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Aaron747
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Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:40 pm

In what basically amounts to a hit piece on Chinese trade policies and American companies that fall over backwards to kowtow to them, Michael Lind is certainly sounding a different bell then what seems to be on DC's agenda. I don't know if he's necessarily correct, but it's certainly food for thought:

It’s a sad reflection on America’s corporate leaders that instead of being honest with their fellow Americans about the true reasons for offshoring, they tend to blame America first, peddling the insulting story that we Americans are not innovative or educated enough to compete with a poor, dictatorial nation like China. The blame-America-first story is peddled as well by American politicians who receive corporate campaign donations and, after retirement, lucrative corporate board memberships, pundits who get paid on the corporate speaking circuit and academic economists with big corporate consulting contracts.

He goes on further to say that Americans (and liberals in particular seem to be the target) are too histrionic about our low national score on student performance citing:

Much has been made of the fact that, according to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the U.S. ranks 12th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in mathematics. But the countries at the top of the list in 2009 -- Korea, Finland, Hong-Kong China, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand and Japan -- tend to be small or homogeneous or both.

He notes, seemingly correctly, that our numbers are actually dragged down by poor and minority students, and that if you look at performance of similar student populations in the US to those of above countries, we're actually not so bad.

Basically it's the same old story of lies, statistics, and more lies?

http://www.salon.com/news/economics/...ar_room/2011/01/25/lind_myth_china
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sebolino
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:31 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
He notes, seemingly correctly, that our numbers are actually dragged down by poor and minority students, and that if you look at performance of similar student populations in the US to those of above countries, we're actually not so bad.

So you mean that poor and minority students don't count, because they're poor and not white ? Nice way to distort the truth.
You're right, one should only count rich white Americans in the stats, then the US would be whiter and richer. If they are republicans it's even better, not ? I suggest that you only count good students also, then stats would be really good !
 
thegreatRDU
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:27 pm

Quoting sebolino (Reply 1):
Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
He notes, seemingly correctly, that our numbers are actually dragged down by poor and minority students, and that if you look at performance of similar student populations in the US to those of above countries, we're actually not so bad.

So you mean that poor and minority students don't count, because they're poor and not white ? Nice way to distort the truth.
You're right, one should only count rich white Americans in the stats, then the US would be whiter and richer. If they are republicans it's even better, not ? I suggest that you only count good students also, then stats would be really good !

LOL

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Aaron747
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:36 pm

Quoting sebolino (Reply 1):
So you mean that poor and minority students don't count, because they're poor and not white ?

Um, that's not what was said, at all. But you're more than welcome to take it that way...
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casinterest
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:58 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
Basically it's the same old story of lies, statistics, and more lies?

Look the present economic picture shows that college Educated folks aren't losing out the most in this Recesssion, so this blows the Education/Innovation line right out the window.
Everyone has lost jobs across all income levels, but it is the lowest educated person that is suffering the most for obvious reasons. Manufacturing jobs that require repetitive low skilled labor are dissapearing. These jobs are not coming back, which is an issue I have with free trade,but nonetheless they are gone for now.

the rates of unemployment are as follows

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t04.htm

Dec 2010

No High School Diploma - 15.3%
High School No College - 9.8%
High Scool some college- 8.1 %
Bachelor's Degree or higher - 4.8%


The argument could be made that better educated folks will keep jobs, and the politicians may sieze on these numbers to say that education is the problem. But I don't buy it. Some folks just aren't capable of being highly educated as it done on the bell curves.
The real problem is that folks with no education are being pushed further into poverty because the jobs that they can do, are no longer economical to keep in the USA due to imbalances in the exchange rates with other countries.

Perhaps we are moving into a world economy where the lowly educated folks are infinately screwed, but if that is the case, then we are going to need massive social structures worldwide to constantly subsidize those that can't work due to global imbalances in currency
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oly720man
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:56 am

There is no problem with US companies being innovative. In engineering there are many that supply worldbeating kit. I use enough of it.

The problem, inevitably, is the bottom line. You don't need that many people to be innovative compared to the number of people who manufacture and assemble stuff, and once the smart work is done (design) then, frankly, who manufactures it then comes down to where the manufacturing/assembly machinery is done, and all things being equal, for the beancounters, where's cheapest.

If any country wants its economy to survive then it's got to look rather deeper than the financial demands of the few who claim the most power and have the loudest voices and seemingly to want to pay their dues anywhere but the country they make so many demands of.

Off the point slightly, but I wonder if the economy over here would be in such a state if the failing banks had been allowed to fail rather than using their influence to get the bank of taxpayer to bail them out... with the subsequent belt tightening and, e.g. importantly for the defence of the realm, the RAF losing many aircraft, the Navy losing ships.
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Quokka
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:56 am

May I ask a question or two? I will anyway  

How is employment and/or unemployment measured in the US?

Does the number regarded as employed inlude any person who has a job no matter how few hours that person works?

Are people who may be participating in various training programmes regarded as employed or unemployed even though they don't have an actual job?

How extensive is under-employment - i.e. people work but not enough hours to maintain a "living wage"?

The linked article is interesting in its portrayal of "bribery and blackmail" in China but does not really explore the extent to which US companies have been encouraged to open plant in other countries. For example, Ford and General Motors benefited from import tariffs in the automobile industry in Australia for many years and mining companies have been able to negotiate very favourable exploration and extraction rights, beneficial to both the companies and Australia.

Another factor not discussed is the extent to which the US has been able to purchase expertise from abroad. This has included both universities and companies employing graduates and research staff as well as linking with research bodies in other countries. I don't think that the US suffers from a lack of educated and/ or innovative people. The question may be in what fields are those people working? Are the areas of innovation those that can translate to large scale employment in manufacturing or services?
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:45 pm

I've written before about worthless degrees. Not all education is worthwhile, especially when tax funds are used to pay for them. Here's a good example from our Canadian cousins.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110127/od_nm/us_beatles_degree_odd

Quote:
LONDON (Reuters) – A Canadian woman has become the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in Beatles studies.
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windy95
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:04 pm

Quoting Quokka (Reply 6):
Does the number regarded as employed inlude any person who has a job no matter how few hours that person works?

Are people who may be participating in various training programmes regarded as employed or unemployed even though they don't have an actual job?

How extensive is under-employment - i.e. people work but not enough hours to maintain a "living wage"?

Our unemployment number is people who are collecting at this time. Once they done with their allotment they are kicked off the rolls and not considered a part of the official number. Sometimes the unemployment number drops not beacause people found jobs but because their benefits ended and fell of the list. The real unemployed/underemployed number has been between 15 to 20% depending on the state you are in.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
I've written before about worthless degrees. Not all education is worthwhile, especially when tax funds are used to pay for them. Here's a good example from our Canadian cousins.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110127/od_nm/us_beatles_degree_odd

Quote:
LONDON (Reuters) – A Canadian woman has become the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in Beatles studies.

It's really a degree in cultural anthropology. To call it a master's in Beatles, Popular Music, and Society is merely advertising for more grad students. A masters in cultural anthropology is neither more or less worthless than one in English literature, psychology, engineering, or medicine. It's what you do with the knowledge acquired and the discipline learned, afterwards, that counts.

But your p.o.v. doesn't surprise me.
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windy95
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:20 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):
A masters in cultural anthropology is neither more or less worthless than one in English literature, psychology, engineering, or medicine. It's what you do with the knowledge acquired and the discipline learned, afterwards, that counts.

I have to agree. I do feel there are worthless degrees but it still comes down to what that person does with it in the long run. A degree of anykind does not guaranty success. There are failed Doctors, lawyers and others with higher education.
 
Quokka
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:18 pm

Quoting windy95 (Reply 8):


Thanks Windy. So how are the statistics gathered? Is unemployment a federal or a state responsibility?

Here in Australia unemployment benefit is paid by the federal government and it doesn't matter whether you have been resident in a particular state before being eligible for benefit (although for some migrants there is a minimum residence in Australia requirement). There is no time limitation on benefit but claimants are required to prove that they are genuinely seeking work.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):
It's what you do with the knowledge acquired and the discipline learned, afterwards, that counts.

While there are obvious differences in degrees that involves the sciences and those that don't, a degree bestowed does indicate that the possessor of a degree is capable of conducting research, formulating an argument and defending it. As in other disciplines original thought and work is looked for. So there is some benefit in such degrees even if they are not immediately apparent.

My only criticism of the University Degree system is the presumption that a degree is by definition superior to knowledge and skills gained through other streams. Some people who had limited university eduction went on to make important contributions. Cultural elitism in the university sphere may, in some instances, actually inhibit the development of ideas.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:35 pm

Quoting Quokka (Reply 11):
While there are obvious differences in degrees that involves the sciences and those that don't, a degree bestowed does indicate that the possessor of a degree is capable of conducting research, formulating an argument and defending it. As in other disciplines original thought and work is looked for. So there is some benefit in such degrees even if they are not immediately apparent.

My only criticism of the University Degree system is the presumption that a degree is by definition superior to knowledge and skills gained through other streams. Some people who had limited university eduction went on to make important contributions. Cultural elitism in the university sphere may, in some instances, actually inhibit the development of ideas.

That was my point. 1) What is this person going to do with that degree? Anything useful? Would it be as useful to mankind as an engineer's work? I don't think so.

We have a culture which has pushed this idea that to be successful you have to go to university. I think that is false - you don't need to go to college to be an excellent carpenter, plumber or electrician. There are tons of self-made millionaires that never went beyond high school. But the pressure towards university has resulted in a lot of pretty worthless degrees.
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mt99
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:53 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):
There are tons of self-made millionaires that never went beyond high school.

But there are even tons and tons more of millionaires that have degrees beyond high-school...
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Quokka
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:03 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):


Ironically a degree can actually be an impediment to employment. When a company that I was working for closed down many years ago, one of the places that I applied for a job turned me down because I was, in their words, "over qualified".

In some countries it is now almost obligatory to go to college (if not university) to gain employment. For example, in Western Australia to work in some industries you need to be registered and a requirement for registration is often a recognised qualification. Plumbers, painters and electricians are just some of the skills covered by this requirement. A Technical and Higher Education (TAFE) certificate or diploma is required to begin employment in these areas, largely because the industry no longer was willing or able to support the old apprenticeship arrangements. This doesn't mean that apprenticeships are completely dead but that they work in tandem with TAFE and employers can receive funding to cover the associated costs.
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:07 pm

I know plenty of worthless people with MBA's that know precisely zero about how business works.

I also know MANY PhD's with little grasp on reality and demonstrate relatively poor command of their field of study. To top it off, they often have very little common everyday sense because their education largely ignored things like economics.

It's not an exaggeration to say that many people who go to school to receive advanced degrees do so because they're not very successful in their fields.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 13):

But there are even tons and tons more of millionaires that have degrees beyond high-school...

There are tons and tons MORE people with college degrees that are struggling to make ends meet.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):
But the pressure towards university has resulted in a lot of pretty worthless degrees.

  
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mt99
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:14 pm

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 15):
There are tons and tons MORE people with college degrees that are struggling to make ends meet.

Disagree.. unemployment figures:

Less than a high school diploma: 15.3%
High school graduates, no college: 9.8%
Some college or associate degree: 8.1%
Bachelor's degree and higher: 4.8%

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t04.htm
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Mir
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:03 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
He notes, seemingly correctly, that our numbers are actually dragged down by poor and minority students, and that if you look at performance of similar student populations in the US to those of above countries, we're actually not so bad.

Which would be great if we could somehow get rid of all the people who are dragging the score down. But we can't do that, so we're going to have to accept the fact that they're going to be a part of the workforce, and more importantly, figure out how to bring their quality of education up. Resting on our laurels just because we educate part of our population well isn't good enough.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):
1) What is this person going to do with that degree? Anything useful?

They could come out with a popular book. They could make a contribution to the documentation of a very culturally significant group.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):
Would it be as useful to mankind as an engineer's work?

It might end up making them more money, especially if engineering work continues to be outsourced.

The idea that someone is more valuable simply because they have an engineering degree is flawed - if they're not a very good engineer, then their degree is just as useless as you think a humanities degree would be.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 13):
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):
There are tons of self-made millionaires that never went beyond high school.

But there are even tons and tons more of millionaires that have degrees beyond high-school...

   Yes, Bill Gates didn't finish college. That does not mean that if you want to get to where Bill Gates is, you should also not finish college. You're much more likely to get to where Bill Gates is if you have a degree.

-Mir
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PPVRA
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:07 pm

Quoting mt99 (Reply 16):

Being employed doesn't mean you don't struggle to make ends meet. I know people with degrees that work jobs they could have done out of high school, with either no formal training or minimum extra training.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
mt99
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:10 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 18):
I know people with degrees that work jobs they could have done out of high school, with either no formal training or minimum extra training.

At least they are hired and working.. as opposed to their non-college educated peers... at the rate of 2:1...

for example:

2 similar candidates for a data entry job.

One had a college degree in English, the other a just GED.

All things being equal which would you hire?

[Edited 2011-01-28 10:14:19]
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seb146
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:35 pm

I don't understand something about education: According to the story, it is the poor/minorities bringing down the collective scores of the public educations system, so certain groups (usually right-wing) want to cut public education (which is used mostly by poor/minorities) completely? How does screaming about an uneducated populace then making the populace uneducated work to America's advantage?
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Dreadnought
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:02 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 20):
According to the story, it is the poor/minorities bringing down the collective scores of the public educations system, so certain groups (usually right-wing) want to cut public education (which is used mostly by poor/minorities) completely?

Nobody has said we should eliminate public education.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 20):
How does screaming about an uneducated populace then making the populace uneducated work to America's advantage?

The point is to spend money intelligently. The whole debate about the Department of Education for example, is based on the fact that 1) Before the DoE was created, the US was considered to have a top-flight public education system compared to the rest of the world, and 2) since the creation of the DoE and its increasing influence over local school districts over the years, the quality of public education has sharply decreased.

So either the DoE is counterproductive and should be eliminated, or there is some outside element affecting our students - a Chinese "stupidity ray" being beamed down on us from space. You take your pick on which is the most likely answer.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:33 pm

Quoting Quokka (Reply 11):
My only criticism of the University Degree system is the presumption that a degree is by definition superior to knowledge and skills gained through other streams. Some people who had limited university eduction went on to make important contributions. Cultural elitism in the university sphere may, in some instances, actually inhibit the development of ideas.

I quite agree. A very good example being Michael Faraday. He knew a thing or two. Son of a blacksmith's apprentice, only a rudimentary formal education, largely self-taught. But with an enormous appetite for learning and the humility to learn from others.
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Superfly
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:51 pm

I knew a lady that earned a degree in Human Sexuality with a minor in Black Studies.   
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Aaron747
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:56 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):
I knew a lady that earned a degree in Human Sexuality

That's useful - you can write a column, become a therapist, talk about sex all day, and charge $80/hr.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
windy95
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:41 pm

Quoting Quokka (Reply 11):
Thanks Windy. So how are the statistics gathered? Is unemployment a federal or a state responsibility?

The benefits are run and paid by the states but the extensions have been added by the feds who give the money to the states. As far as the statistics go I would have to refer you to the websites for the exact formula.

For the state I live in
http://www.floridajobs.org/Unemployment/index.html

US dept of Labor
http://ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/

Bureau of labor statistics
http://www.bls.gov/
http://www.bls.gov/data/#unemployment

A little lite reading enjoy.  
 
Superfly
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:39 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 24):
That's useful - you can write a column, become a therapist, talk about sex all day, and charge $80/hr.

When she first told me that, I thought she was trying to hit on me. 
Bring back the Concorde
 
fridgmus
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:07 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 26):

When she first told me that, I thought she was trying to hit on me.

Fly, you handsome dude you (read: slut), EVERY woman you meet hits on you!!!   
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ltbewr
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:44 pm

I wonder if the stats used in the comparisons of the quality of education of K-12 students are collected in similar ways from country to country. Such stats may not be accurate, perhaps intentionally distorted for internal political reasons and in the USA, perhaps collected from a broader range of districts and with greater accuracy. Some countries may exclude certain ethnic, economic or regional groups, those with certain handicaps, some may require parents to pay a tax on each child in school rather than use broadly collected taxes so excluding those kids from poorer families as well as other factors.

Many countries have very nationally centered and funded K-12 education systems while the USA has a very locally controlled and funded one. That can mean in the USA many differences from district to district as to quality of overall instruction, teacher qualifications, specifications as to what is to be taught. Those differences in the USA is also deeply affected by the economic levels of each district, those districts with lower general family income levels or low levels of commercial properties have less revenues for schools, while those with higher general family income levels or higher levels of non-residential properties will have higher revenues for schools. In part that is due to long histories of racial and economic discrimination. Political and religious influences also have Another problem for school systems in the USA is that the local districts are required to educate all students, no matter their mental or psychical abilities, or if they are here legally or not, with insufficient subsidies from the State or Federal Governments. As to teachers, politics, the need to stay many years in the job to get retirement benefits, also affects the quality of education here.

The USA does need a better designed and funded K-12 education system, one with strong national standards, consolidating districts to be more efficient, making sure all districts are sufficiently funded and improving how we teach to deal with the distractions of modern life and declining involvement of a parent or parents in educating our children.

As to innovation, while the USA is still excellent in many areas, in many countries there is a much greater government involvement as to policy, trade protections, financial subsidies that the USA doesn't do, but for military equipment and in University programs.
 
fridgmus
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:11 pm

Maybe we need to change our curriculum?

A friend of mine lives and works in Dubai and his daughter went to school there, paid for by the UAE Govt. Nice perk, anyway, she went back to the US to spend a year with her mother and was so disgusted with the US school system, she went back to Dubai. Told her dad that she was so far ahead of her fellow students, it was extremely frustrating, not to mention, she didn't learn a damn thing. The school she went to in Dubai used the British Curriculum. She is now in her freshman year at the University of Minnesota and doing well.

Several teachers I know have told me that schools nowadays teach kids how to pass tests, not to analyze problems and think them through on their own to find a solution.

Maybe some of my more learned A.netters can add to this?

Thanks,

F
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Mir
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RE: Innovation And Education Can't Save US Economy

Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:50 pm

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 29):
Several teachers I know have told me that schools nowadays teach kids how to pass tests, not to analyze problems and think them through on their own to find a solution.

And that is the problem with overreliance on testing, which is the direction that the US has moved in. A corollary of that is that when you're not getting good enough test scores, the solution is generally to make the test easier rather than do a better job of teaching the material.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day

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