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Russia Tops PIRLS 2016 (4th Graders)
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Results of PIRLS 2016 (4th Graders) have just come out (h/t Polish Perspective).

The official website is somewhat of a pain to navigate, and there doesn’t appear to be any single master report, but fortunately they left their root directory unblocked so you can just look at all the charts and Excel tables here:

http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/pirls2016/international-results/wp-content/uploads/structure/PIRLS/

pirls-2016-achievement

Unlike PISA, which sets 500 as the OECD mean (members at the time the test was started) – which is also conveniently almost the same as British average IQ (Greenwich mean) – TIMSS/PIRLS sets it as the blank international average. According to my back of the envelope calculation, the mean OECD value would be around 543. The S.D. is the usual 100 points.

Anyhow, Russia tops the chart, getting an IQ equivalent score of almost 106 according to the scale above, higher even than Singapore. Ireland, Finland, Poland around 103. United States 101. The Netherlands, Australia, Czechia, and Canada are around 100. Georgia 92. Azerbaijan at 89. Saudi Arabia (and Iran) at 83, with the other Gulf Arab states clustering around that level too. Morocco 72. Egypt 68. South Africa 66. Moscow gets an amazing score of 110, a difference of around 4.5 points between the capital and Russia as a whole (in PISA it’s closer to 7 points).

That said, I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from this. First, TIMSS/PIRLS is more of a specifically academic test than an IQ test. Second, these are fourth graders, so even small differences in average age at testing should translate into bigger differences in academic performance (and in fact Russian kids are some of the oldest here, average age of 10.8 years; Poles are almost as old at 10.7 years; Finns were at 10.8; typical age was in the low 10.0′s; the bad performing Georgians were some of the very youngest at 9.7 years). Third, sample sizes are lower than for PISA.

Here are the historical scores of this round’s participants.

PIRLS-2016 (4thG) 2001 2006 2011 2016
Australia 527 544
Austria 538 529 541
Azerbaijan 462 470
Belgium (Flemish) 547 525
Belgium (French) 500 506 497
Bulgaria 550 547 532 552
Canada 548 543
Chinese Taipei 535 553 559
Czech Republic 537 545 543
Denmark 546 554 547
England 553 539 552 559
Finland 568 566
France 525 522 520 511
Georgia 471 488 488
Germany 539 548 541 537
Hong Kong SAR 528 564 571 569
Hungary 543 551 539 554
Iran, Islamic Rep. of 414 421 457 428
Ireland 552 567
Israel 541 530
Italy 541 551 541 548
Latvia 545 541 558
Lithuania 543 537 528 550
Malta 457 452
Morocco 310 358
Netherlands 554 547 546 545
New Zealand 529 532 531 523
Northern Ireland 558 565
Norway (4) 499 498 507 517
Oman 391 418
Portugal 541 528
Qatar 425 442
Russian Federation 528 565 568 581
Saudi Arabia 430 430
Singapore 528 558 567 576
Slovak Republic 518 531 535 535
Slovenia 502 522 530 542
South Africa 323 320
Spain 513 513 528
Sweden 561 549 542 555
Trinidad and Tobago 436 471 479
United Arab Emirates 439 450
United States 542 540 556 549
Benchmarkers
Ontario, Canada 548 555 552 544
Quebec, Canada 537 533 538 547
Eng/Afr/Zulu – RSA (5) 350 406
Andalusia, Spain 515 525
Abu Dhabi, UAE 424 414
Dubai, UAE 476 515

.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Education, IQ 
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  1. LondonBob says:

    Bad result for France. I think France will be the first country to regress noticeably, I think they are already.

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  2. TIMSS/PIRLS is more of a specifically academic test than an IQ test.

    LOL, that is the only thing which matters, especially in STEM, not some ACT/SAT BS on “reasoning”. The kid, student, adult, engineer, designer (ascending order) with IQ=105 and who knows how to draw the free body diagram will do in calculating stresses on the physical bodies much better than some IQ= 150 great journo. But the trick here is not even in that–it is in the fact of a much easier transition between the two fields only in one direction, not the other, if you know what I mean;-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Learning to do a free-body diagram takes c. 15 minutes.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    With intelligence, you can learn STEM; with knowledge of STEM, you can't do anything interesting with it unless you have intelligence.

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial (though why would he want to?). An IQ=120 STEM major, however, will almost certainly never become a great journo.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Andrei Martyanov

    TIMSS/PIRLS is more of a specifically academic test than an IQ test.
     
    LOL, that is the only thing which matters, especially in STEM, not some ACT/SAT BS on "reasoning". The kid, student, adult, engineer, designer (ascending order) with IQ=105 and who knows how to draw the free body diagram will do in calculating stresses on the physical bodies much better than some IQ= 150 great journo. But the trick here is not even in that--it is in the fact of a much easier transition between the two fields only in one direction, not the other, if you know what I mean;-)

    Learning to do a free-body diagram takes c. 15 minutes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Learning to do a free-body diagram takes c. 15 minutes.
     
    Try to teach it in 15 minutes to a student who has no clue what vector is. I can also, theoretically, teach to find a derivative of polynomial function in 15 minutes pretty much anyone. Will they know differentiation after that? No. Same with free body diagram. But sure, try after 15 minutes to teach how to calculate Resultant and how to resolve vectors for people with even basic trigonometry course behind their belt and with people who do not have one. Same type of an example.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. @Anon
    Learning to do a free-body diagram takes c. 15 minutes.

    Learning to do a free-body diagram takes c. 15 minutes.

    Try to teach it in 15 minutes to a student who has no clue what vector is. I can also, theoretically, teach to find a derivative of polynomial function in 15 minutes pretty much anyone. Will they know differentiation after that? No. Same with free body diagram. But sure, try after 15 minutes to teach how to calculate Resultant and how to resolve vectors for people with even basic trigonometry course behind their belt and with people who do not have one. Same type of an example.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    This test is 4th grade, they're not teaching trig, or at least they weren't teaching me trig. Any slight academic advantages at this level are really going to be negligible.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. @Andrei Martyanov

    TIMSS/PIRLS is more of a specifically academic test than an IQ test.
     
    LOL, that is the only thing which matters, especially in STEM, not some ACT/SAT BS on "reasoning". The kid, student, adult, engineer, designer (ascending order) with IQ=105 and who knows how to draw the free body diagram will do in calculating stresses on the physical bodies much better than some IQ= 150 great journo. But the trick here is not even in that--it is in the fact of a much easier transition between the two fields only in one direction, not the other, if you know what I mean;-)

    With intelligence, you can learn STEM; with knowledge of STEM, you can’t do anything interesting with it unless you have intelligence.

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial (though why would he want to?). An IQ=120 STEM major, however, will almost certainly never become a great journo.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    With intelligence, you can learn STEM; with knowledge of STEM, you can’t do anything interesting with it unless you have intelligence.
     
    Well, it is kinda self-evident that studying STEM on any serious professional level requires some degree of intelligence.

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial (though why would he want to?
     
    Another LOL. You see, Anatoly, unlike you I have both second and first hand experience with both training of personnel and STEM education and I, actually, taught students, including close to your age, and.... drum roll with IQs through the roof. One of (out of very many I taught) them right now has two advanced graduate degrees (one, engineering, from WUSL) and started to work years ago for Musk --I taught him full time and it wasn't easy at all. I also taught the kid who graduated Embry Riddle and then went into ROTC and became a... well. Incredibly high IQ. He also wrote a superb sci-fi literature. Well, guess what--for all his IQ-130+ it was a struggle. I have truck loads of those examples. Sorry, but you don't know what are you talking about. IQ is no substitution to abstract thinking and a serious fundamental and, what is even more important, systemic knowledge, and be this hypothetical journo with whatever IQ I can guarantee you that he would blow his brains out on the issue of serious theoretical mechanics or quantum physics, or weapons design etc. How do I know this? I studied with people who were certifiable geniuses but even at some point of time they had to invest themselves completely with a huge effort to deal with the complex academic issues precisely in STEM. It was not easy, and those people, unlike journos, had a massive (it was a requirement) STEM backgrounds. Some, later went to work in R&D (Institutes), some are Ph.Ds others... well, that is irrelevant. Without serious background--all this IQ is BS.
    , @anonymous coward

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial
     
    False. People who hire STEM people know this stuff. Certain occupations (journalism, military, etc.) rot your brain and make you incapable of normal work regardless of your IQ.

    An IQ=120 STEM major, however, will almost certainly never become a great journo.
     
    Also demonstrably false, there's a shitload of STEM people who dowshift into journalism and other similar fields when they feel stressed out. They end up successful as journalists, but unfortunately it's a one-way street. You can't go back to a real job once you start letting yourself go. (See my first remark above.)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. @Anatoly Karlin
    With intelligence, you can learn STEM; with knowledge of STEM, you can't do anything interesting with it unless you have intelligence.

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial (though why would he want to?). An IQ=120 STEM major, however, will almost certainly never become a great journo.

    With intelligence, you can learn STEM; with knowledge of STEM, you can’t do anything interesting with it unless you have intelligence.

    Well, it is kinda self-evident that studying STEM on any serious professional level requires some degree of intelligence.

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial (though why would he want to?

    Another LOL. You see, Anatoly, unlike you I have both second and first hand experience with both training of personnel and STEM education and I, actually, taught students, including close to your age, and…. drum roll with IQs through the roof. One of (out of very many I taught) them right now has two advanced graduate degrees (one, engineering, from WUSL) and started to work years ago for Musk –I taught him full time and it wasn’t easy at all. I also taught the kid who graduated Embry Riddle and then went into ROTC and became a… well. Incredibly high IQ. He also wrote a superb sci-fi literature. Well, guess what–for all his IQ-130+ it was a struggle. I have truck loads of those examples. Sorry, but you don’t know what are you talking about. IQ is no substitution to abstract thinking and a serious fundamental and, what is even more important, systemic knowledge, and be this hypothetical journo with whatever IQ I can guarantee you that he would blow his brains out on the issue of serious theoretical mechanics or quantum physics, or weapons design etc. How do I know this? I studied with people who were certifiable geniuses but even at some point of time they had to invest themselves completely with a huge effort to deal with the complex academic issues precisely in STEM. It was not easy, and those people, unlike journos, had a massive (it was a requirement) STEM backgrounds. Some, later went to work in R&D (Institutes), some are Ph.Ds others… well, that is irrelevant. Without serious background–all this IQ is BS.

    Read More
    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Anon
    I agree with you of course that training matters, our American schools are getting worse too, but "IQ is BS" is probably too strong. And again fwiw these are only 4th graders, hardly anybody specializes at that age.
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  7. utu says:

    The S.D. is the usual 100 points.

    Why? Where does it come from?

    AK: Linked within the text.

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  8. Twinkie says:

    What, no Japan and no South Korea?

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  9. Looking at the list, for those countries who have been in PRILS for 3 or 4 survey rounds, their results are mostly quite stable from survey to survey, not really fluctuating that much. That is a good sign, because if the scores were swinging too wildly from round to round, you wouldn’t take these results too seriously. What stands out for me is the relative improvement of Slovenia, which went from middling to quite decent and of course Russia.

    I believe PISA is a better test for native IQ, since it is more G-loaded, but PIRLS/TIMMS is perhaps a better measurement of the relative efficacy of the education system. Of course, even with a good education system, you still need good students. So I wouldn’t bend over backwards trying to deny that at least some of the performance is related to intelligence of the students, though the question is to what extent. After all, the people at the bottom are those who you’d expect. At the top, it is mostly East Asian and East Europeans with a few strong Western countries thrown in. Italy was a surprise to me.

    Looking at South Africa, I’m surprised that they still have a relatively high GDP per capita (in nominal terms), though I’m aware that their GDP growth in the last 5 years have been lower than their population growth, meaning their per capita income is declining on a structural basis. Goes to show how much the white and Asian minorities(mostly Indian) prop up that country, at least in the private sector.

    The Gulf countries also don’t have a bright future once the shift to EVs becomes mainstream in the early- to mid-2020s. Saudi Arabia already struggles greatly, with massive budget deficits and low growth. I wonder when the 8th grade results will come out. Those rankings are probably going to be more rigorous given that by then, native intelligence is much closer to what you’ll get as an adult.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Agreed with all of this.

    I think East Europeans do much better relative to PISA mostly on account of (1) being older than the other tested nations (see here); (2) more traditional schooling methods.

    South Africa's GDP per capita (PPP, constant dollars) is stagnating, not so much declining. Just goes to show the power of smart fractions, even steadily diminishing ones in a deteriorating institutional environment.
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  10. @Anatoly Karlin
    With intelligence, you can learn STEM; with knowledge of STEM, you can't do anything interesting with it unless you have intelligence.

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial (though why would he want to?). An IQ=120 STEM major, however, will almost certainly never become a great journo.

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial

    False. People who hire STEM people know this stuff. Certain occupations (journalism, military, etc.) rot your brain and make you incapable of normal work regardless of your IQ.

    An IQ=120 STEM major, however, will almost certainly never become a great journo.

    Also demonstrably false, there’s a shitload of STEM people who dowshift into journalism and other similar fields when they feel stressed out. They end up successful as journalists, but unfortunately it’s a one-way street. You can’t go back to a real job once you start letting yourself go. (See my first remark above.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    military, etc
     
    Not R&D and hi-tech warfare. Also goes for Command and Control. CO of, say, modern submarine or ships and most of officers there will have no difficulty transitioning to engineering fields in civilian sector. In fact, very many did. But, I assume, you are a bit misinformed on military and what it does and how it prepares its command cadres.
    , @Twinkie

    Certain occupations (journalism, military, etc.) rot your brain and make you incapable of normal work regardless of your IQ.
     
    You don't know that military officers of certain ranks and above are sought after by corporations as executives, do you?
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  11. The relatively high results of Bulgaria on this test casts a huge doubt on the whole thing imo.

    More than 40% of the students tested in PISA last year were “functionally illiterate” i.e. incapable of reading comprehension and we were dead last in the EU on almost all subjects. That was 9th graders, but the situation with 4th-graders should be worse, considering the ever increasing proportion of gypsies among them, although even among ethnic Bulgarians things are visibly worse with each generation (anecdotal observation, but one that is shared but every single teacher I know).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Why does the ethnic Bulgarian population decline in this area?
    Have too many of the "best and brightest" left the country?
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Note though that Bulgaria, like most of the tested East European countries, are 10.8 years old - 1/2 a year to a year older than otherwise typical.
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  12. Mitleser says:
    @Spisarevski
    The relatively high results of Bulgaria on this test casts a huge doubt on the whole thing imo.

    More than 40% of the students tested in PISA last year were "functionally illiterate" i.e. incapable of reading comprehension and we were dead last in the EU on almost all subjects. That was 9th graders, but the situation with 4th-graders should be worse, considering the ever increasing proportion of gypsies among them, although even among ethnic Bulgarians things are visibly worse with each generation (anecdotal observation, but one that is shared but every single teacher I know).

    Why does the ethnic Bulgarian population decline in this area?
    Have too many of the “best and brightest” left the country?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spisarevski
    Yes, migration is one of the crucial reasons. There was a study according to which 85% of Bulgarians with higher education aged 38 and below have left or are trying to leave the territory.

    Even though many migrants are ordinary workers and other not so bright people, a critical mass of competent Bulgarians (smart fraction?) has already left, sealing the doom of our continuous transformation into a third world country.

    The overall demographic catastrophe has secondary effects too - when a school class is 30% or more gypsies instead of 0-1 gypsies as it was in my time, the effect is not Bulgarians pulling the gypsies up, but the gypsies pulling Bulgarians down, proper teaching process becomes near impossible and the concentration of the students worsens, etc.

    And any time some school dares to make a "Bulgarian class" when organizing the new pupils, all the western-sponsored liberal media create a scandal about "discrimination".

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @Mitleser
    Why does the ethnic Bulgarian population decline in this area?
    Have too many of the "best and brightest" left the country?

    Yes, migration is one of the crucial reasons. There was a study according to which 85% of Bulgarians with higher education aged 38 and below have left or are trying to leave the territory.

    Even though many migrants are ordinary workers and other not so bright people, a critical mass of competent Bulgarians (smart fraction?) has already left, sealing the doom of our continuous transformation into a third world country.

    The overall demographic catastrophe has secondary effects too – when a school class is 30% or more gypsies instead of 0-1 gypsies as it was in my time, the effect is not Bulgarians pulling the gypsies up, but the gypsies pulling Bulgarians down, proper teaching process becomes near impossible and the concentration of the students worsens, etc.

    And any time some school dares to make a “Bulgarian class” when organizing the new pupils, all the western-sponsored liberal media create a scandal about “discrimination”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Expel the damn Roma already! (said the guy whose government is giving away our country to Mexican dimwits)
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  14. @anonymous coward

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial
     
    False. People who hire STEM people know this stuff. Certain occupations (journalism, military, etc.) rot your brain and make you incapable of normal work regardless of your IQ.

    An IQ=120 STEM major, however, will almost certainly never become a great journo.
     
    Also demonstrably false, there's a shitload of STEM people who dowshift into journalism and other similar fields when they feel stressed out. They end up successful as journalists, but unfortunately it's a one-way street. You can't go back to a real job once you start letting yourself go. (See my first remark above.)

    military, etc

    Not R&D and hi-tech warfare. Also goes for Command and Control. CO of, say, modern submarine or ships and most of officers there will have no difficulty transitioning to engineering fields in civilian sector. In fact, very many did. But, I assume, you are a bit misinformed on military and what it does and how it prepares its command cadres.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @Polish Perspective
    Looking at the list, for those countries who have been in PRILS for 3 or 4 survey rounds, their results are mostly quite stable from survey to survey, not really fluctuating that much. That is a good sign, because if the scores were swinging too wildly from round to round, you wouldn't take these results too seriously. What stands out for me is the relative improvement of Slovenia, which went from middling to quite decent and of course Russia.

    I believe PISA is a better test for native IQ, since it is more G-loaded, but PIRLS/TIMMS is perhaps a better measurement of the relative efficacy of the education system. Of course, even with a good education system, you still need good students. So I wouldn't bend over backwards trying to deny that at least some of the performance is related to intelligence of the students, though the question is to what extent. After all, the people at the bottom are those who you'd expect. At the top, it is mostly East Asian and East Europeans with a few strong Western countries thrown in. Italy was a surprise to me.

    Looking at South Africa, I'm surprised that they still have a relatively high GDP per capita (in nominal terms), though I'm aware that their GDP growth in the last 5 years have been lower than their population growth, meaning their per capita income is declining on a structural basis. Goes to show how much the white and Asian minorities(mostly Indian) prop up that country, at least in the private sector.

    The Gulf countries also don't have a bright future once the shift to EVs becomes mainstream in the early- to mid-2020s. Saudi Arabia already struggles greatly, with massive budget deficits and low growth. I wonder when the 8th grade results will come out. Those rankings are probably going to be more rigorous given that by then, native intelligence is much closer to what you'll get as an adult.

    Agreed with all of this.

    I think East Europeans do much better relative to PISA mostly on account of (1) being older than the other tested nations (see here); (2) more traditional schooling methods.

    South Africa’s GDP per capita (PPP, constant dollars) is stagnating, not so much declining. Just goes to show the power of smart fractions, even steadily diminishing ones in a deteriorating institutional environment.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Polish Perspective
    On South Africa, I guess it's a question of definition. They have had 2 years of back-to-back declines in GDP per capita. Their current growth thus far in 2017 doesn't show any improvement(defined as growth higher than population increase), meaning it will be a third year in a row that their income per capita declines. When is it blip and when does it become structural?

    https://tradingeconomics.com/south-africa/gdp-growth-annual

    Keep in mind that their population growth, according to the world bank, is 1.62% per annum and rising. The IMF also forecasts their growth to remain below their population growth in 2018 and 2019 too. They would be looking at five straight years of GDP/capita declines. That, to me, is less of a stagnation and more of a structural decline. To be fair, the IMF then forecasts them to go up to 2.2% or so in the outer years but the IMF has long been accused(and for good reason) for being overtly optimistic and then having to revise downwards their projections.

    The only exception to this permanent optimistic bias seems to be EE countries, interestingly enough. Russia is the most obvious case, but their forecasts on Poland have also been consistently bearish for a number of years, which is amusing. (My speculation is because they are fundamentally wedded to the neoliberal orthodoxy, and as such when they think "demographics" they only conceive of quantity and not quality. So a country like Greece receiving massive amounts of refugees is a net positive in their eyes, because, well 'demographics'. IQ doesn't enter their realm of thinking. This is one of many diseases of neoliberal economics, but I disgress).

    Also, speaking of Russia, your GDP decline in 2014 was partly for the same reason as them (commodities), but it was also compounded by the 2014 war in Ukraine and the economic fallout that followed, sanctions etc. You're already recovering, however modestly. You're also in a region which isn't growing that quickly, at least if we think of the fact that Russia economic and political center is in the Western/European side of the country.

    What excuse does SA have? Sub-Saharan Africa isn't doing as badly as many think when you look at the numbers. It's not the 1990s anymore. Institutional quality has increased. 2017 shapes up to be the best year in world growth since 2010 and they can't even breach 1%. Doesn't seem to me to be a recipe for mere stagnation but outright decline. And even if I am wrong, they'll still do 5 straight years of declining GDP per capita if IMF (notoriously optimistic on Africa) is correct and end up lower than they were in 2008 by 2018. That is a lost decade by any realistic measurement.

    It doesn't seem too likely that they'll recover it in the next either, as the ruling party went from Mandela to a typical African corrupt dictator like Zuma. The guy who is more likely to seize power after Zuma is the Mugage-wannabe Malema. SA is a strong candidate to become the next Venezuela.

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  16. @Spisarevski
    The relatively high results of Bulgaria on this test casts a huge doubt on the whole thing imo.

    More than 40% of the students tested in PISA last year were "functionally illiterate" i.e. incapable of reading comprehension and we were dead last in the EU on almost all subjects. That was 9th graders, but the situation with 4th-graders should be worse, considering the ever increasing proportion of gypsies among them, although even among ethnic Bulgarians things are visibly worse with each generation (anecdotal observation, but one that is shared but every single teacher I know).

    Note though that Bulgaria, like most of the tested East European countries, are 10.8 years old – 1/2 a year to a year older than otherwise typical.

    Read More
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  17. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Learning to do a free-body diagram takes c. 15 minutes.
     
    Try to teach it in 15 minutes to a student who has no clue what vector is. I can also, theoretically, teach to find a derivative of polynomial function in 15 minutes pretty much anyone. Will they know differentiation after that? No. Same with free body diagram. But sure, try after 15 minutes to teach how to calculate Resultant and how to resolve vectors for people with even basic trigonometry course behind their belt and with people who do not have one. Same type of an example.

    This test is 4th grade, they’re not teaching trig, or at least they weren’t teaching me trig. Any slight academic advantages at this level are really going to be negligible.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    This test is 4th grade, they’re not teaching trig, or at least they weren’t teaching me trig. Any slight academic advantages at this level are really going to be negligible.
     
    True, but to a degree. 4th grade is precisely the age when foundation for a good counting and numbers' handling is laid. It matters great deal down the road.
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  18. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Andrei Martyanov

    With intelligence, you can learn STEM; with knowledge of STEM, you can’t do anything interesting with it unless you have intelligence.
     
    Well, it is kinda self-evident that studying STEM on any serious professional level requires some degree of intelligence.

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial (though why would he want to?
     
    Another LOL. You see, Anatoly, unlike you I have both second and first hand experience with both training of personnel and STEM education and I, actually, taught students, including close to your age, and.... drum roll with IQs through the roof. One of (out of very many I taught) them right now has two advanced graduate degrees (one, engineering, from WUSL) and started to work years ago for Musk --I taught him full time and it wasn't easy at all. I also taught the kid who graduated Embry Riddle and then went into ROTC and became a... well. Incredibly high IQ. He also wrote a superb sci-fi literature. Well, guess what--for all his IQ-130+ it was a struggle. I have truck loads of those examples. Sorry, but you don't know what are you talking about. IQ is no substitution to abstract thinking and a serious fundamental and, what is even more important, systemic knowledge, and be this hypothetical journo with whatever IQ I can guarantee you that he would blow his brains out on the issue of serious theoretical mechanics or quantum physics, or weapons design etc. How do I know this? I studied with people who were certifiable geniuses but even at some point of time they had to invest themselves completely with a huge effort to deal with the complex academic issues precisely in STEM. It was not easy, and those people, unlike journos, had a massive (it was a requirement) STEM backgrounds. Some, later went to work in R&D (Institutes), some are Ph.Ds others... well, that is irrelevant. Without serious background--all this IQ is BS.

    I agree with you of course that training matters, our American schools are getting worse too, but “IQ is BS” is probably too strong. And again fwiw these are only 4th graders, hardly anybody specializes at that age.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    IQ is BS is too strong, but it does seem that intelligence as we understand it is heavily involved with stronger inhibitory systems that permit the grasp of relevant information while blocking out irrelevant information. Since there does appear to be some transfer effects from certain types of skills training, its possible that STEM training leads to neurological effects that improve the acquisition of related knowledge.

    I'm not as eager to as to claim that STEM people make great journalists later, because there is some evidence that aspects of information processing that would improve scientific processing may damage other aspects of informational processing(working memory and creativity may be inversely related, for example).

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  19. @Anon
    This test is 4th grade, they're not teaching trig, or at least they weren't teaching me trig. Any slight academic advantages at this level are really going to be negligible.

    This test is 4th grade, they’re not teaching trig, or at least they weren’t teaching me trig. Any slight academic advantages at this level are really going to be negligible.

    True, but to a degree. 4th grade is precisely the age when foundation for a good counting and numbers’ handling is laid. It matters great deal down the road.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    This is true, I agree. I don't think though any of the high-scoring nations here have enough of a deficit there to make a significant difference.
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  20. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Andrei Martyanov

    This test is 4th grade, they’re not teaching trig, or at least they weren’t teaching me trig. Any slight academic advantages at this level are really going to be negligible.
     
    True, but to a degree. 4th grade is precisely the age when foundation for a good counting and numbers' handling is laid. It matters great deal down the road.

    This is true, I agree. I don’t think though any of the high-scoring nations here have enough of a deficit there to make a significant difference.

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  21. @Anon
    I agree with you of course that training matters, our American schools are getting worse too, but "IQ is BS" is probably too strong. And again fwiw these are only 4th graders, hardly anybody specializes at that age.

    IQ is BS is too strong, but it does seem that intelligence as we understand it is heavily involved with stronger inhibitory systems that permit the grasp of relevant information while blocking out irrelevant information. Since there does appear to be some transfer effects from certain types of skills training, its possible that STEM training leads to neurological effects that improve the acquisition of related knowledge.

    I’m not as eager to as to claim that STEM people make great journalists later, because there is some evidence that aspects of information processing that would improve scientific processing may damage other aspects of informational processing(working memory and creativity may be inversely related, for example).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    that would improve scientific processing may damage other aspects of informational processing(working memory and creativity may be inversely related, for example).
     
    Examples of Leo Tolstoy, an artillery officer, or Dostoevsky--a degree in fortification (military engineering)--can certainly present examples to the contrary. Tolstoy ended writing math books for kids. Dr. Michio Kaku (or Brian Green, or even Stephen Hawking) are great writers apart from being great scientists. Arthur Clarke was a bona fide scientist apart from being a monstrously important writer. Asimov was first-class chemist and biochemist and the list is long. So, let's put it this way--your point is at least debatable.
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  22. I’m SHOCKED to see that US did so well. To be in the top 20 – it just feels wrong. :)

    Also, I’m seeing a noticable improvement in Russian test scores since 2001, and it’s not at all clear where it came from.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    I’m SHOCKED to see that US did so well. To be in the top 20 – it just feels wrong.
     
    White American kids (10-18), considering a normal upbringing and nutrition, are in no way inferior to their white European counterparts. In other words--they can do it. It is a public school and IQ-based education which fails them utterly, plus many parents bear a direct responsibility for degrading American schools. It is a very bad situation, especially in a society which increasingly devalues a real productive labor and is obsessed with sports. In addition, US public education as a whole simply does not provide knowledge-based systemic education. By the age of 14-16 all those failures become more evident. ACT/SAT paradigm is a paradigm of a fraud but it is THE only paradigm modern America knows. There is a reason why so many "migrate" into humanities fields--they are much easier and do not require as much hard work (well, music on a good level being an exception--I don't mean high school orchestras--that is a sonic atrocity).
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  23. @Daniel Chieh
    IQ is BS is too strong, but it does seem that intelligence as we understand it is heavily involved with stronger inhibitory systems that permit the grasp of relevant information while blocking out irrelevant information. Since there does appear to be some transfer effects from certain types of skills training, its possible that STEM training leads to neurological effects that improve the acquisition of related knowledge.

    I'm not as eager to as to claim that STEM people make great journalists later, because there is some evidence that aspects of information processing that would improve scientific processing may damage other aspects of informational processing(working memory and creativity may be inversely related, for example).

    that would improve scientific processing may damage other aspects of informational processing(working memory and creativity may be inversely related, for example).

    Examples of Leo Tolstoy, an artillery officer, or Dostoevsky–a degree in fortification (military engineering)–can certainly present examples to the contrary. Tolstoy ended writing math books for kids. Dr. Michio Kaku (or Brian Green, or even Stephen Hawking) are great writers apart from being great scientists. Arthur Clarke was a bona fide scientist apart from being a monstrously important writer. Asimov was first-class chemist and biochemist and the list is long. So, let’s put it this way–your point is at least debatable.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Its just speculation - but speculation from studies:

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0023175&type=printable


    Training working memory (WM) improves performance on untrained cognitive tasks and alters functional activity. However,
    WM training’s effects on gray matter morphology and a wide range of cognitive tasks are still unknown. We investigated
    this issue using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), various psychological measures, such as non-trained WM tasks and a
    creativity task, and intensive adaptive training of WM using mental calculations (IATWMMC), all of which are typical WM
    tasks. IATWMMC was associated with reduced regional gray matter volume in the bilateral fronto-parietal regions and the
    left superior temporal gyrus. It improved verbal letter span and complex arithmetic ability, but deteriorated creativity. These
    results confirm the training-induced plasticity in psychological mechanisms and the plasticity of gray matter structures in
    regions that have been assumed to be under strong genetic control.
     
    Probably much weaker, but still worth noting - working memory was found to be negatively correlated with creativity in ADHD children in a study by C. Matthew Fugate, etc...

    Also, despite their reduced working memory, 53% of the academically advanced students with ADHD characteristics scored at or above the 70th percentile on the creativity index...the poorer the working memory, the higher the creativity.
     

    That said, its all pretty nascent and I've speculated if some of this "creativity" is misinterpreted or overemphasized by the tests used for divergent thinking(but not convergent part of creativity) triggered, for example, from LSD use: highly uninhibited, but not very useful and unmoored in reality.
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  24. @Andrei Martyanov

    that would improve scientific processing may damage other aspects of informational processing(working memory and creativity may be inversely related, for example).
     
    Examples of Leo Tolstoy, an artillery officer, or Dostoevsky--a degree in fortification (military engineering)--can certainly present examples to the contrary. Tolstoy ended writing math books for kids. Dr. Michio Kaku (or Brian Green, or even Stephen Hawking) are great writers apart from being great scientists. Arthur Clarke was a bona fide scientist apart from being a monstrously important writer. Asimov was first-class chemist and biochemist and the list is long. So, let's put it this way--your point is at least debatable.

    Its just speculation – but speculation from studies:

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0023175&type=printable

    Training working memory (WM) improves performance on untrained cognitive tasks and alters functional activity. However,
    WM training’s effects on gray matter morphology and a wide range of cognitive tasks are still unknown. We investigated
    this issue using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), various psychological measures, such as non-trained WM tasks and a
    creativity task, and intensive adaptive training of WM using mental calculations (IATWMMC), all of which are typical WM
    tasks. IATWMMC was associated with reduced regional gray matter volume in the bilateral fronto-parietal regions and the
    left superior temporal gyrus. It improved verbal letter span and complex arithmetic ability, but deteriorated creativity. These
    results confirm the training-induced plasticity in psychological mechanisms and the plasticity of gray matter structures in
    regions that have been assumed to be under strong genetic control.

    Probably much weaker, but still worth noting – working memory was found to be negatively correlated with creativity in ADHD children in a study by C. Matthew Fugate, etc…

    Also, despite their reduced working memory, 53% of the academically advanced students with ADHD characteristics scored at or above the 70th percentile on the creativity index…the poorer the working memory, the higher the creativity.

    That said, its all pretty nascent and I’ve speculated if some of this “creativity” is misinterpreted or overemphasized by the tests used for divergent thinking(but not convergent part of creativity) triggered, for example, from LSD use: highly uninhibited, but not very useful and unmoored in reality.

    Read More
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  25. @Felix Keverich
    I'm SHOCKED to see that US did so well. To be in the top 20 - it just feels wrong. :)

    Also, I'm seeing a noticable improvement in Russian test scores since 2001, and it's not at all clear where it came from.

    I’m SHOCKED to see that US did so well. To be in the top 20 – it just feels wrong.

    White American kids (10-18), considering a normal upbringing and nutrition, are in no way inferior to their white European counterparts. In other words–they can do it. It is a public school and IQ-based education which fails them utterly, plus many parents bear a direct responsibility for degrading American schools. It is a very bad situation, especially in a society which increasingly devalues a real productive labor and is obsessed with sports. In addition, US public education as a whole simply does not provide knowledge-based systemic education. By the age of 14-16 all those failures become more evident. ACT/SAT paradigm is a paradigm of a fraud but it is THE only paradigm modern America knows. There is a reason why so many “migrate” into humanities fields–they are much easier and do not require as much hard work (well, music on a good level being an exception–I don’t mean high school orchestras–that is a sonic atrocity).

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    White American kids (10-18), considering a normal upbringing and nutrition, are in no way inferior to their white European counterparts.
     
    I agree, but white kids should be close to a minority now, definitely a minority in a US public school system. They must have tested them in Iowa...
    , @RadicalCenter
    Mr. Martyanov, what you say about my country (the USA), which I dearly love, is unfortunately quite accurate. My mother was a "public-school" teacher for almost fifty years before retiring, and she can confirm the laziness, declining academic standards, and generally downward trends to which you refer (with, of course, commendable exceptions).

    I am a big hockey and baseball fan, but the amount of time that these parents allow their kids to waste watching sports, playing sports in the delusion that they will "go pro", and simply worshipping African athletes, is destructive. And quite embarrassing, frankly.

    Add in the overall absurd amount of time that many American parents allow their kids to waste watching TV, surfing the Net -- especially sick porn and endless "social media" -- and now (for those with the income) losing themselves in virtual reality. Horrifying. We have not had TV "service" in the house since our first child was born, and we will never have it again.

    My wife and I were considering encouraging our kids to spend a year or more of their high-school career in Germany, followed perhaps by university in Germany (they are learning German from a very young age) -- on the premise that perhaps German schools still offer more structure and discipline and demand actual hard work of their young people. But even if that had been true, the suddenly accelerating Third World takeover of that country has caused us to re-evaluate.

    Therefore, even with all of Russia's problems -- and the apparent moderate difficulty of Russian for an English-speaker, relative to Germanic languages or certainly Romance languages -- I've begun toying with the idea of encouraging them to learn Russian instead. Could it be wise to prepare them for a year of high school or even for a college career in Russia?

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  26. @Anatoly Karlin
    Agreed with all of this.

    I think East Europeans do much better relative to PISA mostly on account of (1) being older than the other tested nations (see here); (2) more traditional schooling methods.

    South Africa's GDP per capita (PPP, constant dollars) is stagnating, not so much declining. Just goes to show the power of smart fractions, even steadily diminishing ones in a deteriorating institutional environment.

    On South Africa, I guess it’s a question of definition. They have had 2 years of back-to-back declines in GDP per capita. Their current growth thus far in 2017 doesn’t show any improvement(defined as growth higher than population increase), meaning it will be a third year in a row that their income per capita declines. When is it blip and when does it become structural?

    https://tradingeconomics.com/south-africa/gdp-growth-annual

    Keep in mind that their population growth, according to the world bank, is 1.62% per annum and rising. The IMF also forecasts their growth to remain below their population growth in 2018 and 2019 too. They would be looking at five straight years of GDP/capita declines. That, to me, is less of a stagnation and more of a structural decline. To be fair, the IMF then forecasts them to go up to 2.2% or so in the outer years but the IMF has long been accused(and for good reason) for being overtly optimistic and then having to revise downwards their projections.

    The only exception to this permanent optimistic bias seems to be EE countries, interestingly enough. Russia is the most obvious case, but their forecasts on Poland have also been consistently bearish for a number of years, which is amusing. (My speculation is because they are fundamentally wedded to the neoliberal orthodoxy, and as such when they think “demographics” they only conceive of quantity and not quality. So a country like Greece receiving massive amounts of refugees is a net positive in their eyes, because, well ‘demographics’. IQ doesn’t enter their realm of thinking. This is one of many diseases of neoliberal economics, but I disgress).

    Also, speaking of Russia, your GDP decline in 2014 was partly for the same reason as them (commodities), but it was also compounded by the 2014 war in Ukraine and the economic fallout that followed, sanctions etc. You’re already recovering, however modestly. You’re also in a region which isn’t growing that quickly, at least if we think of the fact that Russia economic and political center is in the Western/European side of the country.

    What excuse does SA have? Sub-Saharan Africa isn’t doing as badly as many think when you look at the numbers. It’s not the 1990s anymore. Institutional quality has increased. 2017 shapes up to be the best year in world growth since 2010 and they can’t even breach 1%. Doesn’t seem to me to be a recipe for mere stagnation but outright decline. And even if I am wrong, they’ll still do 5 straight years of declining GDP per capita if IMF (notoriously optimistic on Africa) is correct and end up lower than they were in 2008 by 2018. That is a lost decade by any realistic measurement.

    It doesn’t seem too likely that they’ll recover it in the next either, as the ruling party went from Mandela to a typical African corrupt dictator like Zuma. The guy who is more likely to seize power after Zuma is the Mugage-wannabe Malema. SA is a strong candidate to become the next Venezuela.

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  27. @Andrei Martyanov

    I’m SHOCKED to see that US did so well. To be in the top 20 – it just feels wrong.
     
    White American kids (10-18), considering a normal upbringing and nutrition, are in no way inferior to their white European counterparts. In other words--they can do it. It is a public school and IQ-based education which fails them utterly, plus many parents bear a direct responsibility for degrading American schools. It is a very bad situation, especially in a society which increasingly devalues a real productive labor and is obsessed with sports. In addition, US public education as a whole simply does not provide knowledge-based systemic education. By the age of 14-16 all those failures become more evident. ACT/SAT paradigm is a paradigm of a fraud but it is THE only paradigm modern America knows. There is a reason why so many "migrate" into humanities fields--they are much easier and do not require as much hard work (well, music on a good level being an exception--I don't mean high school orchestras--that is a sonic atrocity).

    White American kids (10-18), considering a normal upbringing and nutrition, are in no way inferior to their white European counterparts.

    I agree, but white kids should be close to a minority now, definitely a minority in a US public school system. They must have tested them in Iowa…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    They must have tested them in Iowa…
     
    You probably know that "good schools" identifier in communities' descriptions all over the US, especially in real estate markets, is a euphemism for "No blacks, few minorities"? I worked with number of Hindu school kids some years ago (17 +)--I essentially taught them what is called "advanced physics course" (generally a course for the freshman year in university for STEM departments), all girls, extremely good, actually. But then again, they were enormously inquisitive and some sessions evolved into the broad reviews of fundamentals, which are, of course, are simply not taught in public schools. There should be no surprise then that some Hindu, Russian etc. communities have own after hours schools which are titled "Russian Math School" etc. In case with Hindu girls--they were all aiming really high, from doctors degrees to pure R&D. And yes, they were good, but so was another girl, WASP--absolutely brilliant child not even in a sense of intelligence, it was obviously there, but in a sense of a rational, I would say very cultured approach to lessons. It is a very pleasant thing to sense this kind of good human pivot in child at this age. What was common in them besides intelligence? They worked hard, they knew it wasn't for fun.
    , @Twinkie

    They must have tested them in Iowa…
     
    Iowa kids do pretty well, but not nearly as well as kids in Mass. Where Iowa excels is in low variance.
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  28. @Felix Keverich

    White American kids (10-18), considering a normal upbringing and nutrition, are in no way inferior to their white European counterparts.
     
    I agree, but white kids should be close to a minority now, definitely a minority in a US public school system. They must have tested them in Iowa...

    They must have tested them in Iowa…

    You probably know that “good schools” identifier in communities’ descriptions all over the US, especially in real estate markets, is a euphemism for “No blacks, few minorities”? I worked with number of Hindu school kids some years ago (17 +)–I essentially taught them what is called “advanced physics course” (generally a course for the freshman year in university for STEM departments), all girls, extremely good, actually. But then again, they were enormously inquisitive and some sessions evolved into the broad reviews of fundamentals, which are, of course, are simply not taught in public schools. There should be no surprise then that some Hindu, Russian etc. communities have own after hours schools which are titled “Russian Math School” etc. In case with Hindu girls–they were all aiming really high, from doctors degrees to pure R&D. And yes, they were good, but so was another girl, WASP–absolutely brilliant child not even in a sense of intelligence, it was obviously there, but in a sense of a rational, I would say very cultured approach to lessons. It is a very pleasant thing to sense this kind of good human pivot in child at this age. What was common in them besides intelligence? They worked hard, they knew it wasn’t for fun.

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  29. Twinkie says:
    @anonymous coward

    An IQ=150 journo, assuming he is not too old, will find learning just about anything in STEM close to trivial
     
    False. People who hire STEM people know this stuff. Certain occupations (journalism, military, etc.) rot your brain and make you incapable of normal work regardless of your IQ.

    An IQ=120 STEM major, however, will almost certainly never become a great journo.
     
    Also demonstrably false, there's a shitload of STEM people who dowshift into journalism and other similar fields when they feel stressed out. They end up successful as journalists, but unfortunately it's a one-way street. You can't go back to a real job once you start letting yourself go. (See my first remark above.)

    Certain occupations (journalism, military, etc.) rot your brain and make you incapable of normal work regardless of your IQ.

    You don’t know that military officers of certain ranks and above are sought after by corporations as executives, do you?

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  30. Twinkie says:
    @Felix Keverich

    White American kids (10-18), considering a normal upbringing and nutrition, are in no way inferior to their white European counterparts.
     
    I agree, but white kids should be close to a minority now, definitely a minority in a US public school system. They must have tested them in Iowa...

    They must have tested them in Iowa…

    Iowa kids do pretty well, but not nearly as well as kids in Mass. Where Iowa excels is in low variance.

    Read More
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  31. @Spisarevski
    Yes, migration is one of the crucial reasons. There was a study according to which 85% of Bulgarians with higher education aged 38 and below have left or are trying to leave the territory.

    Even though many migrants are ordinary workers and other not so bright people, a critical mass of competent Bulgarians (smart fraction?) has already left, sealing the doom of our continuous transformation into a third world country.

    The overall demographic catastrophe has secondary effects too - when a school class is 30% or more gypsies instead of 0-1 gypsies as it was in my time, the effect is not Bulgarians pulling the gypsies up, but the gypsies pulling Bulgarians down, proper teaching process becomes near impossible and the concentration of the students worsens, etc.

    And any time some school dares to make a "Bulgarian class" when organizing the new pupils, all the western-sponsored liberal media create a scandal about "discrimination".

    Expel the damn Roma already! (said the guy whose government is giving away our country to Mexican dimwits)

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  32. @Andrei Martyanov

    I’m SHOCKED to see that US did so well. To be in the top 20 – it just feels wrong.
     
    White American kids (10-18), considering a normal upbringing and nutrition, are in no way inferior to their white European counterparts. In other words--they can do it. It is a public school and IQ-based education which fails them utterly, plus many parents bear a direct responsibility for degrading American schools. It is a very bad situation, especially in a society which increasingly devalues a real productive labor and is obsessed with sports. In addition, US public education as a whole simply does not provide knowledge-based systemic education. By the age of 14-16 all those failures become more evident. ACT/SAT paradigm is a paradigm of a fraud but it is THE only paradigm modern America knows. There is a reason why so many "migrate" into humanities fields--they are much easier and do not require as much hard work (well, music on a good level being an exception--I don't mean high school orchestras--that is a sonic atrocity).

    Mr. Martyanov, what you say about my country (the USA), which I dearly love, is unfortunately quite accurate. My mother was a “public-school” teacher for almost fifty years before retiring, and she can confirm the laziness, declining academic standards, and generally downward trends to which you refer (with, of course, commendable exceptions).

    I am a big hockey and baseball fan, but the amount of time that these parents allow their kids to waste watching sports, playing sports in the delusion that they will “go pro”, and simply worshipping African athletes, is destructive. And quite embarrassing, frankly.

    Add in the overall absurd amount of time that many American parents allow their kids to waste watching TV, surfing the Net — especially sick porn and endless “social media” — and now (for those with the income) losing themselves in virtual reality. Horrifying. We have not had TV “service” in the house since our first child was born, and we will never have it again.

    My wife and I were considering encouraging our kids to spend a year or more of their high-school career in Germany, followed perhaps by university in Germany (they are learning German from a very young age) — on the premise that perhaps German schools still offer more structure and discipline and demand actual hard work of their young people. But even if that had been true, the suddenly accelerating Third World takeover of that country has caused us to re-evaluate.

    Therefore, even with all of Russia’s problems — and the apparent moderate difficulty of Russian for an English-speaker, relative to Germanic languages or certainly Romance languages — I’ve begun toying with the idea of encouraging them to learn Russian instead. Could it be wise to prepare them for a year of high school or even for a college career in Russia?

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    on the premise that perhaps German schools still offer more structure and discipline and demand actual hard work of their young people.
     
    German school system is in decline just like the rest of the country, wherever the left is in power they're doing their best to ruin it, their goal obviously being to abolish the three-tiered school system and replacing it with comprehensive schools...the predictable end result will be a general dumbing down of standards and everyone who can afford it sending their children to private schools, to get away from the proles (not least the violent ones of Turkish or Arab background). And in elementary schools children don't even learn proper spelling anymore, because of some ridiculous fad called "Schreiben nach Gehör" where they're encouraged in the first two or three years to write like they please...hard to correct later on.
    I guess schools in Bavaria still are better than in the leftie-infested parts of the country, but the overall trend is downwards there as well.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    Mr. Martyanov, what you say about my country (the USA), which I dearly love, is unfortunately quite accurate.
     
    You might be surprised, but I too love America--not this glitzy gutless and exhibitionist urban facade of it--but what actually constitutes her real backbone--mostly white Christian background people some of whom are my dearest friends, some I would qualify as a first approximation of the remote relatives, despite having no family relations at all. I do NOT have schadenfreude moments when I see what is being done to a country today. I do, however, call it as I see it.

    I am a big hockey and baseball fan, but the amount of time that these parents allow their kids to waste watching sports, playing sports in the delusion that they will “go pro”, and simply worshipping African athletes, is destructive. And quite embarrassing, frankly.
     
    Agree 100%. The so called football cult in the US is revolting--apart from the game being, honestly, quite slow (bar some rare moments of action) it is absolutely despicable of white American males sublimating their masculinity by watching mostly semi-literate black dudes throwing the ball. They want to see real men--let them watch hockey and the fights there, those are the fights of angry white males and those guys know how to fight.

    Add in the overall absurd amount of time that many American parents allow their kids to waste watching TV, surfing the Net — especially sick porn and endless “social media” — and now (for those with the income) losing themselves in virtual reality. Horrifying. We have not had TV “service” in the house since our first child was born, and we will never have it again.
     
    Again, agree 100%.

    Therefore, even with all of Russia’s problems — and the apparent moderate difficulty of Russian for an English-speaker, relative to Germanic languages or certainly Romance languages — I’ve begun toying with the idea of encouraging them to learn Russian instead. Could it be wise to prepare them for a year of high school or even for a college career in Russia?
     
    I see absolutely nothing wrong in that. Paradoxically, America needs not warmongering Russophobic ideologues, who mostly populate the American "Russian Studies" field, but real scholars on Russia, people who not only speak Russian but have experience with very complex Russian life. This is one way to see it. Per colleges--there are, actually, very many westerners who study in Russian universities--both on-line and being physically in Russia. I think it will be a great experience, both academically and fun, to attend some good Russian schools from Moscow, St. Pete or Novosibirsk. One warning though--STEM, it is a very high level of teaching in Russia. But overall, I think it is a great idea, not to mention experiencing best Russian cities is simply a great life experience. Here is what Moscow State University says:

    https://www.msu.ru/en/admissions/

    Tuition wise it altogether (for American middle-class family) could be a great value of world-class (if not higher) education for a fraction of cost. I believe tuition for international students in MSU (without accommodation) comes down to something like $5000 a year.
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  33. @RadicalCenter
    Mr. Martyanov, what you say about my country (the USA), which I dearly love, is unfortunately quite accurate. My mother was a "public-school" teacher for almost fifty years before retiring, and she can confirm the laziness, declining academic standards, and generally downward trends to which you refer (with, of course, commendable exceptions).

    I am a big hockey and baseball fan, but the amount of time that these parents allow their kids to waste watching sports, playing sports in the delusion that they will "go pro", and simply worshipping African athletes, is destructive. And quite embarrassing, frankly.

    Add in the overall absurd amount of time that many American parents allow their kids to waste watching TV, surfing the Net -- especially sick porn and endless "social media" -- and now (for those with the income) losing themselves in virtual reality. Horrifying. We have not had TV "service" in the house since our first child was born, and we will never have it again.

    My wife and I were considering encouraging our kids to spend a year or more of their high-school career in Germany, followed perhaps by university in Germany (they are learning German from a very young age) -- on the premise that perhaps German schools still offer more structure and discipline and demand actual hard work of their young people. But even if that had been true, the suddenly accelerating Third World takeover of that country has caused us to re-evaluate.

    Therefore, even with all of Russia's problems -- and the apparent moderate difficulty of Russian for an English-speaker, relative to Germanic languages or certainly Romance languages -- I've begun toying with the idea of encouraging them to learn Russian instead. Could it be wise to prepare them for a year of high school or even for a college career in Russia?

    on the premise that perhaps German schools still offer more structure and discipline and demand actual hard work of their young people.

    German school system is in decline just like the rest of the country, wherever the left is in power they’re doing their best to ruin it, their goal obviously being to abolish the three-tiered school system and replacing it with comprehensive schools…the predictable end result will be a general dumbing down of standards and everyone who can afford it sending their children to private schools, to get away from the proles (not least the violent ones of Turkish or Arab background). And in elementary schools children don’t even learn proper spelling anymore, because of some ridiculous fad called “Schreiben nach Gehör” where they’re encouraged in the first two or three years to write like they please…hard to correct later on.
    I guess schools in Bavaria still are better than in the leftie-infested parts of the country, but the overall trend is downwards there as well.

    Read More
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  34. dux.ie says:

    The PIRLS score for the ~10 yo seem to be a good predictor for the 15 yo PISA Read score,

    PISARead = +0.710741*PIRLS +106.259; # n=33; Rsq=0.5117; p=2.895e-06 ***

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2hp3fwi&s=9

    The problem of the relative age for the ~10 yo is more acute than that for the 15 yo. Using the procedure used in

    “Effect of relative age in the first grade of primary school on long‐term scholastic results: international comparative evidence using PISA 2003″ http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09645290802201961?src=recsys&journalCode=cede20

    though the author did not adjust the scores, the PIRLS score adjustment can be made with respect to the sample mean AvAge (though the regression equation is borderline not statistically significant),

    PIRLS = +45.9932*AvAge +48.7313; # n=48; Rsq=0.0771; p=0.05602

    AdjPIRLS = PIRLS – 45.9932*(AvAge-10.1396)

    PISARead = +0.926977*AdjPIRLS -7.45394; # n=33; Rsq=0.6252; p=4.373e-08 ***

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=24vo6mh&s=9

    the age adjusted regression can explain more of the variance and with higher statistical significant level at p=4.373e-08 .

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
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  35. @RadicalCenter
    Mr. Martyanov, what you say about my country (the USA), which I dearly love, is unfortunately quite accurate. My mother was a "public-school" teacher for almost fifty years before retiring, and she can confirm the laziness, declining academic standards, and generally downward trends to which you refer (with, of course, commendable exceptions).

    I am a big hockey and baseball fan, but the amount of time that these parents allow their kids to waste watching sports, playing sports in the delusion that they will "go pro", and simply worshipping African athletes, is destructive. And quite embarrassing, frankly.

    Add in the overall absurd amount of time that many American parents allow their kids to waste watching TV, surfing the Net -- especially sick porn and endless "social media" -- and now (for those with the income) losing themselves in virtual reality. Horrifying. We have not had TV "service" in the house since our first child was born, and we will never have it again.

    My wife and I were considering encouraging our kids to spend a year or more of their high-school career in Germany, followed perhaps by university in Germany (they are learning German from a very young age) -- on the premise that perhaps German schools still offer more structure and discipline and demand actual hard work of their young people. But even if that had been true, the suddenly accelerating Third World takeover of that country has caused us to re-evaluate.

    Therefore, even with all of Russia's problems -- and the apparent moderate difficulty of Russian for an English-speaker, relative to Germanic languages or certainly Romance languages -- I've begun toying with the idea of encouraging them to learn Russian instead. Could it be wise to prepare them for a year of high school or even for a college career in Russia?

    Mr. Martyanov, what you say about my country (the USA), which I dearly love, is unfortunately quite accurate.

    You might be surprised, but I too love America–not this glitzy gutless and exhibitionist urban facade of it–but what actually constitutes her real backbone–mostly white Christian background people some of whom are my dearest friends, some I would qualify as a first approximation of the remote relatives, despite having no family relations at all. I do NOT have schadenfreude moments when I see what is being done to a country today. I do, however, call it as I see it.

    I am a big hockey and baseball fan, but the amount of time that these parents allow their kids to waste watching sports, playing sports in the delusion that they will “go pro”, and simply worshipping African athletes, is destructive. And quite embarrassing, frankly.

    Agree 100%. The so called football cult in the US is revolting–apart from the game being, honestly, quite slow (bar some rare moments of action) it is absolutely despicable of white American males sublimating their masculinity by watching mostly semi-literate black dudes throwing the ball. They want to see real men–let them watch hockey and the fights there, those are the fights of angry white males and those guys know how to fight.

    Add in the overall absurd amount of time that many American parents allow their kids to waste watching TV, surfing the Net — especially sick porn and endless “social media” — and now (for those with the income) losing themselves in virtual reality. Horrifying. We have not had TV “service” in the house since our first child was born, and we will never have it again.

    Again, agree 100%.

    Therefore, even with all of Russia’s problems — and the apparent moderate difficulty of Russian for an English-speaker, relative to Germanic languages or certainly Romance languages — I’ve begun toying with the idea of encouraging them to learn Russian instead. Could it be wise to prepare them for a year of high school or even for a college career in Russia?

    I see absolutely nothing wrong in that. Paradoxically, America needs not warmongering Russophobic ideologues, who mostly populate the American “Russian Studies” field, but real scholars on Russia, people who not only speak Russian but have experience with very complex Russian life. This is one way to see it. Per colleges–there are, actually, very many westerners who study in Russian universities–both on-line and being physically in Russia. I think it will be a great experience, both academically and fun, to attend some good Russian schools from Moscow, St. Pete or Novosibirsk. One warning though–STEM, it is a very high level of teaching in Russia. But overall, I think it is a great idea, not to mention experiencing best Russian cities is simply a great life experience. Here is what Moscow State University says:

    https://www.msu.ru/en/admissions/

    Tuition wise it altogether (for American middle-class family) could be a great value of world-class (if not higher) education for a fraction of cost. I believe tuition for international students in MSU (without accommodation) comes down to something like $5000 a year.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    They want to see real men–let them watch hockey and the fights there, those are the fights of angry white males and those guys know how to fight.
     
    In that case, why not skip the facade of a game, and just watch actual fighting (well, as close to real fighting that is sanctioned) - mixed martial art?

    Those hockey players would get wrecked by those with real fighting skills.
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  36. Twinkie says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Mr. Martyanov, what you say about my country (the USA), which I dearly love, is unfortunately quite accurate.
     
    You might be surprised, but I too love America--not this glitzy gutless and exhibitionist urban facade of it--but what actually constitutes her real backbone--mostly white Christian background people some of whom are my dearest friends, some I would qualify as a first approximation of the remote relatives, despite having no family relations at all. I do NOT have schadenfreude moments when I see what is being done to a country today. I do, however, call it as I see it.

    I am a big hockey and baseball fan, but the amount of time that these parents allow their kids to waste watching sports, playing sports in the delusion that they will “go pro”, and simply worshipping African athletes, is destructive. And quite embarrassing, frankly.
     
    Agree 100%. The so called football cult in the US is revolting--apart from the game being, honestly, quite slow (bar some rare moments of action) it is absolutely despicable of white American males sublimating their masculinity by watching mostly semi-literate black dudes throwing the ball. They want to see real men--let them watch hockey and the fights there, those are the fights of angry white males and those guys know how to fight.

    Add in the overall absurd amount of time that many American parents allow their kids to waste watching TV, surfing the Net — especially sick porn and endless “social media” — and now (for those with the income) losing themselves in virtual reality. Horrifying. We have not had TV “service” in the house since our first child was born, and we will never have it again.
     
    Again, agree 100%.

    Therefore, even with all of Russia’s problems — and the apparent moderate difficulty of Russian for an English-speaker, relative to Germanic languages or certainly Romance languages — I’ve begun toying with the idea of encouraging them to learn Russian instead. Could it be wise to prepare them for a year of high school or even for a college career in Russia?
     
    I see absolutely nothing wrong in that. Paradoxically, America needs not warmongering Russophobic ideologues, who mostly populate the American "Russian Studies" field, but real scholars on Russia, people who not only speak Russian but have experience with very complex Russian life. This is one way to see it. Per colleges--there are, actually, very many westerners who study in Russian universities--both on-line and being physically in Russia. I think it will be a great experience, both academically and fun, to attend some good Russian schools from Moscow, St. Pete or Novosibirsk. One warning though--STEM, it is a very high level of teaching in Russia. But overall, I think it is a great idea, not to mention experiencing best Russian cities is simply a great life experience. Here is what Moscow State University says:

    https://www.msu.ru/en/admissions/

    Tuition wise it altogether (for American middle-class family) could be a great value of world-class (if not higher) education for a fraction of cost. I believe tuition for international students in MSU (without accommodation) comes down to something like $5000 a year.

    They want to see real men–let them watch hockey and the fights there, those are the fights of angry white males and those guys know how to fight.

    In that case, why not skip the facade of a game, and just watch actual fighting (well, as close to real fighting that is sanctioned) – mixed martial art?

    Those hockey players would get wrecked by those with real fighting skills.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
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