Archive for May 20, 2013

Why does the US have so many of the world’s smartest students?

Useful piece that helps to explain how the US can be doing so well in terms of education and so awful at the same time.  The problem is our enormous variance, in part explain by our enormous size.  Averages are way different than individuals.

Part of this is easy to explain: The United States is big. Very big. And it’s a far bigger country than the other members of the OECD. We claim roughly 27 percent of the group’s 15-to-19-year-olds. Japan, in contrast, has a smidge over 7 percent. So in reading and in science, we punch above our weight by just a little, while in math we punch below.

But the point remains: In two out of three subjects, Americans are over-represented among the best students.

If we have so many of the best minds, why are our average scores so disappointingly average? As Rutgers’s Hal Salzman and Georgetown’s B. Lindsay Lowell, who co-authored the EPI report, noted in a 2008 Nature article, our high scorers are balanced out by an very large number of low scorers. Our education system, just like our economy, is polarized.

via You’ll Be Shocked by How Many of the World’s Top Students Are American – Jordan Weissmann – The Atlantic.

May 20, 2013 at 1:24 am 2 comments

New Report from NCWIT: Girls in IT

I’ve just started reading the new report, and I’m going to be recommending it often — lots of detail, connections to lots of literature, and useful synthesis.  As usual, NCWIT does a great job with resources.  They provide the report, and also a nice infographic and charts & graphs for others to use.

Girls in IT: The Facts, sponsored by NCWIT’s K-12 Alliance, is a synthesis of the existing literature on increasing girls’ participation in computing. It aims to bring together this latest research so that readers can gain a clearer and more coherent picture of 1) the current state of affairs for girls in computing, 2) the key barriers to increasing girls’ participation in these fields, and 3) promising practices for addressing these barriers.

via Girls in IT: The Facts | National Center for Women & Information Technology.

May 20, 2013 at 1:10 am Leave a comment


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