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Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
#1

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/11/us/ac...sions.html


Quote:ACT Reports Record Low Scores as Admissions Landscape Shifts

For the high school class of 2023, the average score was the lowest since 1991, and 43 percent of students did not meet any of the subject-matter benchmarks.
The nonprofit ACT, which administers the test of the same name, reported on Wednesday that scores had declined for the sixth consecutive year, with a record proportion of test takers reaching none of the organization’s benchmarks for college readiness.
That means that their performance in English, reading, math and science suggested that they would not be able to earn Bs or Cs in entry-level college coursework.
For the 1.4 million ACT test-takers in the high school class of 2023, the average composite score on the exam was 19.5 out of 36, the lowest score since 1991, according to the nonprofit. Forty-three percent of students did not meet any of the subject-matter benchmarks, up from 36 percent in 2019.


[Image: b250037727f8ff24eab247ebc211f4a6.jpg]
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#2

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
(10-12-2023, 02:56 AM)Minimalist Wrote: That means that their performance in English, reading, math and science suggested that they would not be able to earn Bs or Cs in entry-level college coursework.


None of which is necessary for a degree in gender studies.
No gods necessary
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#3

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
Touche.

Big Grin
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#4

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
That's nothing to laugh at.  We're losing the ability (or desire) to learn.  I wonder if the firehose of "information" gushing from the Internet makes it appear that learning isn't necessary.  Something is driving this.  Is this a USA phenomenon or global?  D'you suppose owning a gun makes one feel that learning is superfluous, since you can just point the gun at whatever you imagine your problem is and blast it away?

This is the kind of trend that more or less guarantees scoundrels get voted into office.
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#5

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
Juding by the number of Asian kids who come here to study - and who do amazingly well - I suspect it is a cultural thing but I'll let the European contingent speak to the issue themselves.

The American public has had generations of public figures telling them how fucking wonderful they are.  You can't get that much smoke blown up your ass without some of it fogging your brain.

The simple fact is that, all this "American Exceptionalism" horseshit aside, we don't have a very good track record since the 1970's began.

So I basically agree with you.... and so does Niel De Grasse Tyson.

Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#6

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
Apparently some think the decline is due to covid and lack of in person learning:

https://www.axios.com/2023/10/11/act-tes...owest-2023

Some data from NCES/ACT:

https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=897
https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d95/dtab130.asp

The name of this link is Declining Admissions Test Scores, dated 1971.

https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unse...T_RR71.pdf

Looks to me like this kind of variation has been seen in the past.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#7

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
This decline long precedes covid.

But we do love our excuses, don't we?
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#8

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
(12-26-2023, 12:17 AM)airportkid Wrote: That's nothing to laugh at.  We're losing the ability (or desire) to learn.  I wonder if the firehose of "information" gushing from the Internet makes it appear that learning isn't necessary.  Something is driving this.  Is this a USA phenomenon or global?  D'you suppose owning a gun makes one feel that learning is superfluous, since you can just point the gun at whatever you imagine your problem is and blast it away?

This is the kind of trend that more or less guarantees scoundrels get voted into office.

Decline seems to be global as PISA test averages were lower in 2022 than in 2018 for Poland and other countries. However one should note that PISA test themselves are under criticism*.

In my opinion it is outdated model of education that is to blame as it's just refinement of old Prussian one where students learned to be obedient cogs in the big machine of the state. From my own school years I remember rote memorization, lack of explanation when something was unclear (half of my class needed private tutoring in maths and such situation was common) and not giving a damn about teaching students ability to verify information which is fucking hilarious in age of internet. I don't know what is wrong with US education but I would wager that no one thinks to ask students what improvements they would like to see; as Covid shown schools (at least in Poland) serves as dumping ground for children while parents are at work.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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#9

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
German students also just had the lowest score ever in the PISA study.
R.I.P. Hannes
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#10

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
(12-26-2023, 07:41 AM)Deesse23 Wrote: German students also just had the lowest score ever in the PISA study.

Score was lower in many countries which is certainly indicative of something. But I wouldn't fetishize it like many in Poland deeming it crowning achievement of polish education. It clearly shows something but looking on political sympathies of Poles, number of books read and all manner of bigotry here it does not show anything of particular importance, at least in my opinion.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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#11

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
(12-26-2023, 05:30 AM)Minimalist Wrote: This decline long precedes covid.

But we do love our excuses, don't we?

Yep, about as much as responding to 'dog whistles'.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#12

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
A large portion of Americans are extremely intellectually lazy. It is far, far easier to be told what to think, rather than to actually engage the brain in their numbskull.

One could have all the resources squarely in front of them, but, if they lack the desire, the will to educate themselves, all those resources, are meaningless.

Not to mention the smoldering hatred that has been fermenting under the skin of lily white murica. Hatred, especially the blind kind, leaves room for little else.
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#13

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
Not just 'muricans, as Deesse23 and Szuchow have pointed out. There has been talk of scrapping the SAT in the past, as it isn't a reliable indicator of college performance, anyway.
If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.
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#14

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
(12-25-2023, 10:23 PM)brunumb Wrote:
(10-12-2023, 02:56 AM)Minimalist Wrote: That means that their performance in English, reading, math and science suggested that they would not be able to earn Bs or Cs in entry-level college coursework.


None of which is necessary for a degree in gender studies.

You don't know much about gender studies it seems (which highlights your lack of reading and critical thinking skills, but considering the poor grades of American students highlighted above, I won't hold it against you).

Gender studies are not a field in and on themselves. They are a specialty. If you follow a fairly standard gender studies cursus, most of what you will do is philosophy, literature, psychology and sociology which of course requires a lot of performance in English (especially in reading since there will be a lot of mandatory reading material that is often infamous for it's obtuse prose), math (specifically in statistics since this is the basis of gender studies related material in social psychology and sociology) and science (very important for anthropology, psychology and have a basis of neuroanatomy which is all the rage these days in gender studies).

I hope that one day, you learn how to expand beyond what your lackluster education has equipped you with and develop the research and critical skills to actually learn what various field require and do instead of relying on the sexist puns popularized on internet (often by dudes who didn't even got in a college in the first place) over a decade ago.
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#15

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
(12-26-2023, 04:15 PM)Fireball Wrote: Not just 'muricans, as Deesse23 and Szuchow have pointed out. There has been talk of scrapping the SAT in the past, as it isn't a reliable indicator of college performance, anyway.

Many tests which were not all that great when they were in their prime are starting to show their age. You can't expect students who are administered basically the same tests than 30 years ago to perform just as well as their preceding cohorts. Education has changed as did society and its requirements. 

I would look at the decline of public education in pretty much all western country as a potential factor too. In the US, Canada and France (places I am actually familiar with as far education systems goes), private schools have multiplied as have special public programs which have led to a three tiered system of education with "standard public classes" finding themselves burdened with a larger and larger number of students with special needs all the while with fewer resources to provide them which brings a lot of difficulties that ranges from poorer teaching environment, professional burnout, teacher's quitting and being replaced by lower quality one's.

Another potential interesting point of data which could skew these findings is the lower level of school dropouts. School dropouts rates have been substantially reduced from the 90's to today. In Canada, they were cut by a full half though resent years have seen them rise a bit again (maybe due to COVID). More low performing students are hanging on in school than before which means more low performance students take those end of high school performance tests instead of just leaving without a diploma and before taking tests they were pretty sure to fail anyway. This is a good thing from one statistical point of view, but it has consequences on the other. If my three weakest students of each of my class dropped out and didn't return to school after the Christmas break, the academic average of my classes would rise of about 2 to 4%, but this would not be a real improvement in my opinion. It would literally brush an enormous failure under the rug.
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#16

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It isn't about "education."  It is about the apparent lack of national will to do much of anything.

In the 1940's the US fought World War II.
In the 1950's the US built the Interstate Highway System.
In the 1960's the US went to the fucking moon.

WTF have we tried to do since?

Tax cuts for the rich seem to be all the republiKKKunts can manage to champion and not being republiKKKunts is about all the democrats can agree upon.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#17

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When I was in high school, I seemed to have difficulty with math. But I remembered what I was taught.

My SAT scores weren't spectacular (about 620 in math and language and the same in the optional tests for biology, generaL science, and writing). I was a real generalist. But at the State university, that got me into "advanced". Really, most freshman didn't even have 10th grade skills ibn anything.

And now most high school graduates seem to have less skills. I worry about that. Maybe there was something good about the old "teach and test" and fail bad students. Learning is not a participation award where you worry about the psyche of the student. Its a test of understand a subject.

In college, I took every "intro" class I could find. To learn "something about everything". The major was almost a side-issue.

Today, it seems like everyone just wants a specialty and to hell with anything else. That's not good for a well-educated democracy. Sad
Never argue with people who type fast and have too much time on their hands...
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#18

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(12-27-2023, 03:57 PM)Minimalist Wrote: It isn't about "education."  It is about the apparent lack of national will to do much of anything.

In the 1940's the US fought World War II.
In the 1950's the US built the Interstate Highway System.
In the 1960's the US went to the fucking moon.

WTF have we tried to do since?

Tax cuts for the rich seem to be all the republiKKKunts can manage to champion and not being republiKKKunts is about all the democrats can agree upon.

Personal computers, cell phones, EV cars, M/W ovens, air fryers, books on audio, The Internet, the list goes on...
Never argue with people who type fast and have too much time on their hands...
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#19

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I really don't equate any of that consumer junk with going to the moon.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#20

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(12-28-2023, 05:26 AM)Minimalist Wrote: I really don't equate any of that consumer junk with going to the moon.

Yes we went to the Moon. And stopped going. My grndfather once said he expeienced the first flight and lived to see us go to the moon. He was amazed we humans did that.

But what did we do there? Are ther colonies there now? Are we extending moon launching pads to Mars? No. We are still sitting here on our asses while safety is in spreading ourselves around on more than one planetary body.

I would make the case that the more places we are, the more likely we will survive random disasters, but it seems too obvious to bother to explain.
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#21

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Leftist school administration generally produces lower academic performance because there is no accountability and teachers aren't fired when they don't get the job done.

Much better performance is seen in homeschoolers and private Christian schools, private schools generally, and charter schools.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#22

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Quote:But what did we do there?


You couldn't be more right.  We planted a flag.  Took a few photos.  Picked up some rocks for study.  Told the Russians "Fuck You."  And spent the next 50 years patting ourselves on the back and telling ourselves over and over how fucking great we were.  Self-promotion is the one thing we are good at.

But the point is not about exploitation.  The point is that our leader had a vision and we marshaled the resources to do it and we did it.  Now ask yourself how many of those electronic toys that you cited were a direct result of the explosion of technology which was caused by the space program to begin with?


And your grandfather was right to be amazed.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#23

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
I have taught at a university for the last 37 years and taught as a TA before that.

The US has seldom been interested in education for its own sake. During the 1960's we were in competition with the Russians, with Sputnik being a wake up call that we were behind. So, during that brief period, education in the sciences was promoted.

By 1986, we had the 'Nation At Risk' report noting how we were falling behind other developed nations in math and science. While this created a stir, nothing was really done.

Since then, we have had grade inflation, reduced standards, less support for teachers, gun violence in schools, etc. The focus is on getting kids through to the next grade and NOT to educate them in the material for the current grade. Classes are taught to the multiple choice exams that determine which college they can go to. We have calculators, so no real manual calculation is done. We have color glossy pictures in books, so very little actual reading is done. And NO standards are ever imposed.

So the decline in education is only to be expected. This is a long, ongoing process. It is far from new.

Next, with the rise of fundamentalist Christianity as a political power, the use of science in public policy has gradually given way to conspiracy theories (those scientists must actually know creationism is right, but they all hide it). The internet has made it far easier to find good information, but it has also made it far easier to find bad information. And, without an educational system designed to show the difference, people gravitate to the simpler bad information. Furthermore, 'research' has devolved to finding websites that give information you want to hear.

COVID made things worse: many classes were online, which meant that it was easy to copy and paste homework without really understanding anything. Very few students learned good study skills (and they were getting increasingly rare any way). Then, when they went back to school, it was found they knew almost nothing from the hiatus. Parents and administrators got nervous and, guess what?, decreased standards again.

At the university, where it used to be the case that only a few went or graduated, it is now expected that a majority will do both (they need the degree for their job, right?). But that leads to a concern with the DFW rates, which also determine funding. So, once again, the standards decline. Grades go up, but they mean almost nothing because the material is so watered down there is almost nothing to test for.

I just retired. The calculus exams from this last semester are *by far* the easiest I have seen in 43 years of teaching this material. Grade inflation has made it to the point that I no longer would trust a bridge designed by one of my students.

I am not as familiar with the rest of the world on this. But I know that the US educational system has been on a downward spiral for a long time and this decline is finally reaching the upper levels.
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#24

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(12-28-2023, 04:57 PM)polymath257 Wrote: ... I no longer would trust a bridge designed by one of my students ...

Design considerations that had NOT been considered caused the Florida University bridge collapse, considerations that I don't think would have escaped design engineers the caliber of 1960s NASA.  Slovenly science is not harmless.
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#25

Looks Like The Imbeciles Are Winning
(12-28-2023, 04:57 PM)polymath257 Wrote: I just retired. The calculus exams from this last semester are *by far* the easiest I have seen in 43 years of teaching this material. Grade inflation has made it to the point that I no longer would trust a bridge designed by one of my students.

I am not as familiar with the rest of the world on this. But I know that the US educational system has been on a downward spiral for a long time and this decline is finally reaching the upper levels.

We have similar problems this side of the pond. When I got a 1st at uni 20 or so years ago it was considered very rare and special. Now...

Quote:The proportion of students awarded first-class degrees in England has increased by almost 90% over the past eight years, with four in five graduates leaving higher education with either a first or a 2:1.

Official figures show grade inflation has slowed over the past year, but the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator for England, said it remained a “significant and pressing issue” that threatened to erode public confidence.

https://www.theguardian.com/education/20...-inflation

In 20/21 apparently 36% of UK students were awarded a 1st class degree.  Bowing Bowing Bowing Facepalm
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