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Your Kids Are Smarter Than You


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#1 Darth Lefty

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:23 AM

I wasn't sure which forum to put this in. This graf was buried in a NYTimes article about income disparity and education outcomes. The news ain't all bad.

The income gap in academic achievement is not growing because the test scores of poor students are dropping or because our schools are in decline. In fact, average test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the so-called Nation’s Report Card, have been rising — substantially in math and very slowly in reading — since the 1970s. The average 9-year-old today has math skills equal to those her parents had at age 11, a two-year improvement in a single generation. The gains are not as large in reading and they are not as large for older students, but there is no evidence that average test scores have declined over the last three decades for any age or economic group.


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#2 bordercolliefan

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:36 AM

Thanks for posting. I always suspected this to be true. Kids today do seem advanced beyond what I recall doing in elementary and middle school. Continued progress on basics like math and reading is even more extraordinary when one considers all the additional things kids learn these days -- software/digital stuff etc. etc. It blows me away to see how intuitive my daughter is with new software -- whereas I will be looking for the user manual and help functions...

#3 supermom

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 12:40 PM

I don't equate math and english scores to intelligence levels. I have met quite a few stupid PHDs and quite a few drop out genius'.
All this score tells us is that our standards for introduction to mathematics and english have become more challenging

#4 bordercolliefan

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

All this score tells us is that our standards for introduction to mathematics and english have become more challenging


I think that was the OP's point.

#5 Carl G

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 02:57 PM

I forget the name of the principle, but I remember a high school teacher telling us something like "every X years the things taught in one grade level move down one grade." Some items are accelerated in this movement such as typing. Other things move more slowly. As I type this, I wonder if the increase in AP classes is a sign of the downward educational content movement for children who can handle it.

#6 Steve Heard

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 03:12 PM

I don't know if they are smarter, but they sure have access to far more information than any of us ever did.

I'm old enough to remember when we did math problems on a slate with a piece of chalk!

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#7 tsukiji

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:54 PM

These statistics can be very misleading. I'd question the ability to define control groups here for apples to apples comparisons.

Also, I'm not sure what the implications would be: I think additional measures are needed to determine if this is useful info or not. For example: is this data more reflective of test taking ability and test prep? Does it reflect critical thinking, depth of conceptual knowledge and problem solving?

And from a sociological perspective, if there is ability at earlier ages, is the maturity, discipline and motivation to take advantage of the knowledge growing over time as well? Knowing something is very different than applying that knowledge.


#8 The Average Joe

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:52 PM

I too question the criteria used to make the claim. On one hand, the advanced classes are one year ahead of when I was in HS. I had pre-calc in 12th grade. On the other hand, critical thinking skills and the ability to articulate a point in writing seem to have taken a huge hit.
Don't even get me started on grammar!

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#9 bordercolliefan

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:41 PM

I too question the criteria used to make the claim. On one hand, the advanced classes are one year ahead of when I was in HS. I had pre-calc in 12th grade. On the other hand, critical thinking skills and the ability to articulate a point in writing seem to have taken a huge hit.
Don't even get me started on grammar!


You know, despite my earlier point, I have to agree with you on this. Sometimes I read my kids' essays and to me the logic and organization is seriously lacking; they will consist mostly of what appears to be superficial stream of consciousness... kind of like Facebook, hmmm. And they are considered decent students.




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