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TIMSS Today, PISA Next Week

Screenshot 2016-12-01 00.51.09

Above is the graph of 8th graders in math scores on the 2015 TIMSS international test. There are also scores for 4th graders in math and both grades in science.

TIMSS’s rival PISA will release their scores on December 6th. Over the years, I’ve read up more on the PISA test. Anybody out there know much on comparing their strengths and weaknesses?

Here’s a 2015 paper by Heiner Rindermann comparing the two.

TIMSS tasks were seen as more curriculum-related and requiring more school knowledge than PISA tasks. For solving PISA tasks, thinking/reasoning ability and general intelligence were rated as being more important (d = 0.36).

In general, it’s not that hard to get a testing process so its scores are fairly accurate, but you run into diminishing marginal returns in reliability the more subtle the type of judgments you want to make. For example, averaging the two tests across both grades and all subjects tends to give a more reliable rank ordering of countries than trying to tease out more specific questions like why did Finland’s 8th grade science score go or up down.

 
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  1. These always have suspicious results.

    Countries with essentially identical elementary education systems and genetic bases score wildly differently. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland. Or Argentina, Chile, and Italy.

    Countries that have long provided a wildly disproportionate share of the world’s best mathematicians like Hungary and Norway score near the average.

    Maybe it’s just that only the East Asians still instinctually take testing seriously and everyone else is just having a play day because the low stakes testing came to town.

    Mexico isn’t on this list but is on the PISA and I can tell you how seriously Mexicans take low stakes testing. But put Mexicans up for an admission test to selective subsidised tuition-free universities and high schools and you see elaborate test prep centers with billboards and radio ads spring up like mushrooms on every major street corner. Teens in school uniforms line up to pay extra for after-school lessons.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Hungary
     
    Hungarian Jews.

    Norway
     
    Once upon a time...
    , @Father O'Hara
    For what it's worth--and I'd daresay a good deal-that Magnus Carlsen dude won the world chess thing,beating the Russian. So thats good. Tho I wonder about the African lady,did she give a good account of herself? (NOTE:Ever watch those Strong Man competitions? The winner is always some guy named Magnus. Do Norweigans have to have the name Magnus somewhere in their name? "Magnus Phil,I'd like you to meet Tom Magnus.He's a good man.Hes with Magnus & Magnus."
    , @Anonymous
    Argentina seems to be an outlier and not comparable to Italy:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/cuba-quantified

    Argentina is somewhat infamous as the only major country to go from First World to developing country living standards over the course of the 20th century, plummeting from 70% of US GDP per capita to less than 30% by the turn of the millennium.
     
    I have no idea what the deal with Argentina is. Presumably its economic decline and low scores are related. It could just be cultural apathy and lower work ethic, which would translate to lower scores and lower economic performance, amplified by political instability.
    , @anon

    These always have suspicious results.

    Countries with essentially identical elementary education systems and genetic bases score wildly differently. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland.
     
    Not remotely identical genetic bases among the young as the native populations are in the process of being eradicated so the school age population varies dramatically from place to place.

    Or Argentina, Chile, and Italy.
     
    Argentina - something to do with iodine or the female dna being mostly Amerindian.
    , @Anonymous
    The great Hungarian mathematicians were pretty much all Jewish, which are definitely not Hungarians in any real sense of the world. As in, no genetic kinship to Hungarians.
    As for Norwegians, the only great mathematician I can think of is Abel.
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  2. @(((Owen)))
    These always have suspicious results.

    Countries with essentially identical elementary education systems and genetic bases score wildly differently. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland. Or Argentina, Chile, and Italy.

    Countries that have long provided a wildly disproportionate share of the world's best mathematicians like Hungary and Norway score near the average.

    Maybe it's just that only the East Asians still instinctually take testing seriously and everyone else is just having a play day because the low stakes testing came to town.

    Mexico isn't on this list but is on the PISA and I can tell you how seriously Mexicans take low stakes testing. But put Mexicans up for an admission test to selective subsidised tuition-free universities and high schools and you see elaborate test prep centers with billboards and radio ads spring up like mushrooms on every major street corner. Teens in school uniforms line up to pay extra for after-school lessons.

    Hungary

    Hungarian Jews.

    Norway

    Once upon a time

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    "Hungarian Jews." In 2012 PISA studies Hungary is much worse.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-rankings-2013-12
  3. Notice that the bottom 18 are almost all Muslim. And these people are supposed to be the future of Europe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon

    And these people are supposed to be the future of Europe.
     
    They represent the future the banking mafia wants - a planet of 85 IQ slave-cattle.
  4. Singapore has large Malay ( 13% ) and Indian ( 9% ). minorities. I know, I used to live there. It is only 74% Chinese. It should have lower scores than Japan. China, Taiwan, Korea etc. It doesn’t.
    Fraud and manipulation. Of Course.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
    How do Indians and Malaysians (admittedly a diverse population) perform in the West? Generally, pretty darn well.

    What is shocking is that the US somehow still holds its own considering its demographics.
    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    Perhaps only the Chinese took the test. It also seems in general that Singapore Chinese are far smarter than mainland Chinese. As the descendants of migrants from the mainland, they are probably more forward-thinking and adventurous than their mainland counterparts.
    , @Pincher Martin

    Fraud and manipulation. Of Course.
     
    In Singapore? Not likely. According to every index I've ever seen (here's an example), corruption in Singapore is lower than it is in most Western countries.

    Chinese, as a rule, cheat to get ahead. But the Chinese in Singapore do not. The sanctions against cheating and other forms of minor law-breaking, which were put in place by the now-deceased Lee Kuan Yew, are too extreme.
  5. @(((Owen)))
    These always have suspicious results.

    Countries with essentially identical elementary education systems and genetic bases score wildly differently. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland. Or Argentina, Chile, and Italy.

    Countries that have long provided a wildly disproportionate share of the world's best mathematicians like Hungary and Norway score near the average.

    Maybe it's just that only the East Asians still instinctually take testing seriously and everyone else is just having a play day because the low stakes testing came to town.

    Mexico isn't on this list but is on the PISA and I can tell you how seriously Mexicans take low stakes testing. But put Mexicans up for an admission test to selective subsidised tuition-free universities and high schools and you see elaborate test prep centers with billboards and radio ads spring up like mushrooms on every major street corner. Teens in school uniforms line up to pay extra for after-school lessons.

    For what it’s worth–and I’d daresay a good deal-that Magnus Carlsen dude won the world chess thing,beating the Russian. So thats good. Tho I wonder about the African lady,did she give a good account of herself? (NOTE:Ever watch those Strong Man competitions? The winner is always some guy named Magnus. Do Norweigans have to have the name Magnus somewhere in their name? “Magnus Phil,I’d like you to meet Tom Magnus.He’s a good man.Hes with Magnus & Magnus.”

    Read More
  6. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @(((Owen)))
    These always have suspicious results.

    Countries with essentially identical elementary education systems and genetic bases score wildly differently. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland. Or Argentina, Chile, and Italy.

    Countries that have long provided a wildly disproportionate share of the world's best mathematicians like Hungary and Norway score near the average.

    Maybe it's just that only the East Asians still instinctually take testing seriously and everyone else is just having a play day because the low stakes testing came to town.

    Mexico isn't on this list but is on the PISA and I can tell you how seriously Mexicans take low stakes testing. But put Mexicans up for an admission test to selective subsidised tuition-free universities and high schools and you see elaborate test prep centers with billboards and radio ads spring up like mushrooms on every major street corner. Teens in school uniforms line up to pay extra for after-school lessons.

    Argentina seems to be an outlier and not comparable to Italy:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/cuba-quantified

    Argentina is somewhat infamous as the only major country to go from First World to developing country living standards over the course of the 20th century, plummeting from 70% of US GDP per capita to less than 30% by the turn of the millennium.

    I have no idea what the deal with Argentina is. Presumably its economic decline and low scores are related. It could just be cultural apathy and lower work ethic, which would translate to lower scores and lower economic performance, amplified by political instability.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    On the PISA test, the Argentineans are pretty diligent about rounding up drop-outs and special ed kids to take the test relative to comparable countries. The Argentines had about 80% coverage while the Mexican had only about 56%. In contrast, the Americans had 89% coverage and the Dutch 101% of the expected sample.
    , @epebble
    An interesting data is the comparatively poor showing of Argentina in most measures of achievement compared to its neighbor to the west, a much less white Chile.

    Another interesting observation is the near lack of correlation between money and score. Russia, Kazakhstan, Ireland all scoring higher than U.S. Malaysia, Turkey, Lebanon doing better than Kuwait.

  7. No majority black nation in the list.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CK
    You will face severe punishment for noticing.
  8. Anybody else notice the highest scoring nations are the least blessed by diversity?

    Read More
    • Replies: @CK
    You, also, shall face severe punishment for noticing.
  9. @Anonymous
    Argentina seems to be an outlier and not comparable to Italy:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/cuba-quantified

    Argentina is somewhat infamous as the only major country to go from First World to developing country living standards over the course of the 20th century, plummeting from 70% of US GDP per capita to less than 30% by the turn of the millennium.
     
    I have no idea what the deal with Argentina is. Presumably its economic decline and low scores are related. It could just be cultural apathy and lower work ethic, which would translate to lower scores and lower economic performance, amplified by political instability.

    On the PISA test, the Argentineans are pretty diligent about rounding up drop-outs and special ed kids to take the test relative to comparable countries. The Argentines had about 80% coverage while the Mexican had only about 56%. In contrast, the Americans had 89% coverage and the Dutch 101% of the expected sample.

    Read More
  10. @BenKenobi
    Anybody else notice the highest scoring nations are the least blessed by diversity?

    You, also, shall face severe punishment for noticing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    Rejoice, mein schutze!

    The God-Emperor is ascendant, noticing is once again en-vogue.

    In fact, quite a few things declared verboten by the old regime are once again...

    ...kosher.
  11. AFAIK, Singapore kids don’t take these tests seriously either – just another thing to do. Whether they do well or not, the school isn’t going to tell them. There’s no reward, but no punishment either.

    They’re dead serious only when it comes to the three gateway exams – PSLE, O Levels, A Levels.

    As for the accusation of cheating, I suppose it could be possible. We game systems very well, which is why exam invigilators for national exams always have to be assigned from other schools. The other possibility is the difference between our syllabus and that of other East Asian countries – there’s a great deal of analysis and critical thought required even at lower levels that students who transfer to Singapore on MOE scholarships find it difficult to adapt to having to think through problem sets and contextualized situations.

    Finally, our primary and secondary school teachers are already badly overworked and probably don’t give a fig about putting in the minimal effort to game these international benchmark tests.

    Read More
  12. @Verymuchalive
    Singapore has large Malay ( 13% ) and Indian ( 9% ). minorities. I know, I used to live there. It is only 74% Chinese. It should have lower scores than Japan. China, Taiwan, Korea etc. It doesn't.
    Fraud and manipulation. Of Course.

    How do Indians and Malaysians (admittedly a diverse population) perform in the West? Generally, pretty darn well.

    What is shocking is that the US somehow still holds its own considering its demographics.

    Read More
  13. @Verymuchalive
    Singapore has large Malay ( 13% ) and Indian ( 9% ). minorities. I know, I used to live there. It is only 74% Chinese. It should have lower scores than Japan. China, Taiwan, Korea etc. It doesn't.
    Fraud and manipulation. Of Course.

    Perhaps only the Chinese took the test. It also seems in general that Singapore Chinese are far smarter than mainland Chinese. As the descendants of migrants from the mainland, they are probably more forward-thinking and adventurous than their mainland counterparts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Wobbly Guy
    Nah, all races took it. We don't have race-segregated classes, at least not overtly. Classes at Raffles Institution, our top school, have a fair number of Indian and Malay students.

    The ministry of education just arrows a bunch of schools to administer the test, and that's it.
  14. Looks like Canada’s highly selective immigration policy that has a preference for Indians, East Asians and Europeans is paying off.

    Interesting factoid, despite sharing the same continent with Mexico, for some mysterious reason, whitetopia Idaho has more Mexicans than the entire nation of Canada.

    Wonders never cease, do they?

    It’s almost as if Canada just might have a policy to keep out Mexicans. Not only that, the policy works without resorting to fascism!

    I really hope that Trump offers to send the 20 Million illegals in the United States to Canada. Would be a great troll move to shut up Canadian and American Leftists.

    Read More
    • Replies: @mobi

    It’s almost as if Canada just might have a policy to keep out Mexicans. Not only that, the policy works without resorting to fascism!
     
    Hold that thought...

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-braces-for-influx-of-mexican-refugee-claimants-after-visa-requirement-lifted

  15. How is it that the traditionally underperforming Ireland is outperforming on this chart? Perhaps the Flynn Effect is more poignant where many people are named Flynn?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel H
    >>How is it that the traditionally underperforming Ireland is outperforming on this chart?

    Hmmmm. Maybe dysgenic immigration phenomenon, syphoning off the better performing fraction of the national population, that lasted up until the early 1960s when the worst results were reported, now, after several generations, the Irish population is just reverting to the mean of the national gene pool?
    , @I, Libertine
    Poignant?
    , @anon
    lagging behind on 3rd world immigrants compared to other anglophone nations (although catching up)

    so, less a case of outperforming and more a case of falling behind slower than the others
  16. I wonder what the US white average is.

    Singapore and Hong Kong are probably getting a bit of a boost from the urban effect; city dwellers might well have slightly higher IQs, since cities tend to attract parents good at abstract reasoning. Korea and Japan as a whole don’t have that effect, though.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Triumph104
    US 8th grade math scores / 2015 TIMSS

    US Total 530

    Ethic Groups
    White 557
    Black 469
    Hispanic 502
    Asian 573
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 498
    American Indian/Alaska Native 497
    Multiracial 536

    https://nces.ed.gov/timss/timss2015/timss2015_table42.asp

    In the US, city students perform worse than suburban students because city kids are poorer, less likely to be fluent in English, higher teacher turnover, etc. This applies to Asian Americans also. Hong Kong and Singapore are city states so they don't have hundreds or even thousands of independently run school districts like most countries. A tiny high-functioning country means that resources and quality are standardized and available to all students regardless of income or neighborhood.
  17. @Clifford Brown
    How is it that the traditionally underperforming Ireland is outperforming on this chart? Perhaps the Flynn Effect is more poignant where many people are named Flynn?

    >>How is it that the traditionally underperforming Ireland is outperforming on this chart?

    Hmmmm. Maybe dysgenic immigration phenomenon, syphoning off the better performing fraction of the national population, that lasted up until the early 1960s when the worst results were reported, now, after several generations, the Irish population is just reverting to the mean of the national gene pool?

    Read More
  18. Were you able to look at the crosstabs in the data explorer on the TIMSS website? I’m seeing only the 2011 data and earlier.

    White American 8th graders were at 530, Asian-Americans at 568 (+/- 3 for both). The 4th grade scores are even a little higher.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Triumph104
    The database for 2015 TIMSS won't be available until January 19, 2017.

    https://twitter.com/TIMSSandPIRLS/status/804022310088962048
  19. A few things to note. Israel has excluded over a significant chunk of its population. The legend says less than 90% of the population and “over 77%” are in the sample. So anything between 10-23% of their student population is excluded, probably boosting their scores artificially. Anyone knows how many to be exact? I’d assume most of them are Haredi. Their population among the young is quite high.

    According to Taub, Haredi are 22.7% of the population. (https://i.sli.mg/mGBPQk.png – source). So it would fall within the 23% sample potentially.

    The Arab states like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco are even worse, where “Reservations about reliability because the percentage of students with achievement too low for estimation exceeds 25 percent”.

    So, 25% of the population, at least, have achievements too low to even estimate. Why even have them in the same test? Considering how rich Saudi Arabia is, I think their ever-lasting attempts to “diversify” will end in a massive failure. Given the secular trend to turn to EVs, Saudi Arabia could well become a new Iraq in 15 years as the oil wealth which keeps the place humming disappears and they are basically no different than Yemen when you look at it. Libya shows that a brittle state with oil wealth is no guarantee of peace.

    Now for America. It is notable that the US has steadily increased its math scores for 8th graders.
    (https://nces.ed.gov/timss/timss2015/timss2015_table18.asp)

    So from 1995 to 2015 the average score increased from 492 to 518. In percentages, the share of pupils who achieved an advanced distinction rose from 4% to 10%, more than doubling. (https://nces.ed.gov/timss/timss2015/timss2015_table16.asp)

    So, it seems that the immigration pessimism common in these neck of woods imagining America turning into the third world just doesn’t seem to be on the horizon.

    One final note. What is striking to me is just how poorly Australia does. It has great demographics, at least on paper. Its minorities are studious and hard-working. Are white Australians bringing the aggregate down? Sure, caveats abound about TIMSS being less correlated with general reasoning and all that, but it nevertheless syncs quite well with PISA. East Asia on top, FSU nations do well and countries that we’d expect to do badly.. do badly.

    Overall, interesting findings and certainly adds to the complexity of the situation. PISA has a larger sample and more countries, so it will be interesting to see how countries do there. Vietnam in particular will be interesting, given how poor they are. In the last PISA, they outperformed Germany. If they can keep their TFR at or slightly above 2.1 for the next few decades, we’ll likely see the next Korea emerge in that part of the world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Vietnam in particular will be interesting, given how poor they are."

    Vietnam's first try at the PISA, they scored well, but their sample didn't appear very representative. I think PISA evaluated it at only 56% representative versus, say, Finland at 96%.

  20. The Quebec score is curious. They are not known for being the sharpest knives in the Canadian drawer.

    Read More
  21. @Reader
    A few things to note. Israel has excluded over a significant chunk of its population. The legend says less than 90% of the population and "over 77%" are in the sample. So anything between 10-23% of their student population is excluded, probably boosting their scores artificially. Anyone knows how many to be exact? I'd assume most of them are Haredi. Their population among the young is quite high.

    According to Taub, Haredi are 22.7% of the population. (https://i.sli.mg/mGBPQk.png - source). So it would fall within the 23% sample potentially.


    The Arab states like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco are even worse, where "Reservations about reliability because the percentage of students with achievement too low for estimation exceeds 25 percent".

    So, 25% of the population, at least, have achievements too low to even estimate. Why even have them in the same test? Considering how rich Saudi Arabia is, I think their ever-lasting attempts to "diversify" will end in a massive failure. Given the secular trend to turn to EVs, Saudi Arabia could well become a new Iraq in 15 years as the oil wealth which keeps the place humming disappears and they are basically no different than Yemen when you look at it. Libya shows that a brittle state with oil wealth is no guarantee of peace.

    Now for America. It is notable that the US has steadily increased its math scores for 8th graders.
    (https://nces.ed.gov/timss/timss2015/timss2015_table18.asp)

    So from 1995 to 2015 the average score increased from 492 to 518. In percentages, the share of pupils who achieved an advanced distinction rose from 4% to 10%, more than doubling. (https://nces.ed.gov/timss/timss2015/timss2015_table16.asp)

    So, it seems that the immigration pessimism common in these neck of woods imagining America turning into the third world just doesn't seem to be on the horizon.

    One final note. What is striking to me is just how poorly Australia does. It has great demographics, at least on paper. Its minorities are studious and hard-working. Are white Australians bringing the aggregate down? Sure, caveats abound about TIMSS being less correlated with general reasoning and all that, but it nevertheless syncs quite well with PISA. East Asia on top, FSU nations do well and countries that we'd expect to do badly.. do badly.

    Overall, interesting findings and certainly adds to the complexity of the situation. PISA has a larger sample and more countries, so it will be interesting to see how countries do there. Vietnam in particular will be interesting, given how poor they are. In the last PISA, they outperformed Germany. If they can keep their TFR at or slightly above 2.1 for the next few decades, we'll likely see the next Korea emerge in that part of the world.

    “Vietnam in particular will be interesting, given how poor they are.”

    Vietnam’s first try at the PISA, they scored well, but their sample didn’t appear very representative. I think PISA evaluated it at only 56% representative versus, say, Finland at 96%.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reader
    I'd love for a source on that. I don't think they will do badly. Vietnam has had universal primary education for much longer than most developing countries. A good counter-example is India. Vietnam has lower GDP per capita even today yet India has only just reached the levels of education that Vietnam reached 20 years ago.

    This is a common East Asian pattern, heavy investment in education very early on, far earlier than is the norm in non-East Asia. This is also what the US did, and what Russia failed to do, which Karlin wrote about some years ago.

    Vietnam does have quite a few dropouts, precisely because it is still poor. Kids are needed on the farm. With the increasing prosperity, I expect that gap to narrow but given the high native IQ of Vietnam, I don't think there will be a corresponding fall in scores. If anything, it could go up. It will be interesting to see the PISA results.

    P.S. I'm disappointed with how few countries are doing both grade 4 and grade 8, given that grade 8 are far firmer in long-term knowledge. If you are bad at math in grade 8, you're unlikely to ever catch up properly. IQ and intellectual development is also far more mature at grade 8, whereas it is more fluid in grade 4.

    P.P.S. I think you should write a little bit about America's secular rise. It is now doing quite well. Outside of East Asia, it is top 3. It deserves attention and I think the immigration skeptics should take this head-on, rather than avoid it because it doesn't confirm the narrative.

  22. @CK
    You, also, shall face severe punishment for noticing.

    Rejoice, mein schutze!

    The God-Emperor is ascendant, noticing is once again en-vogue.

    In fact, quite a few things declared verboten by the old regime are once again…

    …kosher.

    Read More
  23. @Steve Sailer
    "Vietnam in particular will be interesting, given how poor they are."

    Vietnam's first try at the PISA, they scored well, but their sample didn't appear very representative. I think PISA evaluated it at only 56% representative versus, say, Finland at 96%.

    I’d love for a source on that. I don’t think they will do badly. Vietnam has had universal primary education for much longer than most developing countries. A good counter-example is India. Vietnam has lower GDP per capita even today yet India has only just reached the levels of education that Vietnam reached 20 years ago.

    This is a common East Asian pattern, heavy investment in education very early on, far earlier than is the norm in non-East Asia. This is also what the US did, and what Russia failed to do, which Karlin wrote about some years ago.

    Vietnam does have quite a few dropouts, precisely because it is still poor. Kids are needed on the farm. With the increasing prosperity, I expect that gap to narrow but given the high native IQ of Vietnam, I don’t think there will be a corresponding fall in scores. If anything, it could go up. It will be interesting to see the PISA results.

    P.S. I’m disappointed with how few countries are doing both grade 4 and grade 8, given that grade 8 are far firmer in long-term knowledge. If you are bad at math in grade 8, you’re unlikely to ever catch up properly. IQ and intellectual development is also far more mature at grade 8, whereas it is more fluid in grade 4.

    P.P.S. I think you should write a little bit about America’s secular rise. It is now doing quite well. Outside of East Asia, it is top 3. It deserves attention and I think the immigration skeptics should take this head-on, rather than avoid it because it doesn’t confirm the narrative.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reader
    Clarification on top 3, you're actually top 4(tied with England). I was looking at math 8th grade, since math is more concrete than science(too general) and 8th grade is firmer than 4th grade.

    The secular American rise has to be discussed at length in immigration skeptic circles. Being up there with FSU(Kazakhtan is mostly white and East Asian), Ireland, England and Canada with a non-white population probaby at least 40% in 8th grade is no small stumbling block for immigration restrictionists to overcome, at least those who claim that America is doomed to perptual decline.

    , @Steve Sailer
    Here's the Missing-In-Action percentages for the last PISA:

    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/12/pisa-which-countries-not-to-trust.html

  24. @Reader
    I'd love for a source on that. I don't think they will do badly. Vietnam has had universal primary education for much longer than most developing countries. A good counter-example is India. Vietnam has lower GDP per capita even today yet India has only just reached the levels of education that Vietnam reached 20 years ago.

    This is a common East Asian pattern, heavy investment in education very early on, far earlier than is the norm in non-East Asia. This is also what the US did, and what Russia failed to do, which Karlin wrote about some years ago.

    Vietnam does have quite a few dropouts, precisely because it is still poor. Kids are needed on the farm. With the increasing prosperity, I expect that gap to narrow but given the high native IQ of Vietnam, I don't think there will be a corresponding fall in scores. If anything, it could go up. It will be interesting to see the PISA results.

    P.S. I'm disappointed with how few countries are doing both grade 4 and grade 8, given that grade 8 are far firmer in long-term knowledge. If you are bad at math in grade 8, you're unlikely to ever catch up properly. IQ and intellectual development is also far more mature at grade 8, whereas it is more fluid in grade 4.

    P.P.S. I think you should write a little bit about America's secular rise. It is now doing quite well. Outside of East Asia, it is top 3. It deserves attention and I think the immigration skeptics should take this head-on, rather than avoid it because it doesn't confirm the narrative.

    Clarification on top 3, you’re actually top 4(tied with England). I was looking at math 8th grade, since math is more concrete than science(too general) and 8th grade is firmer than 4th grade.

    The secular American rise has to be discussed at length in immigration skeptic circles. Being up there with FSU(Kazakhtan is mostly white and East Asian), Ireland, England and Canada with a non-white population probaby at least 40% in 8th grade is no small stumbling block for immigration restrictionists to overcome, at least those who claim that America is doomed to perptual decline.

    Read More
  25. @Reader
    I'd love for a source on that. I don't think they will do badly. Vietnam has had universal primary education for much longer than most developing countries. A good counter-example is India. Vietnam has lower GDP per capita even today yet India has only just reached the levels of education that Vietnam reached 20 years ago.

    This is a common East Asian pattern, heavy investment in education very early on, far earlier than is the norm in non-East Asia. This is also what the US did, and what Russia failed to do, which Karlin wrote about some years ago.

    Vietnam does have quite a few dropouts, precisely because it is still poor. Kids are needed on the farm. With the increasing prosperity, I expect that gap to narrow but given the high native IQ of Vietnam, I don't think there will be a corresponding fall in scores. If anything, it could go up. It will be interesting to see the PISA results.

    P.S. I'm disappointed with how few countries are doing both grade 4 and grade 8, given that grade 8 are far firmer in long-term knowledge. If you are bad at math in grade 8, you're unlikely to ever catch up properly. IQ and intellectual development is also far more mature at grade 8, whereas it is more fluid in grade 4.

    P.P.S. I think you should write a little bit about America's secular rise. It is now doing quite well. Outside of East Asia, it is top 3. It deserves attention and I think the immigration skeptics should take this head-on, rather than avoid it because it doesn't confirm the narrative.

    Here’s the Missing-In-Action percentages for the last PISA:

    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/12/pisa-which-countries-not-to-trust.html

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  26. @Hapalong Cassidy
    Perhaps only the Chinese took the test. It also seems in general that Singapore Chinese are far smarter than mainland Chinese. As the descendants of migrants from the mainland, they are probably more forward-thinking and adventurous than their mainland counterparts.

    Nah, all races took it. We don’t have race-segregated classes, at least not overtly. Classes at Raffles Institution, our top school, have a fair number of Indian and Malay students.

    The ministry of education just arrows a bunch of schools to administer the test, and that’s it.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    " The ministry of education just arrows a bunch of schools to administer the test, and that's it."
    That still doesn't rule out manipulation and fraud.
  27. @The Wobbly Guy
    Nah, all races took it. We don't have race-segregated classes, at least not overtly. Classes at Raffles Institution, our top school, have a fair number of Indian and Malay students.

    The ministry of education just arrows a bunch of schools to administer the test, and that's it.

    ” The ministry of education just arrows a bunch of schools to administer the test, and that’s it.”
    That still doesn’t rule out manipulation and fraud.

    Read More
  28. Not for long!

    This is from yesterday (CBC): “Canada’s decision to lift the visa requirement for Mexican travellers is expected to cost about $262 million over the next decade, in part to deal with a potential surge in asylum seekers, according to an internal government analysis.”

    Read More
  29. Kazakhstan near the top? I hypothesize that the same corruption that pervades that entire society explains the high scores, but I don’t know. Is that vast, sparsely populated land blessed with high IQ? Or maybe the clever people have moved to the artificially-created cities and nationwide test coverage is low.

    Unrelatedly, did you see that the president wants to change the country’s name, perhaps to Kazakh Yeli? I find his logic persuasive — that the “-stan” makes it too easy for everyone in the world to just lump it in with the extreme shitholes that are the other “-stans.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The IQ of ethnic Kazakhs is around 80.
    There is no way in hell their TIMSS score is legitimate.
  30. @Clifford Brown
    How is it that the traditionally underperforming Ireland is outperforming on this chart? Perhaps the Flynn Effect is more poignant where many people are named Flynn?

    Poignant?

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  31. @Boomstick
    I wonder what the US white average is.

    Singapore and Hong Kong are probably getting a bit of a boost from the urban effect; city dwellers might well have slightly higher IQs, since cities tend to attract parents good at abstract reasoning. Korea and Japan as a whole don't have that effect, though.

    US 8th grade math scores / 2015 TIMSS

    US Total 530

    Ethic Groups
    White 557
    Black 469
    Hispanic 502
    Asian 573
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 498
    American Indian/Alaska Native 497
    Multiracial 536

    https://nces.ed.gov/timss/timss2015/timss2015_table42.asp

    In the US, city students perform worse than suburban students because city kids are poorer, less likely to be fluent in English, higher teacher turnover, etc. This applies to Asian Americans also. Hong Kong and Singapore are city states so they don’t have hundreds or even thousands of independently run school districts like most countries. A tiny high-functioning country means that resources and quality are standardized and available to all students regardless of income or neighborhood.

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  32. @Reginald Maplethorp
    Were you able to look at the crosstabs in the data explorer on the TIMSS website? I'm seeing only the 2011 data and earlier.

    White American 8th graders were at 530, Asian-Americans at 568 (+/- 3 for both). The 4th grade scores are even a little higher.

    The database for 2015 TIMSS won’t be available until January 19, 2017.

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    • Replies: @Triumph104
    Anatoly Karlin posted a link to multiple TIMSS reports. http://www.unz.com/akarlin/timss-2015/

    For 8th grade math, the USA is equivalent to Kazakhstan, Ireland, England, Slovenia, Hungary, Norway, Lithuania, Israel, Ontario CAN, and Dubai UAE. It is better to look at countries this way rather than their numerical ranking or score, since a point or two doesn't make a statistical difference.

    Exhibit 1.4 http://timss2015.org/wp-content/uploads/filebase/full%20pdfs/T15-International-Results-in-Mathematics-Grade-8.pdf

  33. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @(((Owen)))
    These always have suspicious results.

    Countries with essentially identical elementary education systems and genetic bases score wildly differently. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland. Or Argentina, Chile, and Italy.

    Countries that have long provided a wildly disproportionate share of the world's best mathematicians like Hungary and Norway score near the average.

    Maybe it's just that only the East Asians still instinctually take testing seriously and everyone else is just having a play day because the low stakes testing came to town.

    Mexico isn't on this list but is on the PISA and I can tell you how seriously Mexicans take low stakes testing. But put Mexicans up for an admission test to selective subsidised tuition-free universities and high schools and you see elaborate test prep centers with billboards and radio ads spring up like mushrooms on every major street corner. Teens in school uniforms line up to pay extra for after-school lessons.

    These always have suspicious results.

    Countries with essentially identical elementary education systems and genetic bases score wildly differently. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland.

    Not remotely identical genetic bases among the young as the native populations are in the process of being eradicated so the school age population varies dramatically from place to place.

    Or Argentina, Chile, and Italy.

    Argentina – something to do with iodine or the female dna being mostly Amerindian.

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  34. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @TheBoom
    Notice that the bottom 18 are almost all Muslim. And these people are supposed to be the future of Europe.

    And these people are supposed to be the future of Europe.

    They represent the future the banking mafia wants – a planet of 85 IQ slave-cattle.

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  35. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Clifford Brown
    How is it that the traditionally underperforming Ireland is outperforming on this chart? Perhaps the Flynn Effect is more poignant where many people are named Flynn?

    lagging behind on 3rd world immigrants compared to other anglophone nations (although catching up)

    so, less a case of outperforming and more a case of falling behind slower than the others

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  36. @Anonymous
    Argentina seems to be an outlier and not comparable to Italy:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/cuba-quantified

    Argentina is somewhat infamous as the only major country to go from First World to developing country living standards over the course of the 20th century, plummeting from 70% of US GDP per capita to less than 30% by the turn of the millennium.
     
    I have no idea what the deal with Argentina is. Presumably its economic decline and low scores are related. It could just be cultural apathy and lower work ethic, which would translate to lower scores and lower economic performance, amplified by political instability.

    An interesting data is the comparatively poor showing of Argentina in most measures of achievement compared to its neighbor to the west, a much less white Chile.

    Another interesting observation is the near lack of correlation between money and score. Russia, Kazakhstan, Ireland all scoring higher than U.S. Malaysia, Turkey, Lebanon doing better than Kuwait.

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  37. “Unlike many assessments, TIMSS includes students from public and private schools. The U.S. fourth grade random sample included 10,029 children from 250 schools. The eighth grade sample included 10,221 students from 246 schools.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/maureensullivan/2016/11/30/who-has-the-smartest-math-and-science-students-singapore/#4159ff3b4b20

    TIMSS also tracked the progress of the same cohort of students by administering a third test in their last year of school. And the results are sobering to those trying to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education around the world.

    In the nine countries that agreed to participate in that third test, called the TIMSS Advanced, students taking the most challenging math and science courses in their senior year were found to have performed progressively worse as they moved from elementary to middle to high school.

    The U.S. cohort, for example, scored 29 points above the midpoint of 500 on the physical science test they took as fourth graders, and 13 points above the midpoint as eighth graders. But they wound up 63 points below the midpoint as high school seniors taking physics. The cohort’s performance in math also deteriorated over time, from 29 and nine points ahead of the midpoint in fourth and eighth grade, respectively, to 15 points below as seniors. Italy recorded the steepest drops, a startling 126 points below the midpoint in physics and 78 points in advanced math by the end of high school.

    Only an elite group of Russian students taking an extra daily dose of math avoided taking the plunge, with their scores staying well above the midpoint at each level. Slovenian students did so in physics but not in mathematics. The East Asian students did not participate in the TIMSS Advanced because it was seen as conflicting with the high-stakes final exam that determines university placement in those countries. So the TIMSS sheds no light on their performance across their entire school careers.

    The advanced students also struggled to meet the international benchmark for the tests. In math, only 2% of the 32,000 students scored at an “advanced” level, and only 43% demonstrated even a “basic knowledge” of algebra, calculus, and geometry. The results were similar in physics: Only 5% of the 24,000 students were advanced, and a total of 46% showed a basic understanding of the subject. That means more than half the students tested weren’t really performing at an advanced level.

    “Most countries are very disappointed” with those results, Mullis says. “People expected better.”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/11/are-best-students-really-advanced

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  38. Only an elite group of Russian students taking an extra daily dose of math avoided taking the plunge, with their scores staying well above the midpoint at each level. [...] Italy recorded the steepest drops

    The more students who took advanced high school math, the worse the results tended to be. Only 1.9% of Russians were in the elite group compared to 24.5% of Italians who took advanced courses (algebra, geometry, calculus).

    Country/Percent Participating/Score
    Russia (Intensive Course) 1.9% 540
    Lebanon 3.9% 532
    Russia 10.1% 485
    Norway 10.6% 459
    United States 11.4% 485
    Sweden 14.1% 431
    France 21.5% 463
    Italy 24.5% 422
    Portugal 28.5% 482
    Slovenia 34.4% 460

    https://nces.ed.gov/timss/timss2015/timss2015_table46.asp

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  39. @Clifford Brown
    Looks like Canada's highly selective immigration policy that has a preference for Indians, East Asians and Europeans is paying off.

    Interesting factoid, despite sharing the same continent with Mexico, for some mysterious reason, whitetopia Idaho has more Mexicans than the entire nation of Canada.

    Wonders never cease, do they?

    It's almost as if Canada just might have a policy to keep out Mexicans. Not only that, the policy works without resorting to fascism!

    I really hope that Trump offers to send the 20 Million illegals in the United States to Canada. Would be a great troll move to shut up Canadian and American Leftists.

    It’s almost as if Canada just might have a policy to keep out Mexicans. Not only that, the policy works without resorting to fascism!

    Hold that thought…

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-braces-for-influx-of-mexican-refugee-claimants-after-visa-requirement-lifted

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  40. @Verymuchalive
    Singapore has large Malay ( 13% ) and Indian ( 9% ). minorities. I know, I used to live there. It is only 74% Chinese. It should have lower scores than Japan. China, Taiwan, Korea etc. It doesn't.
    Fraud and manipulation. Of Course.

    Fraud and manipulation. Of Course.

    In Singapore? Not likely. According to every index I’ve ever seen (here’s an example), corruption in Singapore is lower than it is in most Western countries.

    Chinese, as a rule, cheat to get ahead. But the Chinese in Singapore do not. The sanctions against cheating and other forms of minor law-breaking, which were put in place by the now-deceased Lee Kuan Yew, are too extreme.

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    • Replies: @The Wobbly Guy
    Actually, these indices are usually perception based. So it's possible to be viewed as non-corrupt when the truth is otherwise. Most Singaporeans take these reports with some scepticism because we know we're better off than many others, but we aren't that non-corrupt.

    If corruption is measured by bribery, then sure, we score very well on these measures. On the other hand, we game systems like crazy and slide up to just this side of the line on deals.

    For example, many politicians sit on the boards of many companies, with all the attendant conflicts of interest you would expect. Nepotism is common, and auditors keep pestering for more transparency when they realise how easy it is to structure quotations and bids to favor certain arrangements.

    In the education sector, gaming the system is usually reserved for critical exams, such as school based practicals (now abolished, halleluia!), or project work because these results matter to the students and teachers. Nobody on the frontlines cares much for these international rankings - they are distractors from PSLE and O levels.
  41. @Pincher Martin

    Fraud and manipulation. Of Course.
     
    In Singapore? Not likely. According to every index I've ever seen (here's an example), corruption in Singapore is lower than it is in most Western countries.

    Chinese, as a rule, cheat to get ahead. But the Chinese in Singapore do not. The sanctions against cheating and other forms of minor law-breaking, which were put in place by the now-deceased Lee Kuan Yew, are too extreme.

    Actually, these indices are usually perception based. So it’s possible to be viewed as non-corrupt when the truth is otherwise. Most Singaporeans take these reports with some scepticism because we know we’re better off than many others, but we aren’t that non-corrupt.

    If corruption is measured by bribery, then sure, we score very well on these measures. On the other hand, we game systems like crazy and slide up to just this side of the line on deals.

    For example, many politicians sit on the boards of many companies, with all the attendant conflicts of interest you would expect. Nepotism is common, and auditors keep pestering for more transparency when they realise how easy it is to structure quotations and bids to favor certain arrangements.

    In the education sector, gaming the system is usually reserved for critical exams, such as school based practicals (now abolished, halleluia!), or project work because these results matter to the students and teachers. Nobody on the frontlines cares much for these international rankings – they are distractors from PSLE and O levels.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    Actually, these indices are usually perception based. So it’s possible to be viewed as non-corrupt when the truth is otherwise. Most Singaporeans take these reports with some scepticism because we know we’re better off than many others, but we aren’t that non-corrupt.
     
    The same could be said of any country with low perceived corruption: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, etc.

    I've been to Singapore many times. The people there are more law-abiding than in any other large city I've ever been to. I'm basing it on minor things - like waiting for street lights, even when cops aren't obviously around to enforce them.

    I lived in Taiwan for many years. The Chinese there are a remarkable, intelligent, hard-working people, and Taipei is a crime-free city when taking into consideration major crimes like homicide, rape, and burglary. But corruption is rampant, and you can see the Chinese cutting corners in every area of life in order get ahead.


    In the education sector, gaming the system is usually reserved for critical exams, such as school based practicals (now abolished, halleluia!), or project work because these results matter to the students and teachers. Nobody on the frontlines cares much for these international rankings – they are distractors from PSLE and O levels.
     
    But that only strengthens the notion that the PISA and TIMSS scores for Singapore are legitimate and not the result of gaming the system.
    , @Anonymous
    Lol. That's a bit (very) contradictory to say that the index is based on perception, then say that Singaporeans perceive corruption as higher than what the indices indicate, at the same time.
  42. @The Wobbly Guy
    Actually, these indices are usually perception based. So it's possible to be viewed as non-corrupt when the truth is otherwise. Most Singaporeans take these reports with some scepticism because we know we're better off than many others, but we aren't that non-corrupt.

    If corruption is measured by bribery, then sure, we score very well on these measures. On the other hand, we game systems like crazy and slide up to just this side of the line on deals.

    For example, many politicians sit on the boards of many companies, with all the attendant conflicts of interest you would expect. Nepotism is common, and auditors keep pestering for more transparency when they realise how easy it is to structure quotations and bids to favor certain arrangements.

    In the education sector, gaming the system is usually reserved for critical exams, such as school based practicals (now abolished, halleluia!), or project work because these results matter to the students and teachers. Nobody on the frontlines cares much for these international rankings - they are distractors from PSLE and O levels.

    Actually, these indices are usually perception based. So it’s possible to be viewed as non-corrupt when the truth is otherwise. Most Singaporeans take these reports with some scepticism because we know we’re better off than many others, but we aren’t that non-corrupt.

    The same could be said of any country with low perceived corruption: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, etc.

    I’ve been to Singapore many times. The people there are more law-abiding than in any other large city I’ve ever been to. I’m basing it on minor things – like waiting for street lights, even when cops aren’t obviously around to enforce them.

    I lived in Taiwan for many years. The Chinese there are a remarkable, intelligent, hard-working people, and Taipei is a crime-free city when taking into consideration major crimes like homicide, rape, and burglary. But corruption is rampant, and you can see the Chinese cutting corners in every area of life in order get ahead.

    In the education sector, gaming the system is usually reserved for critical exams, such as school based practicals (now abolished, halleluia!), or project work because these results matter to the students and teachers. Nobody on the frontlines cares much for these international rankings – they are distractors from PSLE and O levels.

    But that only strengthens the notion that the PISA and TIMSS scores for Singapore are legitimate and not the result of gaming the system.

    Read More
  43. @Triumph104
    The database for 2015 TIMSS won't be available until January 19, 2017.

    https://twitter.com/TIMSSandPIRLS/status/804022310088962048

    Anatoly Karlin posted a link to multiple TIMSS reports. http://www.unz.com/akarlin/timss-2015/

    For 8th grade math, the USA is equivalent to Kazakhstan, Ireland, England, Slovenia, Hungary, Norway, Lithuania, Israel, Ontario CAN, and Dubai UAE. It is better to look at countries this way rather than their numerical ranking or score, since a point or two doesn’t make a statistical difference.

    Exhibit 1.4 http://timss2015.org/wp-content/uploads/filebase/full%20pdfs/T15-International-Results-in-Mathematics-Grade-8.pdf

    Read More
  44. Anybody out there know much on comparing their strengths and weaknesses?

    Here’s an old article on difference in Finnish performances on the two in maths,

    The results of the PISA survey (http://www.jyu.fi/ktl/pisa/) have brought about satisfaction and pride in Finland. Newspapers and media have advertised that Finnish compulsory school leavers are top experts in mathematics.

    However, mathematics teachers in universities and polytechnics are worried, as in fact the mathematical knowledge of new students has declined dramatically. As an example of this one could take the extensive TIMSS 1999 survey, in which Finnish students were below the average in geometry and algebra. As another example, in order not to fail an unreasonably large amount of students in the matriculation exams, recently the board has been forced to lower the cut-off point alarmingly. Some years, 6 points out of 60 have been enough for passing.

    http://matematiikkalehtisolmu.fi/2005/erik/PisaEng.html

    So PISA is a mathematical literacy test that might be useful in daily life but is not enough for gauging skills that are required for higher education in mathematical fields. It wouldn’t be even close to TIMSS advanced in maths and sciences.

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  45. TIMSS tasks were seen as more curriculum-related and requiring more school knowledge than PISA tasks. For solving PISA tasks, thinking/reasoning ability and general intelligence were rated as being more important (d = 0.36).

    Using Heiner Rindermann’s definition, TIMSS would be like the ACT and PISA the SAT. However, the ACT and SAT averages for ethnic groups are always equivalent. You don’t have blacks scoring the lowest on the SAT but beating Hispanics and Native Americans on the ACT. I can’t even think of an individual example where a person’s ACT score was noticably different from their SAT score.

    I think the fluctuation of country rankings between TIMSS and PISA is simply due to what schools are receiving the exams. I have a sneaky feeling that one of the expat schools in Dubai were given a TIMSS exam. Singapore probably had a gifted school tested. I don’t think the exam is telling us much of anything, except that in order for a country to function only a tiny silver of the population needs to be able to understand high school or higher level math.

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  46. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @(((Owen)))
    These always have suspicious results.

    Countries with essentially identical elementary education systems and genetic bases score wildly differently. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland. Or Argentina, Chile, and Italy.

    Countries that have long provided a wildly disproportionate share of the world's best mathematicians like Hungary and Norway score near the average.

    Maybe it's just that only the East Asians still instinctually take testing seriously and everyone else is just having a play day because the low stakes testing came to town.

    Mexico isn't on this list but is on the PISA and I can tell you how seriously Mexicans take low stakes testing. But put Mexicans up for an admission test to selective subsidised tuition-free universities and high schools and you see elaborate test prep centers with billboards and radio ads spring up like mushrooms on every major street corner. Teens in school uniforms line up to pay extra for after-school lessons.

    The great Hungarian mathematicians were pretty much all Jewish, which are definitely not Hungarians in any real sense of the world. As in, no genetic kinship to Hungarians.
    As for Norwegians, the only great mathematician I can think of is Abel.

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  47. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @EdwardM
    Kazakhstan near the top? I hypothesize that the same corruption that pervades that entire society explains the high scores, but I don't know. Is that vast, sparsely populated land blessed with high IQ? Or maybe the clever people have moved to the artificially-created cities and nationwide test coverage is low.

    Unrelatedly, did you see that the president wants to change the country's name, perhaps to Kazakh Yeli? I find his logic persuasive -- that the "-stan" makes it too easy for everyone in the world to just lump it in with the extreme shitholes that are the other "-stans."

    The IQ of ethnic Kazakhs is around 80.
    There is no way in hell their TIMSS score is legitimate.

    Read More
  48. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @The Wobbly Guy
    Actually, these indices are usually perception based. So it's possible to be viewed as non-corrupt when the truth is otherwise. Most Singaporeans take these reports with some scepticism because we know we're better off than many others, but we aren't that non-corrupt.

    If corruption is measured by bribery, then sure, we score very well on these measures. On the other hand, we game systems like crazy and slide up to just this side of the line on deals.

    For example, many politicians sit on the boards of many companies, with all the attendant conflicts of interest you would expect. Nepotism is common, and auditors keep pestering for more transparency when they realise how easy it is to structure quotations and bids to favor certain arrangements.

    In the education sector, gaming the system is usually reserved for critical exams, such as school based practicals (now abolished, halleluia!), or project work because these results matter to the students and teachers. Nobody on the frontlines cares much for these international rankings - they are distractors from PSLE and O levels.

    Lol. That’s a bit (very) contradictory to say that the index is based on perception, then say that Singaporeans perceive corruption as higher than what the indices indicate, at the same time.

    Read More

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