should be no surprise that Russia has a strong education system. They have been very rigorous in math and science for many decades.

  • Like 22
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Short answer: Yes

 

Why: Complex reasons.

 

For years, I have watched the friends of my DSs spend more and more time on screens - video games, movies, social media, and searching for the funniest memes. Hours a day, including school days. Screens aren't inherently bad, but as with junk food, moderation. That time could be spent on reading, projects, exploring interests, and fresh air activities, all of which build brain power and expand imagination in a wider variety of ways than Minecraft.

 

American parents. In the past year, this has become more of a pet peeve, as I've seen more while substitute teaching. The parents whine about homework, about drill worksheets. The parents call or email to explain why the child hasn't done the homework/studied for the test because the family had better things to do or the parent was too tired to make him do it. I am not kidding. I am realizing that many, many families out there - more than when I was growing up - aren't making education their children's number one priority. And yes, parents are tired.

 

Calculators. Okay, I use one. But before I did, I memorized those math facts backwards and forwards. When I learned Algebra and Trig, we did our graphing by analyzing equations, making tables of test coordinates, and graphing by hand. I subbed in an Algebra II class this week where the students could not look at an equation and have a rough idea of what the curve would look like. They had not developed an intuitive sense of the math. They wanted to pull out their graphing calculators. We spent two class periods going back to basics without calculators. They hated me at first. By the end of Day 2, they were saying, hey, this is pretty cool to figure out.

 

As another poster said, there is a cultural thing going on that Americans need to collectively address.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For one, we could stop thinking of education as simply a means for our children to someday score high-paying jobs with video game companies. :glare:

 

 

I think Common Core math standards are a step in the right direction concerning numeracy.  It would be awesome if people who don't understand math (i.e. those who think math is just arithmetic) would stop trashing the standards. 

 

I think I love you both!  :001_wub:

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's sad, but when I read the title "Are we falling behind in Math and Science", I thought to myself, "No, we've been behind other countries for what feels like centuries now."
 

I am surprised to see Ireland and Russia ahead of the US and UK.  Interesting.

How can you be? Russia, especially, is a country famous for it's mathematics programs and for training children up to be mathematicians.

The whole idea of children participating in math circles, originated in Russian/Eastern European educational culture. The Russians view math as something to be sat around and shared and discussed and pondered over....Very few Americans view mathematics as something recreational or anything that can be conversed about.

 

I thought that the Russians are famous, throughout American culture, for their superior mathematics and science knowledge/education. Uh hmm, the Cold War?

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have large numbers of students who are taught that science is wrong.

 

 

How can we possibly compete when we don't offer science as a class that is focused on finding out more about our world through tests and observation and not try to pigeonhole all of that information into fitting within an interpretation of an ancient text?

 

It is not surprising that America is falling behind.  They're less likely to believe in science because of religious views than the rest of those countries in that list.  That may be unpopular to say on a homeschool board where curricula/books are used that proclaim dinosaurs were vegetarian before the fall or that plants existed before the sun or that electricity is a mystery and we just don't know how it works.

 

When we forego science, we don't get to apply math outside of math class, because faith is more important than discovering how the world works.

 

 

 

 

 

That's why.  And it's no different in public schools.  My kid's school is required to teach creationism as a valid scientific theory (???) during biology class.  There is no process of testing.  It is simply believing.  We are robbing kids on a daily basis of the chance to get into science because we just want them to regurgitate what we give them.

  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

American parents. In the past year, this has become more of a pet peeve, as I've seen more while substitute teaching. The parents whine about homework, about drill worksheets. The parents call or email to explain why the child hasn't done the homework/studied for the test because the family had better things to do or the parent was too tired to make him do it. I am not kidding. I am realizing that many, many families out there - more than when I was growing up - aren't making education their children's number one priority.

As a parent who despises homework and has more than once sent a note to the teacher saying we didn't do the homework because we had other plans, I think the implication that I dont value my xhild's education is ridiculous. They are at school for 8 hours every day. I get them there on time with plenty of sleep and a healthy breakfast. After school we are happy to drill some math facts, read aloud, or practice spelling words. But after 20-30 minutes of thay, we are done. Children need time to PLAY! They need to go outside, read for fun, build thinngs, do art, sit and rest, etc. We also need time as a family to hike, bike, and discuss topics outside of the limited education they are getting at school. As a parent (and a classroom teacher, btw), I deeply resent teachers and schools who believe our whole lives should be consumed with homework. And don't even get me started on spring break/Christmas homework packets!

  • Like 26
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a parent who despises homework and has more than once sent a note to the teacher saying we didn't do the homework because we had other plans, I think the implication that I dont value my xhild's education is ridiculous. They are at school for 8 hours every day. I get them there on time with plenty of sleep and a healthy breakfast. After school we are happy to drill some math facts, read aloud, or practice spelling words. But after 20-30 minutes of thay, we are done. Children need time to PLAY! They need to go outside, read for fun, build thinngs, do art, sit and rest, etc. We also need time as a family to hike, bike, and discuss topics outside of the limited education they are getting at school. As a parent (and a classroom teacher, btw), I deeply resent teachers and schools who believe our whole lives should be consumed with homework. And don't even get me started on spring break/Christmas homework packets!

 

Totally agree with you!  Why can't they get most of this done in the several hours they are at school?  It's crazy.  My husband doesn't come home from work and do homework.  Why are we making children do this?

 

(Yes, I know some adults bring work home with them.)

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a parent who despises homework and has more than once sent a note to the teacher saying we didn't do the homework because we had other plans, I think the implication that I dont value my xhild's education is ridiculous. They are at school for 8 hours every day. I get them there on time with plenty of sleep and a healthy breakfast. After school we are happy to drill some math facts, read aloud, or practice spelling words. But after 20-30 minutes of thay, we are done. Children need time to PLAY! They need to go outside, read for fun, build thinngs, do art, sit and rest, etc. We also need time as a family to hike, bike, and discuss topics outside of the limited education they are getting at school. As a parent (and a classroom teacher, btw), I deeply resent teachers and schools who believe our whole lives should be consumed with homework. And don't even get me started on spring break/Christmas homework packets!

 

Amen!

The ridiculously long school day for young kids should have plenty of time to teach them all they can learn in a day. If school cannot manage to teach them in the eight hours they have the kids, that is the school's problem. Homework that is very often busywork with no clear pedagogical purpose is ineffective. (My kids attended ps for several years. Almost all of the homework was pure busywork)

 

I come from a country where kids have 3-4 hour of school in the elementary grades and are home by lunchtime. I have not see the long US school day produce superior results.

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a parent who despises homework and has more than once sent a note to the teacher saying we didn't do the homework because we had other plans, I think the implication that I dont value my xhild's education is ridiculous. They are at school for 8 hours every day. I get them there on time with plenty of sleep and a healthy breakfast. After school we are happy to drill some math facts, read aloud, or practice spelling words. But after 20-30 minutes of thay, we are done. Children need time to PLAY! They need to go outside, read for fun, build thinngs, do art, sit and rest, etc. We also need time as a family to hike, bike, and discuss topics outside of the limited education they are getting at school. As a parent (and a classroom teacher, btw), I deeply resent teachers and schools who believe our whole lives should be consumed with homework. And don't even get me started on spring break/Christmas homework packets!

 

I'm right there with you.  And at the same time......THIS is exactly why the US can't compete with East Asia.  American parents do not place a high value on academic excellence.  That's not a value judgement, it is just a cultural observation.  I'm not saying that homework automatically means excellence automatically.  But it is the culture in China, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. Lots of daily homework, or going to a second school program at the end of the school day.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I absolutely agree we have a problem.

 

I would also though like to point out that in America since NCLB very few of our special education students are exempted from testing even when timed tests are not a good idea with their LD's. This does skew our numbers down.

 

Across economic lines, students who qualify for free lunch score about the same as those low income students in higher performing countries. Comparing "economic class to economic class" shows that we are right up there with nations like Germany and Finland. In 2013, a significant percentage of students chosen to take the PISA tests were from low income schools here while many of the higher performing countries hand picked the schools to receive PISA testing most of which were comprised of students from solid middle, upper class, and wealthy homes. Also in many of these countries, children on the spectrum, or with reading disabilities, or auditory processing issues, etc. go to special schools for their particular disabilities. These schools do not take standardized tests that are reported with the general education statistics with everyone else. Here it is very difficult for administrators to get exemptions for students for whom testing is inappropriate. Thus in terms of international comparison this is not an apple to apple numbers game.

 

Stanford did an expose on this in 2013.

 

https://ed.stanford.edu/news/poor-ranking-international-tests-misleading-about-us-performance-new-report-finds

 

Do I think we have a problem and should be doing better? Yes. But I also think we should be fair too. In America we offer public education to everyone and with it, unfortunately, bubble testing too. That is definitely going to make things look much worse.

 

I also agree that the heaping of academic work and long school days k-3 is counterproductive. Developmentally it is wrong, and the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the same result but hoping for a different outcome. Just do the basics, and do them well, then let them play and play a lot. We are burning them out at very young ages.

Edited by FaithManor
  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The US has been worried about, and issuing warnings about substandard math and science education since Sputnik was launched.  And yet, Silicon Valley is located in California, not Moscow.  For all the problems in the US economy, Russia's is much, much worse.  Russia's average life expectancy is something like 15 years less than the US(!)

 

There was a poster here a few years back who was constantly singing the praises of the Italian school system, and how it was superior to the US.  And despite this, the Italians can't seem to hold a government together for more than a few years, or weed out corruption, or build a strong economy, or even have a country that their young people want to live in.

 

So, even though our education system could stand a great deal of improvement, the long-term results of poor math and science education seem murky.  And this is why there will be very little effort to improve things.

Edited by GGardner
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The US has been worried about, and issuing warnings about substandard math and science education since Sputnik was launched.  And yet, Silicon Valley is located in California, not Moscow.  

 

Ah, but what percentage of the Silicon valley innovators and tech company CEOs were educated in the US?

 

We have a hard time finding qualified Americans to come to graduate school in physics, let alone finding Americans for faculty positions.

 

This country imports educated people on a large scale, because our own education system is severely lacking.

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I absolutely agree we have a problem.

 

I would also though like to point out that in America since NCLB very few of our special education students are exempted from testing even when timed tests are not a good idea with their LD's. This does skew our numbers down.

 

Across economic lines, students who qualify for free lunch score about the same as those low income students in higher performing countries. Comparing "economic class to economic class" shows that we are right up there with nations like Germany and Finland. In 2013, a significant percentage of students chosen to take the PISA tests were from low income schools here while many of the higher performing countries hand picked the schools to receive PISA testing most of which were comprised of students from solid middle, upper class, and wealthy homes. Also in many of these countries, children on the spectrum, or with reading disabilities, or auditory processing issues, etc. go to special schools for their particular disabilities. These schools do not take standardized tests that are reported with the general education statistics with everyone else. Here it is very difficult for administrators to get exemptions for students for whom testing is inappropriate. Thus in terms of international comparison this is not an apple to apple numbers game.

 

Stanford did an expose on this in 2013.

 

https://ed.stanford.edu/news/poor-ranking-international-tests-misleading-about-us-performance-new-report-finds

 

Do I think we have a problem and should be doing better? Yes. But I also think we should be fair too. In America we offer public education to everyone and with it, unfortunately, bubble testing too. That is definitely going to make things look much worse.

 

I also agree that the heaping of academic work and long school days k-3 is counterproductive. Developmentally it is wrong, and the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the same result but hoping for a different outcome. Just do the basics, and do them well, then let them play and play a lot. We are burning them out at very young ages.

I was going to say all of this!! In general, it seems that, yes, you can perform better than the USA if you either don't provide schooling to everyone, or if you have such a huge safety net that you pretty much have a homogenous population. While I do think we could learn something from the latter type of country, I'm okay with our overall low performance compared to the countries who don't educate large portions of their population.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Across economic lines, students who qualify for free lunch score about the same as those low income students in higher performing countries. Comparing "economic class to economic class" shows that we are right up there with nations like Germany and Finland...

 

 

Yes, social inequalities contribute to unfavorable education outcomes. But the quoted link mentions:

 

"But the highest social class students in United States do worse than their peers in other nations, and this gap widened from 2000 to 2009 on the PISA."

 

So why is that?

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I absolutely agree we have a problem.

 

I would also though like to point out that in America since NCLB very few of our special education students are exempted from testing even when timed tests are not a good idea with their LD's. This does skew our numbers down.

 

Across economic lines, students who qualify for free lunch score about the same as those low income students in higher performing countries. Comparing "economic class to economic class" shows that we are right up there with nations like Germany and Finland. In 2013, a significant percentage of students chosen to take the PISA tests were from low income schools here while many of the higher performing countries hand picked the schools to receive PISA testing most of which were comprised of students from solid middle, upper class, and wealthy homes. Also in many of these countries, children on the spectrum, or with reading disabilities, or auditory processing issues, etc. go to special schools for their particular disabilities. These schools do not take standardized tests that are reported with the general education statistics with everyone else. Here it is very difficult for administrators to get exemptions for students for whom testing is inappropriate. Thus in terms of international comparison this is not an apple to apple numbers game.

 

Stanford did an expose on this in 2013.

 

https://ed.stanford.edu/news/poor-ranking-international-tests-misleading-about-us-performance-new-report-finds

 

Do I think we have a problem and should be doing better? Yes. But I also think we should be fair too. In America we offer public education to everyone and with it, unfortunately, bubble testing too. That is definitely going to make things look much worse.

 

I also agree that the heaping of academic work and long school days k-3 is counterproductive. Developmentally it is wrong, and the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the same result but hoping for a different outcome. Just do the basics, and do them well, then let them play and play a lot. We are burning them out at very young ages.

 

I can't like this post enough!

 

My friend's dd has an IQ of 35.  She cannot add or subtract.  She was forced to take the state standardized exit test for Algebra 1 (and other subjects too).  Her score (1 correct due to guessing bubbles) was averaged in with the school's score.  Our local district has an excellent special education department--families move to the area for these services...because of this our school ranking is not as high as other districts around.  

 

We need to compare apples to apples.

 

I'm a Math teacher-- not every student will be able to complete Calculus by high school graduation.  Not every student will be able to complete Algebra 2 by high school graduation (and they can become productive citizens too!). 

 

I'm against Common Core Math because it forces high school concepts on students without high school brains.  Sure, there are 12 year olds who can ace Algebra 2 (I have/had several as students)-- but there are also 15 yr olds who struggle with Pre-Algebra. Several years ago I had one student who struggled with Algebra.  It took him 2 years to get through Algebra 1 and another 2 years to get through Algebra 2 before graduation (forget Geometry--not enough time!).  He was heading for a Liberal Arts degree-- so he/we thought).  His college math class sparked an interest and now he has a PHD in Math!  His test scores in high school were non-stellar, yet as an adult he has one of the 'finest minds' in the country! 

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our state they have decided to address this by making math/science mandatory all 4 years of high school if you want to attend college.  

For my humanities strong student this has made her very angry.  She now is resentful of those in charge who think math/science are more important than sociology and psychology, which she no longer has time to take. She wants to be an English teacher.

For my student who is crazy strong at math it made no difference.  He forges ahead and it blows my mind.

Like mentioned above though I have to find teachers who can really teach the subject.  

He has an amazing geometry teacher this year.  I'm so thankful.

I'm worried about the Chemistry teacher next year though. Ughhh...

We do a 2 day hybrid and we can opt to take science elsewhere or do it at home if need be, it's just a pain.

I'm contemplating suggesting they find a new teacher.  

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our state they have decided to address this by making math/science mandatory all 4 years of high school if you want to attend college.  

For my humanities strong student this has made her very angry.  She now is resentful of those in charge who think math/science are more important than sociology and psychology, which she no longer has time to take. She wants to be an English teacher.

For my student who is crazy strong at math it made no difference.  He forges ahead and it blows my mind.

 

Back home, all students who want to attend college have to take math through calculus, physics, chemistry and biology, literature and history and two foreign languages (for a total of 10 and 7 years, respectively). The goal of college preparatory high school is a broad general education, not specialization.

And in contrast, universities don't have to spend time on gen ed and remediation, but can focus studies on the student's major.

I see many advantages of that. 

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to know how many of those countries are required to educate ALL children the way we do in the US. Many countries do not try to educate students with special needs.

 

Many countries start tracking kids in middle school or even earlier. The strong students go to special schools where their talents can be developed.

 

In some countries, education is still a privilege, and disruptive students are not tolerated.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back home, all students who want to attend college have to take math through calculus, physics, chemistry and biology, literature and history and two foreign languages (for a total of 10 and 7 years, respectively). The goal of college preparatory high school is a broad general education, not specialization.

And in contrast, universities don't have to spend time on gen ed and remediation, but can focus studies on the student's major.

I see many advantages of that. 

 

I see zero point in that.  My daughter would have to spend all her time trying to pass classes to get a ticket to college.  With less time to focus on the subjects that truly bring her joy.  In addition she would just be dumping the informationin.  I'm not sure how having 3 years of science and math cause one to have to take remedial courses in college.  I never did.  I took one math class and one science class.   It was required by the college, but it's crap because I was getting a humanities major. 

My husband is Australian, he quit taking those type math classes after 10th grade in his country because he focused on business math and no more science classes either.  He went on to college/university to study business.  To me that makes more sense.  My daughter would be better off taking statistics instead of pre-calc, but that doesn't count in our state as a math class. 

I think your country of origin is Germany?

I lived there and studied German for 3 years.  I met quite a few gymnasium students.  These were wonderful good people who are still my friends. They had cheat sheets for school exams.   What I found out is that cheating is rampant and teachers look the other way, because there is no way they can learn all that information. No one felt guilty about it, it was just the common practice.  I don't know if that is still the case, but this was 20 years ago. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The US has been worried about, and issuing warnings about substandard math and science education since Sputnik was launched.  And yet, Silicon Valley is located in California, not Moscow.

I'd love to see an infographic showing the countries where the engineers, computer scientist, financial experts, etc were educated and where their parents are from.

The US IMPORTS many of it's experts, engineers, computer scientists, etc...Because there are so few US educated professionals who are capable of doing the job.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see zero point in that.  My daughter would have to spend all her time trying to pass classes to get a ticket to college.  With less time to focus on the subjects that truly bring her joy.  In addition she would just be dumping the informationin.  I'm not sure how having 3 years of science and math cause one to have to take remedial courses in college.  I never did.  I took one math class and one science class.   It was required by the college, but it's crap because I was getting a humanities major. 

My husband is Australian, he quit taking those type math classes after 10th grade in his country because he focused on business math and no more science classes either.  He went on to college/university to study business.  To me that makes more sense.  My daughter would be better off taking statistics instead of pre-calc, but that doesn't count in our state as a math class. 

 

I do not consider it "crap" for a humanities major to be educated about basic science - just like I would not consider it "crap" for a math major to have to be educated about literature and language.

I see great value in an educated populace. It would be desirable if citizens were capable of making informed decisions about issues of science, were financially literate, had a global perspective and an understanding of cultures- both in their capacity of voters, and for the conducting of their personal lives.

 

 

 

 I met quite a few gymnasium students.  These were wonderful good people who are still my friends. They had cheat sheets for school exams.   What I found out is that cheating is rampant and teachers look the other way, because there is no way they can learn all that information. No one felt guilty about it, it was just the common practice.  I don't know if that is still the case, but this was 20 years ago. 

 

This is a ridiculous blanket statement. It was not like this when I went to school, and I did not have any trouble learning the required information without cheating.

 

And it's not like cheating isn't rampant in US schools as well ( and colleges - I am currently dealing with a pretty bad case.)

  • Like 15
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While it is great to be great in math and science fields, the world would be a boring place if each country only measured success and value based on math and science measurements. Which countries have stronger physical fitness? Which countries produce the greatest modern day artists and musicians? Which countries' farmers produce the best crops? Which countries have the most satisfaction in long term family relationships and friendships? Which countries have the highest literacy rate? Which countries have the most academic opportunity for those that don't exit their mothers' womb with a rich father, high IQ, and zero disabilities? Which countries would have the higher survival rate if a disaster struck that required basic survival skill instincts? It takes ALL kinds of personal strengths working together to make the human race successful. We need Newtons and Franklins, but we don't need everybody to be an Isaac Newton or Benjamin Franklin, nor do we need every nation to produce them in mass. The emphasis on trying to make every kid into a STEM kid in the US to "compete" with China is why my husband's company got multiple masters in engineering applicants for job opening that only requires an associate degree in the related field or in field experience. Yet, there is a shortage of HVAC techs and plumbers in our area that can actually fix more than a basic AC or plumbing issue.

 

As mentioned by a PP, in many of the countries mentioned, there are countless children that don't even make it to school to get tested. Russia and China may score higher than the US in math and science, but those countries also have a much higher percentage of orphans, homeless children, and children on the streets begging for money or food instead of going to school. I wonder what percentage of those countries' children take the tests.

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our students lack a firm math and science foundation because they do not have access. Many attend schools that are so intent on teaching language arts that math and science are given short shrift. Couple that with social promotion and full inclusion and we go backwards.

 

I recently had the local middle school principal tell me my child was ambitious to major in engineering. How fast the propaganda spreads! Only fifteen years earlier, one of the science teachers was part of NASAs teacher in space program...my children tricycled past the sign every week. And now they are elitists to want a STEM career.

 

Second point..lots of lucrative jobs require no more than Alg 1. Parents have no interest in watching their children struggle with math when they can get the job without it. So,community college in something easy, then wait for for your ship to come in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd love to see an infographic showing the countries where the engineers, computer scientist, financial experts, etc were educated and where their parents are from.

The US IMPORTS many of it's experts, engineers, computer scientists, etc...Because there are so few US educated professionals who are capable of doing the job.

 

Totally disagree..salaries are so low that talented people move elsewhere. Wall Street, owning one's hvac or construction company, teaching ( in NY teachers make more per hour than nonmanagement engineers), law. Most of my classmates from engineering switched due to finances.

 

Also consider that the US does not support grad students as well as some other nations,and Melinda Gates remarks concerning women and access are spot on.

Edited by Heigh Ho
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think your country of origin is Germany?

I lived there and studied German for 3 years.  I met quite a few gymnasium students.  These were wonderful good people who are still my friends. They had cheat sheets for school exams.   What I found out is that cheating is rampant and teachers look the other way, because there is no way they can learn all that information. No one felt guilty about it, it was just the common practice.  I don't know if that is still the case, but this was 20 years ago. 

Wow. So after 3 years time, as a student (not administrator or teacher) in ONE school, and you feel that this is fair statement to make?

This almost sounds more like you keeping bad company and being personally okay with loose morals, than a representation of what one can expect from German schools in general.

 

 

Additionally, I would challenge anyone to find ANY school where NO students cheated.

From my reading on these boards, even many home school parents have reported that they have trouble with their students cheating.

But that doesn't mean because a student or students were cheating, it's because there is no way to learn all the information.

 

Most people I have witnessed cheat, cheated for convenience, vanity and/or panic, not because they can't study and learn enough to pass the exam fairly. People want a higher grade, for less work. They want to finish faster for more time to play. They don't want to study 70-75% of the material vigorously and really master that material, they're vanity means that they don't want to do "worse than" others, who might be more efficient studiers or better test takers than them, etc...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Totally disagree..salaries are so low that talented people move elsewhere. Wall Street, owning one's hvac or construction company, teaching ( in NY teachers make more per hour than nonmanagement engineers), law. Most of my classmates from engineering switched due to finances.

I'm sorry, do you disagree with my desire to see an infographic representing the demographics of the STEM-driven work force or that the US IMPORTS many (note: I didn't say "all" or "most") of it's [sTEM] experts, engineers, computer scientists, etc...?

Also consider that the US does not support grad students as well as some other nations,and Melinda Gates remarks concerning women and access are spot on.

I don't know what you're referring to. I didn't see Melinda Gates quoted in the article that started this thread, so I must've missed a link or a post some where.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Totally disagree..salaries are so low that talented people move elsewhere. Wall Street, owning one's hvac or construction company, teaching ( in NY teachers make more per hour than nonmanagement engineers), law. Most of my classmates from engineering switched due to finances.

 

Also consider that the US does not support grad students as well as some other nations,and Melinda Gates remarks concerning women and access are spot on.

I'm a little skeptical. The average starting salary of an engineer is $55,000- $60,000. That's for a 21 year old with no grad school .Teachers need a masters and don't often start that high. And lawyers , that is a very bleak job market. Unless your friends became paralegals ?

 

My husband is an engineer . He works with Chinese engineers a lot (calls them at 9pm , which is morning for that company ). Luckily for my husband , all the business is in English. So we import a lot of talent and we hire a lot of outside companies for ancillary work too, is my point. This will inevitably accelerate , as most Americans consider math fairly useless .

Edited by poppy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Totally disagree..salaries are so low that talented people move elsewhere. Wall Street, owning one's hvac or construction company, teaching ( in NY teachers make more per hour than nonmanagement engineers), law. 

 

The graduates from my public STEM uni have an average starting salary of 59k right out of college. That average contains all the non-engineering majors. 

Definitely not what beginning teachers make in our state.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that the reason why we hear so much about STEM-Education in the US from our media, is because the future work force is increasingly dependent upon it. IT touches more parts of our lives, not fewer, and we need MORE of our population to shoulder and take on that role.

 

It'd be one thing if we had tons of candidates and too few of them wanted the jobs. "Sure, I could help to build rockets, but I'd rather run a business or be an artist"

But the core of the problem lies in the fact that too few US born/educated people could pick up the task, even if they wanted to. It's about increasing everyones options. I think that it's a fair statement to say that MANY of the people who go to college ONLY do so, because they want to increase their job prospects with the idea that better jobs increase the quality of life, etc...

 

When you have people who would LIKE to be able to do something, but have been systematically handicapped by their own communities, it's a problem.

 

However, we are over looking the fact that as a wide-spread culture, Americans do not typically value academics or the arts. It's not like we've got our skills highly skilled in literature and well-read and able to make connections to the classics and apply those themes to life, etc...

 

American Culture tends to value and emphasize things that make us happy in the moment.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

North American students' decline in the maths and sciences is becoming more apparent.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorrison/2016/11/29/far-east-strengthens-grip-on-math-science-rankings-u-s-students-slip-further-behind/

 

Standing at the top tier are nations from East Asia, leading us to ask if our education and performance is lacking some element that leads to success.

 

Consistently outsourcing for products like video games to East Asian countries is on the rise, so what do we have to do to bring North America up to those high standards?

 

We need more revolutionary thinkers like Sir Isaac Newton in North America.

 

What can be done to bring such a dramatic change?

Welcome to the forum, ThomasTigerino. :)

 

When I quoted your post, I got all sorts of extra coding. Have you posted the same message at other forums and just copied and pasted it here? If so, I just wanted to let you know that when you're here, you can simply type your message and click to post it -- no extra effort is necessary. :)

 

Do you homeschool your children, or are you working on some sort of assignment where you have to write a paper about math and science education in the United States?

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back home, all students who want to attend college have to take math through calculus, physics, chemistry and biology, literature and history and two foreign languages (for a total of 10 and 7 years, respectively). The goal of college preparatory high school is a broad general education, not specialization.

And in contrast, universities don't have to spend time on gen ed and remediation, but can focus studies on the student's major.

I see many advantages of that. 

 

This is not the case in all European countries. I've seen the specialization system where high school students choose their stream of studies, usually languages or math/science. They do not do all of these subjects you listed up to high school graduation. And once they go into university they specialize in one field of study.

Edited by wintermom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If we don't want to look at PISA and 10year olds, because special ed students are included differently in the statistics, I can look at the results coming out of the average high school education at the other end and notice:

 

The level of the College Physics course for non majors, with a standard textbook for non majors, at our public STEM uni is about the level of my 10th grade physics class in a regular school (not specialized science magnet school), or an appropriate level for gifted 8th graders (my DD). This is mainly determined by math skill.

 

The introductory physics course that I took in my own  freshman year contained about 30% more material, went more in depth, and required much more math, than the introductory classes we teach at our public STEM uni with one of the standard textbooks intended for the same group of majors.

 

This has nothing to do with any special ed students or socioeconomic strata - it reflects the average high school math preparation of an incoming college freshman aiming for a major in science and engineering (so we are not even talking about humanities majors here or students who are not college bound at all).

 

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have large numbers of students who are taught that science is wrong.

 

 

How can we possibly compete when we don't offer science as a class that is focused on finding out more about our world through tests and observation and not try to pigeonhole all of that information into fitting within an interpretation of an ancient text?

 

It is not surprising that America is falling behind.  They're less likely to believe in science because of religious views than the rest of those countries in that list.  That may be unpopular to say on a homeschool board where curricula/books are used that proclaim dinosaurs were vegetarian before the fall or that plants existed before the sun or that electricity is a mystery and we just don't know how it works.

 

When we forego science, we don't get to apply math outside of math class, because faith is more important than discovering how the world works.

 

 

 

 

 

That's why.  And it's no different in public schools.  My kid's school is required to teach creationism as a valid scientific theory (???) during biology class.  There is no process of testing.  It is simply believing.  We are robbing kids on a daily basis of the chance to get into science because we just want them to regurgitate what we give them.

This reminds me of this fabulous comic:

 

https://popperfont.net/2012/08/14/teaching-intro-biology-is-harder-than-teaching-intro-history/

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The graduates from my public STEM uni have an average starting salary of 59k right out of college. That average contains all the non-engineering majors.

Definitely not what beginning teachers make in our state.

That's why I mentioned my state, where starting teachers make 56k, work far fewer hours and have substantially better bennies. They also retire in 25 years with a salary close to what they made in their last years and an excellent health care pkg. Engineers on the other hand, with nongovernmental employers, fund their own retirement sometimes with company matching contribution to 401k, sometimes not; and do not any longer have an option for company retiree health care. Edited by Heigh Ho
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back home, all students who want to attend college have to take math through calculus, physics, chemistry and biology, literature and history and two foreign languages (for a total of 10 and 7 years, respectively). The goal of college preparatory high school is a broad general education, not specialization.

And in contrast, universities don't have to spend time on gen ed and remediation, but can focus studies on the student's major.

I see many advantages of that.

I too see benefits but I also see a major drawback.

 

A student who is an academic late bloomer is culled from the stack for college. For example, if a student just isn't ready for those levels of math by that deadline in high school - or goes to a high school that doesn't offer it - what are the realistic chances for them afterward?

 

Here, they can go on to college and take college algebra and so forth there. How does that system meet the needs of such a student who might still be interested in sciences?

 

Truth is, many students by fourth grade in the states have decided they hate math and thus even if they found science interesting, they decide they hate it bc they are told if they suck at math then they'll suck at science and that's completely self prophetic. It's extremely difficult to intellectually drag a child for another 8 years of public schooling math and science much less convince them to sign on for another 4+ afterwards after being emersed in that for 12 years. And yes. The attitude of most states that if we just do MORE of what obviously isn't working in order to somehow miraculously make it work doesn't work. There's no reason for our kids to spend 8-10 hours a day on schooling/academics.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Public schools that actually care about students learning math (or anything really), rather than just paying lip service to STEM, etc.

 

My dc are in a public distance charter this year. We have $1800 in funding for curricula available each. Dd(11) is in 6th grade. She finished her 7th grade math curriculum, plus their required common core workbook. She had 96-100% on all assignments and tests. I requested the next level math curriculum. She still has $1000 available, but was told she should spend the rest of the year (6 months) 'reviewing' and I shouldn't be 'tempted to push her ahead'. 😡She had the same problem when she was in ps. She was finished with her work, but told to sit there and 'review' or help someone with theirs. This was supposedly a highly rated school. In our experience, the schools don't really take math that seriously and don't care much about kids who could accelerate. And it's not just a problem in math. Bright kids in the ps spend a lot of time being bored.

Edited by Bethany Grace
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to know how many of those countries are required to educate ALL children the way we do in the US. Many countries do not try to educate students with special needs.

 

Many countries start tracking kids in middle school or even earlier. The strong students go to special schools where their talents can be developed.

 

In some countries, education is still a privilege, and disruptive students are not tolerated.

In many of those countries SN children literally don't get to live and if they do, it's a life of neglect and abuse horror.

 

And several have a high suicide rate in very young people. Being the only child and not getting an A isn't just a minor disappointment. It's a shame to the entire family and community and the poor kid knows it. Pressure to succeed is an understatement.

 

While I can agree no academic expectations of students is not good, let us not hold up the other end of the extreme as better either.

 

Happy medium between the extremes would be quite welcome though.

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In many of those countries SN children literally don't get to live and if they do, it's a life of neglect and abuse horror.

 

And several have a high suicide rate in very young people. Being the only child and not getting an A isn't just a minor disappointment. It's a shame to the entire family and community and the poor kid knows it. Pressure to succeed is an understatement.

 

While I can agree no academic expectations of students is not good, let us not hold up the other end of the extreme as better either.

 

Happy medium between the extremes would be quite welcome though.

This is very true. Well said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has nothing to do with any special ed students or socioeconomic strata - it reflects the average high school math preparation of an incoming college freshman aiming for a major in science and engineering (so we are not even talking about humanities majors here or students who are not college bound at all).

In my area,it has much to do with special needs and socioeconomics as k12 math and science courses are full inclusion. Only wealthy areas and title one have honors/AP options that are not fully included. The teacher is tasked with getting all students a pass, which means content will be restricted to basic, enough for a 65 on the regents exam. Reading level will not be high school level and there is no textbook. Edited by Heigh Ho
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a parent who despises homework and has more than once sent a note to the teacher saying we didn't do the homework because we had other plans, I think the implication that I dont value my xhild's education is ridiculous. They are at school for 8 hours every day. I get them there on time with plenty of sleep and a healthy breakfast. After school we are happy to drill some math facts, read aloud, or practice spelling words. But after 20-30 minutes of thay, we are done. Children need time to PLAY! They need to go outside, read for fun, build thinngs, do art, sit and rest, etc. We also need time as a family to hike, bike, and discuss topics outside of the limited education they are getting at school. As a parent (and a classroom teacher, btw), I deeply resent teachers and schools who believe our whole lives should be consumed with homework. And don't even get me started on spring break/Christmas homework packets!

 

I'm talking high school. And they aren't there 8 hours a day. 6 hours a day of class, max. And then there are all the days that they have pep rallies and other special events. I have a high schooler, and I'm subbing at the school. He has very little work most nights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...