December 8, 2013

"OECD Warns West on Education Gaps"

From the NYT:
O.E.C.D. Warns West on Education Gaps 
By D. D. GUTTENPLAN

LONDON — Like a school principal handing out a clutch of C grades, Andreas Schleicher unveiled the results from the latest round of the Program for International Student Assessment tests last week. 
For Britain, the United States and most of Western Europe, the results ranged from “average” to “poor.” British students, for example, scored exactly average in mathematics and slightly above average in reading and science. ... The United States were below average in mathematics and science but slightly above in reading. 
For Asian countries, the news was much more encouraging, with students from Shanghai topping the chart by a considerable margin, but with students from Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea all closely bunched at the high end. 
Mr. Schleicher, the head of education at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which administers the tests every three years to about half a million 15-year-olds in 65 countries around the world, also noted significant improvement in Vietnam. He described it as a poor country whose students outperformed peers from many wealthier nations — and did even better once differences in income were taken into account.

Okay, but Vietnam only tested a sample representing 56% of its students, compared to 89% for the US and 93% for the UK. Let me strategically ignore 44% of my students and I could make California look pretty good.

This is not to say that Vietnam might not be doing pretty well -- it has some of the nationalist characteristics of other high-fliers like Finland, Poland, and South Korea. The Vietnamese attitude seems to be: Hey, we don't have to feel guilty and dabble in all that Cultural Marxist stuff: we're Communists.

Off-topic, but a couple of years ago I read a book by a JP Morgan executive on investing in developing markets. He explained that lots of capital had flowed into Vietnam a decade or so ago on the grounds that it was obviously China Junior. But this hadn't worked out all that well for foreign plungers. He pointed out that the topography of Vietnam is the opposite of the topography of China (which may help explain why long ago the Vietnamese were able to stop the Chinese imperial / cultural steamroller from taking over the way the Chinese empire originating in northern China had taken over what's now southern China). China possesses gigantic flat river valleys (Yellow, Yangtze, Pearl, etc.), like the American Midwest but with multiple outlets rather than just one Mississippi. Like the Midwest, the valleys have good soil. Crops and industrial output can easily be transported to the coast by river, or perpendicular to the rivers by canal, railroad, or road.

Vietnam, in contrast, has a narrow coastal shelf backed by mountains (until you get to the Mekong Delta in the far south). Rivers quickly become impassable. Ports are not very good. Most of Vietnam is physically like a worse version of the eastern seaboard of America: in a word, picturesque but geographically marginal. As Ben Franklin propagandized the British government during the diplomatic negotiations resolving the French and Indian Wars, the country that controlled the Mississippi River Valley would control the world in the 1900s, so don't let the French get back into the heart of the continent.
... Western countries, Mr. Schleicher warned, should not to comfort themselves with the myth that Asian high performance is the result of education systems that favor memorization over creativity. 
“The big success in East Asia is not a success in drilling,” he said, adding that the mathematics test required creativity and problem solving skills based on a deep understanding of mathematical concepts.

My experience is that drilling and creative solving of quantitative problems go together. What ability I have to, say, make more sense than most pundits out of PISA scores is based on my being good at simple arithmetic, which I drilled myself on hard as a child -- I'd make up numbers and add them together for fun -- because it was enjoyable to be good at arithmetic. I have almost zero mathematical skill, but I can add, subtract, multiply, and divide like nobody's business.

These days, everybody talks about "critical thinking skills," which seem to be conceived of as the opposite of rote memorization of your times tables. But as a rare critic who has actually helped undermine the reputation of a couple of high-flying nonfiction authors, I've done it mostly through being extremely well-drilled in arithmetic.
Though most of the press coverage in Britain focused on its performance, John Jerrim, a professor at the Institute for Education, said he thought that the big news in the results was neither the continuing rise of Asia nor the relatively flat results from the United States and Europe over all but a sharp drop in the scores for Swedish schools. 
“Sweden has the biggest decline of any country in the world,” Dr. Jerrim said in an interview. “They’re down 3.3 percent in mathematics, 3.1 percent in science and 2.8 percent in reading, and that continues a trend from 2009.” 
Yet the American and British governments “have followed the Swedish model by opening more and more ‘free schools’ or charter schools,” he said.

Or it may have something to do with the Swedes being truer believers in immigration and refugees than other European countries, especially compared to the emerging northeastern European axis of excellence: Finland, Estonia, and Poland.
His skepticism was echoed by Mr. Schleicher, the O.E.C.D. official, who said, “The data shows no relation between competition between schools and the overall performance level.” 

Perhaps the current conventional wisdom of competition / multiculturalism doesn't work well at uplifting the masses?

74 comments:

RageWithTheMachine said...

I am told that in Vietnam they test kids in grades 5, 9 and 12.

If you fail in grade 5, that is the end of school for you. Similarly for grades 9 and 12.

Seems like a case of survivor bias.

In addition, in HK, those kids who are not doing well in 6th grade or 11th grade, can ditch school and start working.

Also, seems like some survivor bias there.

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

"This is not to say that Vietnam might not be doing pretty well -- it has some of the nationalist characteristics of other high-fliers like Finland, Poland, and South Korea. The Vietnamese attitude seems to be: Hey, we don't have to feel guilty and dabble in all that Cultural Marxist stuff: we're Communists."

Well, most of the Third World feels no guilt, but they still do badly. Russia feels no guilt over anything, but it hasn't done so well either.

Poland is an interesting case. While a victim nation for past several centuries, a kind of guilt mentality has been setting in since the end of the Cold War.
Poles are Slavs but don't wanna be associated with the barbaric Asiatic Russian horde. I've known Polish friends and they always stress, 'yes, Polish language is Slavic, but we are CATHOLIC(than Orthodox), we feel closer to Western Europe, we look down on Russians as backward and Serbians as barbarians, etc, etc.'

Polish liberals are some of the biggest suck-asses in the world. They are so eager to belong to the Western club. It's like Kieslowski making all those films in France, a nation he knew nothing about.
So, in the past two decades, Poles have adopted lots of Western attitudes and values. Lots of Poles are so very sorry that the Holocaust happened in Poland and Poles didn't do enough to save Jews. They are so sorry that Poland has traditionally been so antisemitic. Poles are aware that much of American media treatment of Poland has been 'poles are unrepentant anti-semites, and they go out of their way to prove that they are working so hard.

One Polish friend returned from Poland with antisemitic literature and made a big spectacle before Jewish friends that he is sooooo ashamed of his fellow Poles and that so a new generation of Poles are facing up to the evil of antisemitism.

During communist days, the Catholic Church was admired for standing up to communism. But today, with Catholicism being associated with 'anti-gayness' and 'antisemitism'(Hitler's Pope and all that), many young Poles are either dropping out of the Church or attacking it for its anti-gay stance and insufficient amends to the Jewish community and all that.

And Polish liberals are on the ascent because, let's face it, Polish conservatives are among the dumbest and least imaginative people on Earth. They make red state American conservatives seem like geniuses.

Anonymous said...

"China possesses gigantic flat river valleys (Yellow, Yangtze, Pearl, etc.), like the American Midwest but with multiple outlets rather than just one Mississippi."

These rivers are all ultimately due to the Himalayas. The Chinese must give the Himalayan snowpack a lot of credit for their civilization.

That probably explains their need to occupy Tibet and build that techno-cool train track to Lhasa. That track is the highest in the world, with one section at 16,627 feet!

"The passenger carriages used on Lhasa trains are specially built and have an oxygen supply for each passenger."

I guess the good news for Americans is that the locomotives are built by GE in the US. (I think derived from locomotives originally developed to work at high altitude in the Rockies.)

Winston said...

As a native chinese, I will tell you why our students scored better: 1) setting higher standards and learning much more difficult subjects compared to the kids at the same age of europe and the us; 2) have a tradition of emphasis and respect of education and therefore have committed parents who try best to make sure their kids to succeed (孟母三迁); 3) ironically, contrary to what steve believes, our students believe more in self-discipline and hard work rather than biological/genetic factors; 4) being better in math and science at the expense of other fun things in childhood in a competitive society.

Mika said...

It's hard to understand why these tests should be taken seriously when they fail to show a strong correlation between how a country does on the test and its economic and especially intellectual status. I mean, the last sentence of your post Steve says it all - Poland, Estonia, and Finland? Really? If these countries are the top European scorers then forgive me for not being very troubled that the US is not among their company.

The biggest thing to take away from these tests is how little relationship they have to a country's real world rank. This curious discrepancy between test results and real world performance seems to be a weakness of most tests that we now possess.

It's an interesting fact that we rely so heavily on so called scientific testing of all kinds yet the elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring is that the tests seem terrible at describing reality. Yet no one seems to mind and our love affair with these tests continue.

Probably because people love to measure and rank themselves and any tool that lets them do that is going to be popular, no matter how little credibility that tool has. Poland regularly scores at the top in European IQ tests as well. This fact alone should make any healthy skeptic a bit suspicious of IQ tests, and there are literally dozens of such glaring discrepancies. But we like to ignore them because it's too troubling to confess that our vaunted scientific tools have blunt edges.

I'm not against testing and I think ranking is a valuable and important human activity, as well as a pleasurable and deeply interesting one. And it's obvious that ability is largely innate and varies hugely across individuals and populations. I just think our current tests are laughably inadequate and our faith in them probably has psychological explanations. The belief that our current tests are somehow scientific is a sad example of how science has degenerated as well as a reflection of the way science is coming to have a largely totemic, symbolic function independent of its actual ability to say anything about the real world.

The problem, of course, is one of complexity. It's not so much that the tests are wrong as that they simplify a complex reality so much that the information they yield has little ultimate value. Intellectual performance seems to be a very complex phenomenon and one that if we weren't so arrogant we would admit we poorly understand.

We see it time and time again. Israel has a national IQ of 94 and even it's Ashkenazi fraction has an IQ of 103. Do these numbers predict or even have any obvious relation to the kind and the quality of its intellectual output? It's the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. And there are literally dozens of cases like Israel's.

I concede the tests say something and there is a very general correlation between scores and some kinds at least of performance. It's just that many of the most interesting kinds of performance are not predicted by these tests. The special kind of innovation that Israel excels in is very different the kind of engineering the Japanese excel in, for instance. And apparently it's possible to have an average or somewhat low score and still be a brilliant performer. How can this be?

Multiply this example many times and clearly an intelligent, skeptical person has no choice but to notice that the simplified picture painted by our tests conceals so many curious anomalies and unexpected outcomes, indeed contradictory and refractory outcomes, that despite some significant ways in which these tests are valid, it's hard to decide if the ways in which they aren't don't count for more.

But at the very least honesty and the scientific spirit - does that exist any more? - should compel us to admit that a test on which it is possible for a country to score fairly low yet outperform countries with much higher scores despite similar opportunities should at least be thought suspicious .

Anonymous said...

Ahh Swedes they still don't get it. It wasn't supposed to go this way. They were gonna show you Yankee bastards how it was done. It's becoming awkward to watch. Human services should step in.

Anonymous said...

"As a native chinese, I will tell you why our students scored better: 1) setting higher standards and learning much more difficult subjects compared to the kids at the same age of europe and the us" and blah blah.

-------

All this studying won't really do much. If lots of studying creates Einsteins, every Chinese, Japanese, and Korean would be an Einstein. In fact, most of them--even those who studied so hard in school--are gonna end up as paper pushing clerks or truck driver. It's really a waste of energy. To be sure, I guess it serves as a kind of social control of youth. If a lot of young people are told that they might do well in school and have a good future, they might behave better and hit the books. But if a whole bunch of them were honestly told that they won't amount to much, they might become more 'delinquent' and run around causing trouble than hitting the books and studying for exams.

PS. I think maybe Chinese need a bit more barbarian attitude. I mean why did Russia instead of the Chinese grab and own Siberia?
Cuz Russians always saw themselves as sort of barbaric. Thus, Russians didn't shut themselves off from barbarians of Caucasus, Mongols of East, Cossacks of Ukraine. They figured, 'we like to wrestle with bears and dance on tables, they like the wrestle with bears and dance on tables'. So, Russians didn't try to seal themselves from the world around them and eventually conquered much of Central Asia and Siberia.

In contrast, Chinese saw northern barbarians as so uncouth while seeing themselves as soooooo civilized. So, Chinese obsessively sought to shut out the barbarians instead of conquering, mingling, and dancing with them. If Chinese had been more like Russians(more barbarian and less fancy pants), they wouldn't have seen as Mongols as terrible barbarians but as fellow barbarians. Chinese would have mixed totally with Mongols and then took over all of Siberia. But Chinese mentality was 'we are civilized, and northern barbarians suck real bad', and so, Chinese only thought in terms of building walls to keep the barbarians out.And in doing so, Chinese ignored all the vast lands above them that was free for the taking as few people lived there.

Russians, in contrast thought, 'they are barbarians, and we are sort of barbarian too, so let's use our barbarian energies to conquer their barbarian lands so that all of us can be barbarian together', and so Russia ended up with all of Siberia.

I think some Chinese novel called Wolf Totem sort of understands this.

Chosen Few said...

Well, while you guys have been worrying about Education gaps, Obama's had his eyes on a more down to earth prize:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/obamas_plan_to_snatch_your_savings.html

Anonymous said...

While I believe there's very much something to IQ tests, I'm not so sure that IQ by itself is sufficient.

The military is a good example. It is said that classically there have been 3 systems for selecting officers. (1) Aristocratic systems based on birth (as in the British Army during much of its history; it didn't so much matter how good an officer was as long as he was willing to stand up, lead his men, and die; (2) merit-based systems based on tests (as in the Soviet and sometime French and Russian armies; and (3) merit-based systems based on bottom-up experience (as in recent German armies and sometimes the US).

The case can be made that the history of warfare shows that selecting officers based solely on written exams is less effective than based on bottom-up evaluation by their peers and immediate superiors. (Of course, maybe many of these officer candidate exams were pretty bad.)

This likely plays out similarly in other non-military fields, but those don't provide the opportunity for direct comparison.

Cory B. said...

" Winston said...

As a native chinese, I will tell you why our students scored better.."

I didn't see 'has a culture of cheating and lying their asses off' anywhere on the list...

What's more, you try weighing down your scores by having a third of your population black or Hispanic, then get back to me.

Anonymous said...

And Polish liberals are on the ascent because, let's face it, Polish conservatives are among the dumbest and least imaginative people on Earth. They make red state American conservatives seem like geniuses.
Well, reading their economic stats they are behind poor whites in the south, so this explains it.

Anonymous said...

I mean, the last sentence of your post Steve says it all - Poland, Estonia, and Finland? Really? If these countries are the top European scorers then forgive me for not being very troubled that the US is not among their company.

Actually Massachusetts and White Americans are up there with Poland, Estonia, and Finland. And Mass has a bigger population than Estonia and Finland.

And besides, what you have got against those countries?

Anonymous said...

And Polish liberals are on the ascent because, let's face it, Polish conservatives are among the dumbest and least imaginative people on Earth. They make red state American conservatives seem like geniuses.

This is just completely unsubstantiated nonsense. Red state American conservatives are more intelligent than blue staters.

Auntie Analogue said...


It's the ancient, time-honored consequence: Import the Third World and you ARE the Third World.

Mr. Anon said...

"Vietnam, in contrast, has a narrow coastal shelf backed by mountains..."

It should be noted that so does Japan.

Mighty General Casey Has Struck Out said...

As bad as a national decline in educational achievement is, a national decline in diversity would be even worse.

Mr. Anon said...

"Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

Polish liberals are some of the biggest suck-asses in the world."

Poles should remember that western liberals did nothing for them while they lay prostrate under the Russian boot.

Anonymous said...

Poles are aware that much of American media treatment of Poland has been 'poles are unrepentant anti-semites, and they go out of their way to prove that they are working so hard.

Do they know what Polack jokes are?

Anonymous said...

RE: Vietnam

Taught the PRC a lesson back in 1979. Nasty, vicious little fight.

Epiglot said...

"Chosen Few said...

Well, while you guys have been worrying about Education gaps, Obama's had his eyes on a more down to earth prize:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/obamas_plan_to_snatch_your_savings.html"



Conservatives are usually relatively bright and talented, but have stupid leadership, a situation much like the British Army of yore.

Liberals have bright leadership, but most of the followers are clueless sheeple.

Anonymous said...

Russians, in contrast thought, 'they are barbarians, and we are sort of barbarian too, so let's use our barbarian energies to conquer their barbarian lands so that all of us can be barbarian together', and so Russia ended up with all of Siberia.

Siberia wasn't conquered by Russian "barbarians". It was conquered by the Russian Empire relatively recently.

Anonymous said...

And Polish liberals are on the ascent because, let's face it, Polish conservatives are among the dumbest and least imaginative people on Earth. They make red state American conservatives seem like geniuses.

This is just completely unsubstantiated nonsense. Red state American conservatives are more intelligent than blue staters.


The guy is using as his avatar a Sailer joke from like six months ago really let it slide. On isteve contempt for red staters is inversely correlated to how many chicks you've been with. This is the kind of guy who thinks to himself "Man I just wore that blow up doll out."

Anonymous said...

During communist days, the Catholic Church was admired for standing up to communism. But today, with Catholicism being associated with 'anti-gayness' and 'antisemitism'(Hitler's Pope and all that), many young Poles are either dropping out of the Church or attacking it for its anti-gay stance and insufficient amends to the Jewish community and all that.

One should not overlook the role that the rabidly philosemitic Bush Administration played.

American tax dollars went to Poland – directly, through US-funded NGOs and through Jewish organizations – to indoctrinate Poles with pro-Jewish, pro-Israel, and anti-Catholic propaganda. At every turn the message was clear: for Jews to feel “safe,” every aspect of Polish culture, religion, and history would have to “change.” The Poles, foolishly believing Americans to be their friends, internalized the message in a way they never internalized Communist propaganda

Christian Zionist and Evangelical Protestant clergymen also relied on NGO and Bush Administration largesse to help them convince Eastern European Christians that they needed to destroy their “idolatrous” religious icons and to devote their lives to serving Israel and the People of Israel. (For some reason, the evangelicals' ranting was considered the “secular” promotion of “tolerance” and therefore consistent with the separation of church and state.) American Catholics, blinded by American Holocaust-mongering and ultra-nationalism, stood by and allowed their faith to be attacked by Bush's religious attack dogs.

5371 said...

Examples of populations with similar ethnic makeup and socio-economic level scoring very differently are not hard to uncover among these data. Whites from Wales do much worse than whites from Ireland. Whites from Tasmania do much worse than whites from Western Australia. Whites from Sweden do much worse than whites from the Netherlands.

Anonymous said...

Mika,
You've got i exactly wrong.

For example, it was well known in scientific circles 40 years ago that Chinese descended people topped the world in IQ tests, but in those days no one but no one took China seriously as an economic power, and the notion that someday China would economically dominate the world was seen as laughable.

Look how wrong those people have been proved.

Anonymous said...

"Siberia wasn't conquered by Russian "barbarians". It was conquered by the Russian Empire relatively recently."

I know. My point is even as 'civilized' folks, Russians retained their barbarian soul and took pride in their warrior-hunter heart.

Chinese were like the elites in ZARDOZ. They saw themselves as fancy pansy and shut the world out.

Anonymous said...

"Red state American conservatives are more intelligent than blue staters."

Hahaha. Have you spent a lot of time in Kentucky and Tennessee? Nice folks but not the brightest bulbs. And deep south is even more ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Hardly a secret that liberals in any country, including Poland, would look down at conservatives. The question I have is if Poland will follow the Swedish example and open its doors to the third world ?

It probably seems far fetched to many, but in 50 years I can envisage that even countries like Poland will have non white populations that will reach over the 50% mark. It will follow exactly the same path of every other liberal nation, the population increasingly must prove their liberalism by giving ever more away to every liberal victim group (which is basically 90% of the worlds population.)

Anonymous said...

Kieslowski directed many Polish-language movies, incl. movies for Polish television (e.g., Decalogue) before making films in French. It's a question of being noticed and appreciated around the world. And actually he knew a lot about France - there have been close cultural ties for many centuries between Poland and France, incl. the fact that French was the language of the European aristocracy since at least the 16th century. English is a relative newcomer. By the way, if Joseph Conrad (born into an aristocratic Polish family as Jozef Konrad Korzeniowski) and Nabokov (born into an aristocratic Russian family) wrote in Polish or Russian, would they have been as known around the world as they are today? Gombrowicz, a great mid-century Polish writer is still barely noticed outside of Poland, and is certainly not as well known as the Nobel prize winning poets Milosz and Szymborska

Anonymous said...

"These days, everybody talks about "critical thinking skills," which seem to be conceived of as the opposite of rote memorization of your times tables. But as a rare critic who has actually helped undermine the reputation of a couple of high-flying nonfiction authors, I've done it mostly through being extremely well-drilled in arithmetic."


I had similar experiences, especially in college, albeit from the humanities viewpoint. I made decent money as a tutor, got a reputation as a bit of a savant and competed with people who had a heavy advantage in pure IQ, simply because I like learning dates and names. In a watered down curriculum, there's surprising power in knowing the names of the important people in a wide area of knowledge.

Simon in London said...

anon:
"Mika,
You've got i exactly wrong.

For example, it was well known in scientific circles 40 years ago that Chinese descended people topped the world in IQ tests, but in those days no one but no one took China seriously as an economic power, and the notion that someday China would economically dominate the world was seen as laughable.

Look how wrong those people have been proved."

That's my thinking also. Swedish decline in school tests today indicates what the future holds for Sweden in 30-40 years.

Anonymous said...

Yes, recently in the news I read about a Yale professor who tested 3000 voters for basic knowledge of science and was shocked to find that conservatives knew much more than progressives, exploding the idea that Red states were filled with ignoramuses.

Which is perhaps why conservatives were better equipped to evaluate the dishonest hype about global warming and see it for what it was, a scheme to transfer wealth from the first to the third world, with a bunch of carbon trading schemers getting rich as intermediaries.

Jerry said...

It would seem that national IQ is necessary but not sufficient for national prosperity. I would rate Poland's IQ as white average, diligence high (so far!), governance below average (our story for the last 400 years)...

Nevertheless, Poland is becoming rich very quickly, starting from an absurdly low base in 1989. The Czech Republic is a middling country now. In 1939, it had the eighth highest per capita income in the world. War and Communism were almost terminal for Central Europe, it will take another 20-30 years to recover from all that. This recovery, in its various flavours in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, is the happiest and most involving long-term story that I follow.

Another interesting prediction, as the Guardian reports--

"Credit Suisse predicts the number of millionaires for various countries by 2018. Globally, there will be a 50% rise in the number of millionaires in the next five years. Although the US will continue to top the list with the highest number of millionaires, in terms of percentage change, Poland's population will experience the biggest leap – with 89% more billionaires in 2018 than it had in 2013."

staffanspersonalityblog said...

Finland, Estonia and Poland all have less than one percent Muslims. Sweden has somewhere between 5 and 10 percent plus plenty of Christians from the Middle East. That said, Sweden has also had a school reform which failed miserably with lots of school being shut down midterm. The combination of these factors add up to the abysmal score.

But I don't think the survey measures creativity as Schleicher claims. If this was the case then the West would be making cheap copies of products East Asians develop rather than the other way around.

peterike said...

Well thank God that America continues to let in an endless stream of (legal and illegal) high performing Chinese. New York in particular, now home to over a million of them (legal #; probably half again as many adding illegals), is blessed with this kind of terrific wealth creation that can only be found among the high performance set:

An unfolding criminal case ­offers a rare glimpse into how a group of Chinese immigrants turned knockoff Michael Kors bags and Jimmy Choo shoes into a multimillion-dollar business, allowing them to snap up luxury cars, Rolexes and real estate in New York and Florida.

Now the Queens family allegedly at the heart of the $10 million counterfeiting ring stands to lose everything — including their freedom.

Authorities say brother-and-sister duo Chee Kwan “Jimmy” Yim, 43, and Chee Kuen “Janice” Yim, 40, for years had no legitimate source of income, yet they, along with other siblings, had half a dozen properties, as well as diamonds, raw jade, paintings, porcelain vases, a Lexus and tens of thousands of dollars in cash.


http://nypost.com/2013/12/08/familys-american-dream-built-on-knockoff-goods-da/

Jonathan Silber said...

...our [Chinese] students believe more in self-discipline and hard work rather than biological/genetic factors; 4) being better in math and science at the expense of other fun things in childhood in a competitive society.

That Chinese kids are so ready to forgo the special pleasures of childhood and instead put their noses to the grindstone speaks poorly of them and their culture.

Sequester Grundleplith said...

Ok, but there are plenty of concerns about free/charter schools (cost and scalability, for example) that a study like this doesn't capture. Not to excuse the bovine know-nothingness of the OECD official when it comes to immigration.

Monoethnic polities *and* robust public institutions are probably where it's at; the "liberal" wing of our elite can't admit the former and the "conservatives" can't admit the latter.

Sequester Grundleplith said...

Anonymous at 12/8/13 10:33 PM, can you provide some links to back up this story about Bush II administration support philosemitic/anti-Catholic propaganda in Poland? Your comment is right on the razor's edge between "tinfoil-hat lunacy" and "in today's world, why not?" so (1) nice job and (2) I'm wondering which is actually the case.

Chicago said...

The pricey name brand down jacket I bought was made in Vietnam. Checking labels at some of the higher end stores that sell similar items such as outdoor clothing and gym shoes also shows that a good percentage of what they're selling is now being manufactured there. Additionally, the US seems to have tilted towards Vietnam in it's territorial dispute with China, going so far as to hold joint naval drills last year with Vietnam. It makes one wonder if the unpleasantness of 40-50 years ago couldn't have been avoided somehow; after all, everybody wants to do business.

Anonymous said...

" Russia feels no guilt over anything."

You don't know much about Russia, do you?

jody said...

vietnam probably cheated. vietnamese colleges require students to take classes in marxism and communism as part of the curriculum. i was shocked to learn about that. it's 2013 and they require students to waste credits learning about discredited political systems. fortunately for the kids, the minimum is only 3 classes.

BBC http://tinyurl.com/lrjxeh6
AP http://tinyurl.com/mw46dfo
NYT http://tinyurl.com/m859hj4

imagine if the US instituted a nationwide mandatory minimum of 3 classes in american universities. what if:

cultural marxism 101
obamanomics
theology of obama

were required for all undergraduates. and anybody majoring in cultural marxism was given a full ride. we'd be in major trouble in no time.

pat said...

I don't believe it when Bill O'Reilly claims that he is a simple man. And I don't believe it when you say that you are no good at math.

When I was a kid learning the multiplication tables my mother had to get me a tutor. The tutor taught me to do rote memorization. I had worked out a series of algorithms. For example I noticed that the nine times table results always equaled one less than the number being added plus a second number that totaled nine when added to the first number. Seven times nine equals six (seven minus one) and three ( nine minus six). This always works but is slow to calculate. In Catholic school the Sister would shout out the numbers to be multiplied and the students would respond. I was of course always the slowest because I was doing a calculation and the others had done memorization.

That's why I needed a tutor. I was slow. My tutor drilled me so as to knock all that algorithmic stuff out of my head.

Many years later when I was working as a Postal Clerk to put myself through college, I had to memorize a postal route 'scheme'. Postal clerks in those days had to put the letter in the right slot based on its address. So a letter to 1050 Main street might go in the 44 slot indicating that it was on the 44 mail route.

Learning a scheme was the make or break test at the Post Office. If you could learn a scheme you continued as a clerk working inside. If you couldn't pass the scheme test you became a mail handler and worked outside on the loading dock tossing mail bags around. I worked from 3 AM to 7 AM. It was cold outside.

You were given something like three weeks to memorize a scheme. You were sent to a separate study room each morning. I figured I could use mnemonics to learn my scheme. It worked really too well. I memorized the scheme in two sessions. I could have done it in one. At the time that was a record. I passed the scheme test with ease. But I was slow. When I saw an address I ran my mental algorithm and developed an answer. Whereas the other clerks just did rote memorization and responded immediately. I was alone back at my station sorting mail for weeks before the others came back. But when they did they were fully up to speed whereas I was limping along at half speed doing my mental calculations.

Of course after a while I too memorized everything. I became as fast as everyone else and I sorted everything automatically. When I got fast I found I couldn't even remember the addresses. I just put them in the right slot.

I'm sure if I had taken an fMRI it would have shown that with my mnemonic calculations I was using my prefrontal lobes and when had developed rote proficiency I was using some lower brain structures.

The point is that for most real world routine math type jobs rote memorization is the appropriate learning approach.

Albertosaurus

Lex said...

There is not a single anti-EU party in polish parliament. And EU is uber-leftist.

SLD, which used to be dominant party in communist times, belongs to Socialist International.

Leader of Twoj Ruch(they have transgender PM, feminists, homosexuals and anticlericals among them) advocates destroying Poland and changing it into nationless province of EU.

There is Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc(PiS) - party which used to be antireligious and antinationalist before they made a pact with one religious radiostation, however its leader expressed support to creating EU army and changing Union into fullfleshed state since.

There is governing Platforma Obywatelska(PO) which basically exists to kiss asses of EU officials so its leader - Tusk - could someday take prestigious position in eurobeaucracy.

There is also PSL(agricultural party) which will go into coalition with anyone who will guarantee their members positions in administration.

Solidarna Polska emerged from Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc and is basically the same thing.

Outside of parliament there is only one party with chance to get inside - Kongres Nowej Prawicy(KNP) - the only rightist party in Poland right now - libertarian, open borders, no income tax, death penalty etc.

If you asked people about policies of this parties less than 20% would agree with them, however our media promote them and no other parties exist in TV/radio/major newspapers(they only recently noticed KNP).

Anonymous said...

"I can add, subtract, multiply, and divide like nobody's business."

Wow. I always suspected Mr. Sailer of being an intellectual giant. Finally he sheds his customary modesty and reveals the measure of his greatness.

Anonymous said...

vietnam probably cheated. vietnamese colleges require students to take classes in marxism and communism as part of the curriculum. i was shocked to learn about that. it's 2013 and they require students to waste credits learning about discredited political systems. fortunately for the kids, the minimum is only 3 classes.

BBC http://tinyurl.com/lrjxeh6
AP http://tinyurl.com/mw46dfo
NYT http://tinyurl.com/m859hj4


Did you even read the articles you linked to? They don't say that Vietnam requires students to take Marxism courses. They say that Vietnam made the courses in Marxism free in order to attract more students since nobody was taking the courses.

Anonymous said...

Look how wrong those people have been proved.

By the same token, the Japanese today dominate the world economically less than they did previously, when they had a bigger relative advantage in educational merits.

And the most powerful nations have not always had the best test scores.

Mika said...

You've got i exactly wrong.

For example, it was well known in scientific circles 40 years ago that Chinese descended people topped the world in IQ tests, but in those days no one but no one took China seriously as an economic power, and the notion that someday China would economically dominate the world was seen as laughable.

Look how wrong those people have been proved.


What are you talking about - Chinese economic ability has always been admitted and even admired in the West, well before the 20th century. China was once the richest country in the world and everywhere Chinese emigrate they do very well economically. These facts were known and admitted in the West a least since the 17th century. Haven't you heard of the famous quip by Napoleon about China?

What is interesting about China is how poorly it is doing compared to its test results and its population size. Although I didn't bring it up, China and Chinese people in general are a great illustration of my general point. A simple thought experiment should make that clear; if Germany had a billion people, or Japan had a billion people, I think it's obvious they would be infinitely wealthier and more powerful than China. And Chinese communities elsewhere in the world rarely make important intellectual contributions or serious innovations. Had the US let in large numbers of Japanese in the 19th century we would probably have a much more innovative Asian community. The facts about the Chinese provide one of the clearest examples of what I am talking about. In some ways they are very successful intellectually, and in other ways they simply aren't, and it can't be a matter of opportunity or political system because Chinese performance seems to show the same attributes wherever they end up, whether they stay in China, move to the United States, or move to Thailand. And the ways in which Chinese fail to succeed intellectually despite great test scores is just one more reminder that intelligence is far more complex than our tests reveal and that we don't understand it all that well.

As John Derbyshire tirelessly points out, there is nothing remarkable about, there is nothing remarkable about China's recent rate of development. Any country that starts from so low a base and isn't completely retarded can expect similar rates of development.

Also, although it's a minor quibble and doesn't affect the point you're trying to make, Japanese and Koreans regularly outscore Chinese on IQ tests, as do a host of of European countries; Poland notably among them.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12/8/13 10:33 PM, can you provide some links to back up this story about Bush II administration support philosemitic/anti-Catholic propaganda in Poland? Your comment is right on the razor's edge between "tinfoil-hat lunacy" and "in today's world, why not?" so (1) nice job and (2) I'm wondering which is actually the case.

The diplomatic cables leaked by Chelsea Manning are replete with examples.

In 2005, US diplomats in Warsaw reported to their superiors that they were funding, for example,
Jewish film festivals intended to promote “Jewish history, culture, and remembrance.” http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=05WARSAW3469

According to the cable, the State Department was also paying for the following; (1) paying Polish schoolteachers to travel to the US to learn about the Holocaust from preselected organizations; (2) “bring[ing] together American NGOs such as the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee and Polish NGOs such as Villa Decius with local leaders to discuss and promote tolerance;” and (3) “workshop program[s] targeted at press, public officials, academics and youth” in which “Church officials, international experts and academics, and high-ranking government officials” lectured the audience as to the importance of “tolerance” toward Judaism.

In 2006, US diplomats pressured Poland to marginalize the then-popular pro-Catholic League of Polish Families. http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=06WARSAW1489 The then-ruling Law and Justice party ultimately complied. http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=06WARSAW2415

In early 2009, US diplomats reported on past meetings with local Catholic and Jewish leaders regarding, among other things, insufficient philosemitism among local Catholics and Catholic journalists. The cable (which was also forwarded to Tel Aviv) also notes the possession of information which, “[i]f made public . . . could further jeopardize the moral authority of a Church already accused of high-level collaboration with the communist regime.” http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09WARSAW192

jody said...

"Did you even read the articles you linked to? They don't say that Vietnam requires students to take Marxism courses. They say that Vietnam made the courses in Marxism free in order to attract more students since nobody was taking the courses."

maybe you should read the articles. the AP and NYT articles clearly say:

"All Vietnamese students must take at least three classes in Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh studies, but few go beyond that minimum requirement."

i deliberately put the BBC article first, which doesn't mention that fact, to catch smarmy posters like you.

Anonymous said...


@mika

("if Germany had a billion people, or Japan had a billion people, I think it's obvious they would be infinitely wealthier and more powerful than China.")

Comparing a static point in history as you do without any context regarding the tartgets of comparison is logically as pretty much retarded as claiming that I am running much faster than Usain Bolt in 100m spirint because between 11th metre to 12th metre, as we can see now, I am ahead of him.

The same logic can goes to that "if South Africa had 40 million people it would have been infinitely and more powerful than Eastern Germany and perhpas the entire Communist Eastern Europe combined.


For almost entire written history except the last 100 years, intellectually, technologically and culturally in any sphere you care to measure, Japan vs China was like Iceland vs USA.


("Also, although it's a minor quibble and doesn't affect the point you're trying to make, Japanese and Koreans regularly outscore Chinese on IQ tests, as do a host of of European countries; Poland notably among them. ")

Really? rofl. Show your data or stop daydreaming, will yer?


( "And Chinese communities elsewhere in the world rarely make important intellectual contributions or serious innovations.")

Errr...you go to college?

Simon in London said...

I have Vietnamese students - yes they always have Marxist-Leninist studies on their CVs.
My impression of them is that they seem harder working than other south-east Asians. Academic ability seems moderate, similar to global norms. We have not had any problems with academic dishonesty from them; unlike several other nations including Pakistan, Indonesia, Georgia, and Saudi Arabia. But Saudi has produced about ten times as many serious cheaters as anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

"Japanese and Koreans regularly outscore Chinese on IQ tests, as do a host of of European countries; Poland notably among them"

seriously? you don't mind telling us where the source of this tidbit?

Silver said...

What is interesting about China is how poorly it is doing compared to its test results and its population size.

How exactly is it doing poorly? Since 1978 it has grown at more or less the same pace that other rich asian countries that developed earlier grew at, like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore.

And it's not "obvious" that other countries with similar resources would be "infinitely" richer. Please.

Silver said...

The Czech Republic is a middling country now. In 1939, it had the eighth highest per capita income in the world.

Wrong. Aside from Portugal and Spain every western European country was wealthier, and then add the US, Canada, Australia, NZ and Argentina. Czechs were well below 8th spot.

Irving Crutchlow said...

"Ports are not very good. "

Uh-uh. Cam Rahn Bay, baby. Cam Rahn Bay.

The finest port in the Southwestern Pacific.

The other ports do have their strong points. The bar girls were nicer in Subic Bay,. There were some truly fine bar girls (and dope!) in Sattahip--another good deepwater port.

Putting the women and drugs aside, however, Cam Rahn Bay is the best port in that corner of the world.

Wins said...

"Chinese communities elsewhere in the world rarely make important intellectual contributions or serious innovations... Chinese performance seems to show the same attributes wherever they end up"

What's your standard of making IMPORTANT intellectual contributions or serious innovations?

There are 8 Chinese that won Nobel science prize. All are overseas Chinese and NONE of them are from mainland China. With that said, it's not true that Chinese performance is the same everywhere, at least from views of winning Nobel prizes. Considering that the majority of overseas Chinese were descendants of poor and illiterate peasants/labors, isn't it strange that the elite from a much larger talent pool in mainland China did so much worse than overseas Chinese? This is because 1) mainland China did not really open up and develop until 30 years ago, and 2) there is always a big time lag between scientific results and Nobel prize recognition. I do not think Nobel prize is the sole way or even a sufficient one to measure how well a country's science develops, however, given that China is now doing well in many scientific frontiers (for example, in fields of superconductivity, nanotechnology, space technology, Bio-gene technology, quantum teleportation etc.), i believe we will see more and more Chinese Nobel prize winners soon.

Further, do you know that in silicon valley, many startups were/are founded by Chinese? Chinese engineers are considered overrepresented there (same for wall street too). It's well known that Chinese students have taken up an over-proportionally large percentage at elite universities. That is also becoming true for Chinese faculties and researchers. Given their success in the academic and researching fields, even if you think Chinese rarely make important contributions at present, would you still say so for the future generations?

"if Germany had a billion people, or Japan had a billion people, I think it's obvious they would be infinitely wealthier and more powerful than China."

Maybe not. One of the fundamental differences between Europe and China is the fact that China was unified 2000 years ago whereas Europe was split into many and remains as such. China is a big civilization state with a huge population, which is good or bad. Why? First, one of the factors that triggered industrialization in Europe i believe was the competitions between countries. Being a big state with a massive population and land size, China certainly has many advantages over smaller countries in the development of its civilization. However, when it reaches some peak, it will either become too strong/arrogant to accept others' ideas, or too stagnant to reform. And that brings out my second point: one of the reasons why Japan industrialized first in Asia is because it is much smaller. China was just too huge to be that flexible and responsive. Therefore, your suppose that with a billion people, Germany or Japan would be infinitely better than China is essentially flawed, as being with a huge population is not just an advantage but also a disadvantage sometimes. Historically, China was indisputably the dominant power and cultural center of east asia, do you really think Japan is innately better than China?

Selester C. said...

"Perhaps the current conventional wisdom of competition / multiculturalism doesn't work well at uplifting the masses?"

Multiculturalism is the gift that keeps on giving as the Singapore riots recently show

Powerpoint Fan club said...

"The point is that for most real world routine math type jobs rote memorization is the appropriate learning approach."

Sure. High school and college are basically designed for this- its all about memorization.

The complicated understanding you describe is more for graduate and professional work.

Anonymous said...


@ Steve Sailer

China's disclosure of only Shanghai scores is actually giving the West face.

You see Shanghai scores, you think you've seen the best?

Now hold tight.

Zhejiang Province (China) 2012 PISA scores:

Math: 623 (Shanghai 613)
Reading: 570 (Shanghai 570)
Science: 582 (Shanghai 580)


Heavy sample bias contained in the scores:

1. 80% of the scores are taken from the rural areas of Zhejiang, which is only 38% rural.

2. All elite schools of Zhejiang didn't participate in the PISA test.

So Zhejiang's PISA scores by and large don't include the far right side of the IQ curve.

Zhejiang people's average IQ is higher than Ashkenazi Jews.

If each of China's 20 somthing provinces is standalone, they would take the top 10 spots in PISA ranking. The rest of a dozen or so provinces will scatter between no.11 and no.25 alongwith Sinpapore, HK, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

Anonymous said...

Considering that the majority of overseas Chinese were descendants of poor and illiterate peasants/labors, isn't it strange that the elite from a much larger talent pool in mainland China did so much worse than overseas Chinese?

That's not surprising at all, given that in China, as in much of the rest of the world, access to education was allocated on the basis of power and wealth, which was pretty much predetermined by birth. A peasant in China was illiterate because he wasn't part of the conquering elites who ran the country, not because he was innately stupid. Those who fled China, as with so many other foreigners who came to the US, were ambitious, shrewd and tough enough to survive in a foreign environment with no family connections and no knowledge of the native language. That's not nothing. The fact that the Chinese still in China worshiped a madman like Mao for close to three decades and continue to view him as some kind of Chinese Jesus doesn't speak well for their collective judgment, whatever their raw test scores.

Wins said...

“Zhejiang people's average IQ is higher than Ashkenazi Jews.”

I don’t understand why so many people here would talk about Ashkenazi Jews as if they were another race. Well, they are essentially white Europeans/americans with Jewish values and culture, who also have a tougher survivor mentality as a result of persecutions in history. If they do score higher in iq tests or accomplish better in society than white Europeans/americans, what does that imply?

1) Culture plays a bigger role than genetic/biological factors within the same racial group;

2) Results in IQ tests are highly correlated with social performance and can be served as a good indicator of such.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 3:29, how does this square with previous figures from 2009 that place China's average on the PISA at about where Vietnam is here (as reported in a previous comment thread by A Karlin)?

If major provinces are above Shanghai, then we'd have to have other major provinces way below Vietnam to balance out....

Anonymous said...

" how does this square with previous figures from 2009 that place China's average on the PISA at about where Vietnam is here (as reported in a previous comment thread by A Karlin)?

If major provinces are above Shanghai, then we'd have to have other major provinces way below Vietnam to balance out...."




China 2009 PISA tested only 12 provinces. The results are NOT average of China by any shape and colour, but JUST the average of those 12 provinces tested, used as a rough proxy by A Karlin to second-guess the national average IQ (of course, personally I think it's underestimation). So these are 2 very different concepts that can not be interchanged wihtout very questionable assumptions.

It is because that those 12 provinces included only 2 or 3 top ones, 4 or 5 average ones, but abslute 4 rock bottom ones (Western Muslim province, all the Southen and South-western ethnic minority provinces).

However, as we all know that the REAL China is of >90% Han Chinese. The provinces that Han Chinese represent as overwelmingly majority were not reflected in the average results of either 2009, or 2012 (tested 10 provinces, 30% of which are non-Han minority regions).

2 more things further extorted both 2009 and 2012 resuts to the downside:

A. PISA gives the equal weighting to a sparsely populated non-Han enthinc minority province to a densely populated high-achieving Han Chinese province.

B. as I noted previously, PISA is biased against top-ranking Chinese provinces (e.g. Zhejiang) during sampling by selecting 80% of their scores, both in 2009 and in 2012, from poor rural areas, instead of random sampling like any other country or region.

Sure, there're some with scores above Shanghai and there're bound others below it. The real average however, is quite close to Shanghai - 2 good reasons for that:

A. since Shanghai usually scores about average or slightly above average within Chinese national Gookao, which is far more accurate than PISA since Gaokao doesn't require sampling but just tests almost everyone.

B. generally speaking , well-above average students in very high PISA ranking Hong Kong or Singapore score either poorly or average in Chinese Gaokao. This means that the Chinese national average should be somewhere above HK and Singapore - therefore, again, quite close to the average performer Shanghai.

Anonymous said...

1. With as large as about 46% students missing, Vietnam's scores undoubtedly have some water. But in spite of this, Vietnam is quite good nonetheless. But don't forget that Vietnam, like Korea, was China's vassel state for 1000s of years until recently, therefore both Vietnam and Korea (for that matter Japan as well) are Confucius country with a culture that values education as the highest alongwith hardwork. So Vietnam's score (more or less) doesn't surprise me though, and good for the Viets.

2. Vietnam's national average IQ is about 96. Vietnam's average can not beat ANY Han Chinese province of China, by a long shot. It was so in the history and it is so now. Southern Vietnam is of South-East Asian stock (similar to the native Malays and Fillippinos) with IQ of mid to high 80s. However, the northern part of Vietnam, its intellectual hub, is by and large a cross between Han Chinese(who settled there 2,000 years ago) and Southern Vietnamese, with avg IQ of probably 100.

SP said...

Below is 2012 score scaling of Chinese national Gaokao exam. Since almost every student got tested, it is far more accurate than the picture PISA paints.

A full score of 100 degree in University Entrance test, Shanghai students, for example, got at least 67.5 can enter a university, ranking only 17th of 33 provinces within China in the important Science and math.

Note that Gaokao seperates into Science and Liberal Arts 2 big categories. Both test maths, but math tested in Science is far more difficult.

The West thinks Shanghai is the best of China? ROFL. Have fun!


For Science(as full score=100)

1.Guangdong Province 76.5 (a big surprise that the Canonese did exceptional well last year)
2.Zhejiang Province 76.2
3.Sichuan Province 74.9
4.Shandong Province 73.9
5.Beijing 73.3
6.Hebei Province 71.7
7.Liaoning Province 71.7

8.Jilin Province 71.3 (with a sizeable ethnic Korean population)

9.Jiangsu Province 70.4
10.Hubei Province 70.3
11. Heilongjiang Province 70.3
12.Tianjin 69.5
13.Chongqing 69.3
14.Jiangxi Province 68.9
15.Guangxi (Minorities + Han)region68.0
16.Hainan Province 67.6

17.Shanghai 67.5

18.Henan Province 67.3

19.Fujian Province 66.8 (a proxy for Taiwan, and Singapore. Shanghai beats them both in PISA. Surprise?)

20.Hunan Province 66.0
21.Yunnan (Minority region)66.0
22.Shanxi Province 65.7
23.Anhui Province 65.3
24.Gansu Province 65.2 (sparsely populated minority region)
25.Shanxi Province 64.7
26.Inner Mongolia 64.3
27.Tibet Autonomous Region 62.7
28.Ningxia (Muslim Region)60.7
29.Guizhou Province(heavily minority region)59.9
30.Xinjiang (Muslim region)59.1
31.Qinghai (sparsely populated. largely Tibetans)51.1



For Liberal arts(as full score=100)

1.Guangdong 79.2 (a very big surprise as well)
2,Zhejiang 76.4
3.Shandong 76.0
4.Sichuan 75.6
5.Hebei 74.8

6.Shanghai 74.7

7.Hunan 74.3
8.Chongqing 74.1
9.Hainan 74.1
10.Liaoning 73.9
11.Beijing 73.2
12.Guangxi 72.1
13.Anhui 72.0
14.Shanxi 72.0
15.Tianjin 71.1
16.Jiangxi 70.9
17.Hubei 70.8
18.Guizhou 69.6
19.Yunnan 69.3
20.Henan 69.2
21.Fujian 68.4
22.Jiangsu 68.3
23.Jilin 68.0
24.Shanxi 67.6
25.Heilongjiang 67.2
26.Gansu 67.1 (minority region)
27.Ningxia 64.5 (muslim region)
28.Tibet 64.0 (minority region)
29.Inner Mongolia 63.2 (minority region)
30.Xinjiang 61.3 (muslim region)
31.Qinghai 58.0 (minority region)

Anonymous said...

"19.Fujian Province 66.8 (a proxy for Taiwan, and Singapore. Shanghai beats them both in PISA. Surprise?)"

You seriously think Fujian is a proxy of Taiwan and Singapore? So what happen to Guangdong, a proxy of Hongkong by your logic? It shouldn't have score higher than Shanghai.

Anonymous said...

It is because that those 12 provinces included only 2 or 3 top ones, 4 or 5 average ones, but abslute 4 rock bottom ones (Western Muslim province, all the Southen and South-western ethnic minority provinces).

However, as we all know that the REAL China is of >90% Han Chinese. The provinces that Han Chinese represent as overwelmingly majority were not reflected in the average results of either 2009, or 2012 (tested 10 provinces, 30% of which are non-Han minority regions).


I can't fine any data to actually quantify the effect of this. The extreme scenario would be that there is a one sd gap between these states, so the average was pushed down a third of an SD, which would probably take China's results up to about where the RoC is, from it's Vietnam-Germany like average.

But then it would be easier to quantify with accuracy with real numbers.

It's a lot like how Singaporean Chinese have talked up a deficit from Singapore Malays, but the only data which breaks out Singapore Malays, the 1999 TIMSS, has them comfortably outscore many Western nations (regardless of whether this actually translates into economic performance or scientific / cultural accomplishment). And thus could not be responsible for a large score deficit.

B. as I noted previously, PISA is biased against top-ranking Chinese provinces (e.g. Zhejiang) during sampling by selecting 80% of their scores, both in 2009 and in 2012, from poor rural areas, instead of random sampling like any other country or region.

Again, this would depend on what the rural-urban gap and real urban-rural percentages are like. If the sampling of rural people is 80% and the real percentage is 60%, then the average is shifted 20% towards the rural average (which if it's like less than half an SD difference, is not going to change the numbers very much).

SP said...

Even though there're differences such as Taiwan includes Chinese from allover China, and Singapore's immigration policy attracted some of mainland Chinese form all parts of China as well, one can't deny that amongst China's 33 provinces Fujian Province is the best proxy for Singapore and Taiwan if you must choose one.

Dunno how did that happen in Guangdong... traditionally Guangdoing region is above Chinese average in Gaokao, but definitely not amongst the top ranking ones in Science, the weight class of Zhejiang, Jiangsu or Shangdong.

Luck and possible different gaokao exam questions aside, one of the reasons could be that being the manufactoring hub of the world for decades it has attacted lots of migrated Chinese families (i.e. different from young migrant workers, these families are presumablely above Chinese average) from the Northern, Western and Eastern Han Chinese heartland. Some giant new metropolitans have been formed by Chinese from overall China in Guangdong... Shenzhen, Dongguang, Zhuhai, etc come to mind.

Another factor could be that Guangdong is benefitted from Flynn Effect slightly earlier than other places in China, due to higher growth, faster urbanisation rate, higher average income, better conditions of universal educational investment, etc. The score is about the average, after all.

BTW on GDP per cap, Shanghai is not the richest area in China as what mainstream media claim, Guangdong province is, topped by Shenzhen.

Anonymous said...

@ SP

Re these Gao Kao matters, apparently the following is a significant factor in province level variance in Chinese entrance exam entry -

"A university usually sets a fixed admission quota for each province, with a higher number of students coming from its home province. As the advanced educational resources (number and quality of universities) are distributed unevenly across China, it is argued that people are being discriminated against during the admission process based on their geographic region. For example, compared to Beijing, Henan province has fewer universities per capita. Therefore, Henan usually receives fewer admission quotas compared with Beijing, which makes a significantly higher position among applicants necessary for a Henan candidate to be admitted by the same university than his Beijing counterpart. "

So a place like Shanghai may have lower entry thresholds than other states due to high local educational resources - which would be consistent with them being a showpiece to China in the same manner as Mass is to the US - rather than because of local lower ability level and an equal province level quota.

Also the exams themselves aren't constant but have province level variance in their difficulty -

"The national college entrance examinations in some regions such as Hubei and Anhui provinces are more difficult than in Beijing. This is best illustrated with the example of Hubei Province. Students who can just reach the admission cut-off score for a key university in their entrance examination are more likely to be admitted by a much better university if they take the entrance examination held in Beijing, which has now been prohibited"

(All quoted sections from la Wikipedia).

The University of Sydney and Adelaide, Australia seems to have markedly different percentile thresholds for different Gao Kao state/province exams.

http://sydney.edu.au/documents/future_students/PR%20China%20-%20GaoKao%20Entry%20Requirements.pdf
http://www.international.adelaide.edu.au/apply/admission/gaokao/

Presumably the Aussies (for all that they have admittedly lower entry bars than Chinese universities, unstudious Gwai Lo and all that) don't have an interest in randomly excluding Chinese from particular states, unlike the quota driven PRC, so will work towards a "fair" and equal entry barrier for all Chinese. That doesn't really square with them all being of equal difficulty and thus comparable to derive an ability metric from.

Maybe these Australian metrics might be a good control to determine which provinces have easier and harder entry exams?

SP said...

@ Anon 12/11/13, 12:21 PM

Be careful when quoting Wiki as a source, since many of wiki stuff are either not reliable at all or way out-of-date. Sorrty but actually I don't have the exact answers to your questions, because if different quotas (probably vary by years as well, on top of perhaps different exam papers...) are taken into considerations on thresholds, the picture will become much more complex...

Thing is that traditional views are probably much more reliable as rules of thumb: Shanghai people on average are very smart people...Shanghai is China's financial capital... Shanghai Model (not only economic but also educational etc) will be most likely emulated by most parts of China, etc. etc., no doubt with all of these, but if Shanghai kids go to national exams, somehow they just tend to score around the national average. End of.

-------


Again, my points were:

A. Gaokao is very hard (no problem due to being dumbed down the way UK's GCSE exam is) and test most students in China, hence it paints a much more accurate picture than PISA (i.e. this doesn't discredit PISA in any way though), due to the lack of controversies on sampling and which statistical model to deploy etc.

And B. Ask any Chinese student you can find about Shanghai's performance in Maths and Science within China, he/she will tell you it's average. It is beyond any doubt that Shanghai is NOT China's Massachusetts, far from it. I don't get it why some dilusional Western experts such as Tom Loveless keep arguing that since Shanghai is the financial capital of China, and with "Hukou", then it must be China's Massachusetts - China's best. I've almost lost confidence in humanity whenever I see 5-year-old "logic" like this. Is this Loveless a Harverd Professor? Un-F-believable! From another angle, since USA's financial capital is NYC which is also full of American elites, therefore NY must score the highest in the states? If no, how about big cities such as Chicago and LA score inside the US? Pretty much on the top, eh? Per cap income of rich Hollywood is quite high, so Hollywood must score higher than, say, Palo Alto or Denver? If no, why they assume so natually that it is the case in China?

Anonymous said...

"It's hard to understand why these tests should be taken seriously when they fail to show a strong correlation between how a country does on the test and its economic and especially intellectual status...
The biggest thing to take away from these tests is how little relationship they have to a country's real world rank."

Not true, compared to other metrics the significance is huge - especially when you add in factors like time since communist.

Also on that point don't forget the Bolsheviks specifically targeted the top 10% of the various indigenous nations under their control, put them in concentration camps and murdered them by the million. It must take a while to recover from something like that.

#

"And Polish liberals are on the ascent because, let's face it, Polish conservatives are among the dumbest and least imaginative people on Earth."

See above (plus Jews on average must be the most racist people on earth after gypsies).

#

"What is interesting about China is how poorly it is doing compared to its test results and its population size."

What is interesting about China is it shows just how terrible communism is as an economic system - just look at the gap between then and now and China is what, maybe only halfway recovered from it.

#

"Well, while you guys have been worrying about Education gaps, Obama's had his eyes on a more down to earth prize:"

That's the Wall St banking mafia's doing. Obama is just an actor.

#

"Conservatives are usually relatively bright and talented, but have stupid leadership, a situation much like the British Army of yore."

The NCOs were intelligent so it didn't matter.

#

"what does that imply? 1) Culture plays a bigger role than genetic/biological factors within the same racial group;"

Culture drives genetics - that's what it's for.

#

"That Chinese kids are so ready to forgo the special pleasures of childhood and instead put their noses to the grindstone speaks poorly of them and their culture."

The Chinese should look at the disintegration of the West and do the exact opposite of what white liberals say.

Anonymous said...

@ SP

Thing is that traditional views are probably much more reliable as rules of thumb

Entirely possible that there is IQ variance amongst the Han China and that Shanghai is merely is the top third or so, rather than the very best. I'm bet the Chinese views on people from various provinces definitely are based on something and are both no more or less accurate than the traditional views Germans, Italians or Japanese hold on the various parts of their nation, and how variant the people within the nation are.

Nonetheless, if the Gao Kao is not actually standardized within China and thresholds between the non-standardized exams are are not even normalized on the goal of equal intellectual ability, rather than various political considerations, it seems that different thresholds to enter university between provinces tells you not very much.

From another angle, since USA's financial capital is NYC which is also full of American elites, therefore NY must score the highest in the states?

For Whites that's probably basically true. Close to true within other ethnic groups as well.

Comparing countries with a similar ethnic homogenity to China, you probably would find the rich Stockholm scores best (or close to it) in Sweden, Tokyo best (or close to it) in Japan, London (for ethnic English) in the UK, etc.

Shanghai could be an exception. But when the only exception to this kind of pattern, internationally, is due to major ethnic structure, then the burden of proof is definitely on the person who wants the exception without the ethnic structure...

SP said...

@ Anon of 12/13/13, 10:52 AM

1. Traditional, particularly neutrally-intentioned, stereotypes usually hold true – by definition (I will not explain further).

2. Gaokao is standardised among China’s 33 provinces, except perhaps 2 cases of Beijing and Shanghai which use their own Gaokao papers (i.e. usually easier). Even so, there’re plenty of other reliable means to gauge or standardise Beijing and Shanghai’s performance in Gaokao in relation to others.

3. Homogeneity is not everything that needs to be taken into account. For geographically small countries such as Sweden, South Korea, England or Japan etc, relatively much higher percentages of their national population are concentrated in or in close proximity of their capital cities and/or their largest commercial cities. Then of course these cities would usually score their national best by default of high urbanisation rates of industrialised countries.

Not the case though for a geographically humongous country like China with multiple mega-city belts spreading over wide geographical areas. This is also further complicated by China’s long & unified history of 2,000 years that makes huge north-south and east-west or vice-versus migrations and hence the widespread of cognitive elites possible. Relatively low urbanisation rate of China distorts the picture further, in which a relatively much higher percentage (in comparison to the aforementioned countries) of its cognitive elites lives in the countryside. Under these circumstances it’s borderline foolish to assume that Chinese (cognitive) elites live mostly in several largest and/or the richest cities as critics such as Tom Loveless asserts. This is not the case even for a country with a short unified history of 200 years like a homogeneous USA (think in terms of 1960’s), when the US cognitive elites have already spread across the whole country at a time, apart from just NYC and Washington DC. Again, has NYC or LA or Chicago produced the highest average SAT in the post WW2 US, ever?

Anonymous said...

http://www.edu-huayu.com/【Mikihouse】ミキハウス【Hot-biscuits】ホットビスケッツHotb☆お顔がドン!!-jp-2258.html
http://www.edu-huayu.com/緊急値下げ【代引き手数料無料】【アップリカ】 カルーン マルチドットbk 驚きの軽さ『3.6kg』--jp-2783.html
http://www.edu-huayu.com/大幅値下げ【代引き手数料無料】【アップリカ】ベビーカーnew-スティック フラットaprica-ne-jp-2709.html
http://www.edu-huayu.com/【スペシャルセール レインカバー付】カム-ミクロ-レッド都市型のスタイリッシュバギーCom-micr-jp-2553.html
http://www.edu-huayu.com/【イングリッシーナ】アビオ フットマフ ショート-avio【新商品続々入荷中】-fs3gm-upup-jp-2383.html

http://www.irandior.com/【大幅値下げ中】※只今最安値中【Drop:ドロップ】|ペンダントライト|ycl862|Youwa|【-jp-2647.html
http://www.irandior.com/【大幅値下げ中】※只今最安値中【期間限定】Qween【クイーン】|ytl833|インテリア照明|スタ-jp-2923.html
http://www.irandior.com/【大幅値下げ中】【Richard:リチャード】シャンデリア|ペンダントライト|照明|ライト|お洒落|-jp-3124.html
http://www.irandior.com/【大幅値下げ中】【インテリア照明】【Fores:林工芸】-wb2004fg|ミニスタンド|木製ベース-jp-2861.html
http://www.irandior.com/【大幅値下げ中】【赤橙】【Emporisekitou:エンポリセキトウ】【ガラスシェード】【和風テー-jp-2866.html

[url=http://www.lntele1000.com/led看板-掲示板-「Sale」「セール」★ledネオン看板★売出バーゲン店頭販売-led看板chs-jp-2182.html]ledネオン看板[/url]
[url=http://www.lntele1000.com/ペットキャリー-犬-猫-用-304-新型-スケルトン扉ペットキャリkn0304☆-jp-2220.html]犬-猫-用[/url]
[url=http://www.lntele1000.com/ベッドテント-キャンプテント-ベッド-収納bag付-防災-災害にもアウトドアテント-テント71108-jp-2425.html]キャンプテント[/url]
[url=http://www.lntele1000.com/選べる4色-ダストボックス-12l-スチールゴミ箱-ペダル式角ゴミ箱15d12l☆-jp-2185.html]ダストボックス[/url]
[url=http://www.lntele1000.com/おでん鍋-仕切付-家庭用-湯豆腐-熱燗に-電気保温調理器-寒い次期に恋しいあつあつおでん。おでんだけ-jp-2217.html]おでん鍋[/url]

[url=http://www.lntele1000.com/ペットキャリー-犬-猫-用-304-新型-スケルトン扉ペットキャリkn0304☆-jp-2220.html]犬-猫-用[/url]
[url=http://www.lntele1000.com/キャスター付き作業椅子パーツボックス★工具箱ボックスg594☆-jp-2172.html]工具箱ボックス[/url]
[url=http://www.lntele1000.com/エアーベッド-エアベッド-日よけ付き-ビーチ-海水浴-日除け-エアーベッド027113☆-jp-2214.html]エアベッド[/url]
[url=http://www.lntele1000.com/ボール盤-電動-卓上-コンパクト-穴あけ作業-木材金属-トリマーzj3104★-jp-2409.html]ボール盤[/url]
[url=http://www.lntele1000.com/超特大業務用-ミスト扇風機-タンク容量41l-ミストファン-クールダウン-工場-倉庫-サービスエリア-jp-2492.html]ミスト扇風機[/url]

http://www.locsites.com/louis-vuitton-ルイヴィトン-タイガ-ポルトモネ?ボワット-アカジュー-コインケース-美-jp-2700.htmlアカジュー コインケース
http://www.locsites.com/miu-miu★ミュウミュウ★クロコ調★二つ折り★ファスナー長財布★キャメル★レザー【中古】【中古】-jp-2104.html二つ折り ファスナー長財布
http://www.locsites.com/ルイヴィトン-エピ用-ショルダーストラップ-美品?ヴィトン ルイ?ヴィトン ルイビトン ビトン ショ-jp-2528.htmlショルダーストラップ
http://www.locsites.com/chanel-シャネル-ラムスキン-アイコン-二つ折りがま口長財布-ブラック?がま口財布 レディース-jp-3666.htmlラムスキン アイコン
http://www.locsites.com/louis-vuitton-ルイヴィトン-スピーディ25-m41528-ボストンバッグ-レディース?-jp-2838.htmlボストンバッグ レディース

http://www.macrolink.biz/オロビアンコ-シルベストラ-orobianco-silvestra2wayショルダーバッグ-prem-jp-2295.htmlオロビアンコ シルベストラ
http://www.macrolink.biz/パタゴニア-patagonia-レディース-アドボケートラティス-スリップオンシューズladies--jp-2065.htmlレディース アドボケートラティス
http://www.macrolink.biz/スノーボード-3点セット-板-【送料無料】-レディース-1314-two-b-one-paint-1-jp-2228.htmlレディース スノーボード
http://www.macrolink.biz/グレゴリー-gregory-タラック18-tallac18【18リットル】【バックパック】【デイパッ-jp-2289.htmlタラック18 tallac18
http://www.macrolink.biz/スノーパンツ-white-スノーボードウェア-ユニセックス-女性用-男性用-スノボ-ウェア-スノーボ-jp-2242.htmlスノーパンツ