February 16, 2011

Old International Schools Tests

Via Kevin Drum, I heard about the FIMS, First International Mathematics Study of 1963-1967, the ancestor of the ongoing TIMSS (Third International ...). Here's a 1992 report (5.6 meg PDF) by Elliott A. Medrich on the results of FIMS and four other early international school achievement tests. Americans did pretty badly except in one science test.

I skimmed it but was mostly struck by how all-over-the-board early results were (e.g., Nigeria beat Sweden in certain math subtests). In the early tests, there didn't seem to be much correlation between national rankings on math subtests.

Math and science tests 13-year-olds seem to be particularly susceptible to the order in which subjects are taught to younger tests, while tests of high school seniors are much influenced by high school graduation rates (which were much higher in the U.S. in the 1960s) than elsewhere. In the 1960s, most country had only the smart fraction of their 17-year-olds still in school, so they beat our vast masses of high school seniors on a per capita basis.

One interesting result was that Israel came in tops in the FIMS of the mid-1960s (of course, they didn't give the test in Arabic). Today, Israel is thoroughly mediocre in, say, PISA. Some of that comes form testing Arabs, some from demographic changes involving both Arabs and the types of Jews, some from the old Zionist strategy of dumbing down the culture to produce fewer financiers and more farmers.

There's lots to be mined from this report for the enthusiasts.


Claudia Zhao said...

I went to Stuyvesant High School (the most elite of the Specialized New York High Schools) and after that I went to the University of Pennsylvania where I studied Fashion. What I have noticed about these International Exams is that they are not given to any college-age students. I wonder why that is? If anyone can furnish an answer, I would appreciate it.

Bostonian said...

Thanks for the informative post. There is a typo: "form testing" should be "from testing".

Anonymous said...

some from the old Zionist strategy of dumbing down the culture to produce fewer financiers and more farmers.

huh? Jews were doing this to Jews?? anyone have any further info on this...

Descartes said...

Much of the Jewish population were actually Arab-speaking and darker Jews. They were about 70% of the population until the fall of the USSR. The biggest population to arrive afterward were Soviet Jews, who effectively outnumber the Arabs.

Furthermore, demographic changes of the religious vs. the secular socialists also come into play.

The results of various rebuilding and as of yet industrialized countries such as Germany, Japan and Hong Kong are quite close and often exceed first world nations.

One can tie the reasons for economic prosperity in the later decades for these economies to the fact that they boast strong education systems before industrializing/rebuilding.

Descartes said...

Mind you however, the populations that were rebuilding/as of yet industrialized, had a significant educated sector of professionals.

Japan and Germany had its WW2 survivors, Hong Kong had an influx of Chinese educated elites(and which the trend of restricted migration persists today), Israel had an influx of educated Jews(and would receive its biggest shipment in 1990, when it soon became an economic power).

Anonymous said...

I take it Sailer has gone on vacation for a few days. Funny how he hands the blog over periodically, acting as if there have be no anomalies in content, focus or even style.

Anonymous said...

what, no gay math?

Dutch Boy said...

If financiers are supposed to be so smart, how come we're in this financial mess? Give me the farmers - they grow something besides debt!

Truth said...

"(e.g., Nigeria beat Sweden in certain math subtests)."


Anonymous said...

Let's test kids less and test politicians more.

Anonymous said...

In the book MCMAFIA, it says Nigerians of Igbo tribe are master financial scam artists. They've ripped off billions from college educated whites people in the EU, US, and elsewhere. So, maybe some Nigerians got some math smarts. Maybe this developed as a result of slave trading. For them capture and sell slaves to other peoples--Arabs, Europeans, Latin Americans, etc--maybe it required some math skills. And maybe those with best math skills managed the slave trade the best, made the most money, and had the most kids.

I think part of the reason why white people fall for 419 scam is because it's pulled off by blacks. They have this image of the Magic Negro. They also feel white guilt. Also, the offer promises win-win for both the black offerer and the white offeree. So, white people feel good about it. They get to help a black African and also enrich themselves. It's a white liberal's dream come true. Whites and black collaborating for the benefit of both. But of course, Nigerians were just out to rip off the stupid gullible whites.
It doesn't matter how smart a white person. His 'religion'--spiritual or political--and psycho-emotional complexes(instilled into him as a child through all those MLK imagery, Morgan Freeman magic negro movies, and negative images of evil 'white racists' by NPR and PBS and public education and Hollywood movies)will override his
intellectual capacity and rational skepticism. If most white people had to choose between hard truth and soft hope of white-guilt-and-redemption, they will go with the latter.

Many white suckers of Nigerian scams kept sending money to secure and advance the deal cuz (1) they can't accept the fact that blacks may have fooled them--why that would be 'racist'! and (2) they've been indoctrinated by PC to believe that a great future lies for both whites and blacks IF ONLY whites help the black man; in other words, helping blacks is the noblest way for whites to help themselves.
(Also, Nigerians scam artists masquerade as well-educated, urbane, and westernized blacks, and we know how white liberals--and many conservatives too--are just dying to rub shoulders with good decent clean-cut blacks. Such blacks represent the hope that blacks will put aside their rage and be nice to whitey. And doing business with them means you're not 'racist' since you happily treat blacks as equal partners.)

This explains why white people keep falling for another scam and then another scam about ending the racial gap in this country. It's the same psychology, and black Americans are getting as good in hoodwooking gullible whites as Nigerians are. It's all about white psychology as molded by Christian reformism, PC, and Magic Negro myth. Whites want to believe in this rosy and wonderful future where things are great for both whites and blacks. The only thing whites need to do is trust blacks and lend them a hand. Then, in the long run, whites will benefit from the rise of the black community too since there will be no more racial troubles, and all will be well.
Blacks understand white psychology, but whites don't understand black psychology; of course, Jews do but they'd rather keep it under wrap and use people like Obama to fool stupid gentile whitey too. The Obam Scam was a Hyman Roth trick. White people need to be more like Michael Corleone. They need to know that politics and history are really about power, not about dopey hopey.

Anonymous said...

What percentage of the people who fall for these scams are white? I worked with a psycho black lady who kept trying to send them money. At one point she was caught in the Ombudsman's office and finally fired.

Descartes said...

"If financiers are supposed to be so smart, how come we're in this financial mess? Give me the farmers - they grow something besides debt!"

Financiers are incidentally the people who fund markets and startups that allowed us to be in a better position that previously.

Not every financier is the evil bankster.

Truth said...

"They've ripped off billions from college educated whites people in the EU, US, and elsewhere. So, maybe some Nigerians got some math smarts."

Yeah, except that a lot of the "Nigerian" internet scams actually originate in Utah.


Truth said...

" went to Stuyvesant High School (the most elite of the Specialized New York High Schools)"

Stop lying, Bronx Science kicks your asses.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that all these older tests really will tell us is that if you don't do careful sampling, you get unreliable results.

Not much even an enthusiast can do with what is likely bad data.

alonzo portfolio said...

a story for prolix Anon:

in grad school we had a nigerian who claimed to be a "royal." I knew this guy was full of it, and more or less ignored him, for which one of my friends, a Jew, called me a racist. A year or so later this friend, a CPA and otherwise very savvy in financial matters, lent the royal Ibo $700. Needless to say, he never got it back. Never apologized for calling me a racist either.

SFG said...

"I think part of the reason why white people fall for 419 scam is because it's pulled off by blacks. They have this image of the Magic Negro."

More cynical explanation: they don't think a black guy could be smart enough to swindle them.

Adam Greenwood said...

I know one guy who fell for a Nigerian scam. It was because he was a retarded scumbag.

Anonymous said...

I guess your friend is $700 smarter then.

Anonymous said...


The ballad of Cabal Hog.


Anonymous said...

Are schools in Israel integrated?


Big Bill said...

Anonymous: you can find plenty of Israeli social engineering history by looking for the Israeli doctoral dissertation about Arthur Ruppin. Ruppin was one of the leading theorists and practical social engineers of the second yishuv. He was the Jewish Agency's man on the ground in Palestine and (like many Jews) was looking to engineer the New Hebrew Man--as opposed to the Jewish Man who was smelly, uncultured, greedy, hustling, and thoroughly ... Uhh ... Not so nice.

As a matter of fact, read about the Haskala and how modern Jews warred against backward fundamentalist Jews to drag them kicking and screaming into the 19th Century.

Of course, all that warring of Jew versus Jew has been buried so no present-day Jews have to even think about it.

Check Arthur Ruppin out at Wikipedia and check out the Israeli dissertation. It is at the bottom linked as one of the references. It will make some American Liberal Jews squirm a bit since Ruppin and the Israel he helped create were gung-ho racialists, and blood and soil nationalists. The very type of folks that modern American Jews like to call Nazis or fascists. Basically they had no use for the "mercantilist" Jews of the shtetl (as the Arthur Ruppins called them). Now most Jews would like to forget all that unpleasantness and pretend they were all one happy family before the Nazis showed up.

Anonymous said...

Are schools in Israel integrated?

As covered in the comments of this iSteve thread:

Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest school ruling
June 17, 2010

Tens of thousands of black-clad ultra-Orthodox Jews staged mass demonstrations on Thursday to protest a Supreme Court ruling forcing the integration of a religious girls' school...

Also, the throngs of devout Jews showed to which extent the ultra-Orthodox live by their own rules, some of them archaic, while wielding disproportionate power in the modern state of Israel.

Parents of European, or Ashkenazi, descent at a girls' school in the West Bank settlement of Emanuel don't want their daughters to study with schoolgirls of Mideast and North African descent, known as Sephardim.

The Ashkenazi parents insist they aren't racist, but want to keep the classrooms segregated, as they have been for years, arguing that the families of the Sephardi girls aren't religious enough...

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said about 100,000 people converged in downtown Jerusalem in support of the Ashkenazi parents. An additional 20,000 demonstrated in the central city of Bnei Brak. He said 10,000 police were deployed...

In USA terms, as a very rough ballpark estimate, this would be equivalent to about 5.5 million people converging on the mall at Washington, DC, and being shadowed by 550,000 policemen.

Big Bill said...

Yeah, the Igbos of Nigeria were called "Ibos" back in the 60's, and they were the intelligentsia of Nigeria. Being smart, they were hugely outnumbered in Nigeria by the resentful and mentally challenged majority tribes The Ibos tried to set up their own country in a small province called "Biafra" (as in "Save the Biafran Babies!"). Their freedom movement was starved out and they were butchered, although not as completely as the dumb and resentful Hutus butchered the Tutsis.

If I don't miss my guess, the Nigerian scores of the early 60s were Ibo scores before they were dragged back down in the dirt. It's the old black crabs-in-a-barrel phenomenon.

Big Bill said...

"Are schools in Israel integrated?" Not really. They are segregated by national origin, by religious persuasion, and by race. And they all pretty much like it, except the Black Jews. They would like to be treated like fellow Jews and aren't, but then again there were no black Jews (except for the rare token or two) before about 1970.

Truth said...

"but then again there were no black Jews (except for the rare token or two) before about 1970."

Oh; and Jesus.

Anonymous said...


Good ole Simon.


Anonymous said...

Thanks on the integration question.

Actually, I was curious about Arabs and Jews attending the same schools.

Is there no Auntie Mame school in Israel where little Jewish kids and Muslim kids can fertilize eggs together?