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Education general, but also with covid

#81 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-30, 14:16

Your pencil case was probably better than mine.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#82 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2021-October-30, 19:44

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-October-30, 14:16, said:

Your pencil case was probably better than mine.


🙂

These days all I can do is doodle 😊
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#83 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-October-31, 02:01

The comment on the decline of maths is fair. I studied the most advanced maths syllabus that was taught in schools in the early 80s (double maths A level), and then having made a mistake studying natural sciences/chemistry at uni then, got a maths degree 25-30 years later from the OU. The second year of my maths degree was less tough/rigorous than my A level. The third year was a step up. Because I did this one by distance learning there was a study weekend each year, some of the tutors were lamenting they couldn't set questions they set even 10 years before as current students couldn't answer them.
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#84 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-October-31, 12:40

I strongly believe that secondary school Math (perhaps not Advanced level, but the "normal" level) should in fact (mostly) be "not for mathematicians", and the thing that showed KenBerg he was a mathematician is unnecessary for "everyone's math courses".

We need people who get out of required school to be able to decipher the numbers being given them and know when they're BS, or clearly wrong (one-sixth of 48 thousand is 288 thousand?) or when they could be being snowed by cherry-picking or any of the other standard games (like "more vaccinated people are getting COVID than unvaccinated" - well, yes, but that's because they outnumber the unvaxxed 5-1. It's not surprising that there's a 1.5-1 gap - but it still means you're three times more likely to get it without the vaccination). Or the "32 *BILLION* dollars" games (how big is that in the U.S. Federal budget, exactly?) or even the "1.5 *TRILLION* dollars" games (over 10 years - how big is *that* in the budget, and what's the chance it will survive more than 4?), or...

And how to balance a checkbook, and how to read an earnings chart, and all the rest of the survival skills.

"Look at how this toy works. Isn't it cool?" is *absolutely* a wonderful thing, and will lead to passionate and skillful mathematicians/coders/marble race creators/... It's certainly what draws many bridge players. And that's good for both society and the person who sees the shiny. But in compulsory education, we need to expose people to The Cool, so that we don't drive away the potential mathematicians; but we need to ensure that *everybody* has (best shot at) the survival skills.
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#85 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-31, 15:06

View Postmycroft, on 2021-October-31, 12:40, said:

I strongly believe that secondary school Math (perhaps not Advanced level, but the "normal" level) should in fact (mostly) be "not for mathematicians", and the thing that showed KenBerg he was a mathematician is unnecessary for "everyone's math courses".

We need people who get out of required school to be able to decipher the numbers being given them and know when they're BS, or clearly wrong (one-sixth of 48 thousand is 288 thousand?) or when they could be being snowed by cherry-picking or any of the other standard games (like "more vaccinated people are getting COVID than unvaccinated" - well, yes, but that's because they outnumber the unvaxxed 5-1. It's not surprising that there's a 1.5-1 gap - but it still means you're three times more likely to get it without the vaccination). Or the "32 *BILLION* dollars" games (how big is that in the U.S. Federal budget, exactly?) or even the "1.5 *TRILLION* dollars" games (over 10 years - how big is *that* in the budget, and what's the chance it will survive more than 4?), or...

And how to balance a checkbook, and how to read an earnings chart, and all the rest of the survival skills.

"Look at how this toy works. Isn't it cool?" is *absolutely* a wonderful thing, and will lead to passionate and skillful mathematicians/coders/marble race creators/... It's certainly what draws many bridge players. And that's good for both society and the person who sees the shiny. But in compulsory education, we need to expose people to The Cool, so that we don't drive away the potential mathematicians; but we need to ensure that *everybody* has (best shot at) the survival skills.


I'll start with [the thing that showed KenBerg he was a mathematician is unnecessary for "everyone's math courses"]

We all have to learn survival skills, sure, but we also all have to choose a direction in our lives. I imagine that many people can look back at early experiences as defining. For me:
A. When I was 13 I bought George Gamow's One, Two, Three... Infinity. I read it all and found it fascinating. I got it at the same drugstore where I had previously bought Batman comic books.
B. Around this same time my friendships were changing and the father of one of my newer friends subscribed to Scientific America. Very interesting.
C. My experience in Geometry, learning that Euclid set out a small list of axioms and proved everything based on these axioms.
My father installed weatherstripping, the father of my friends across the street drove a delivery truck for a bakery, the father of other friends across the street worked in the shops, no further details were ever given. They made a decent living but I started thinking maybe I would go in a different direction.
When I was 16, I sat in (informally, no fee, no credit) on a college physics course Fun, but this all started when I was 13 and 14, and I think A, B, and C above played a big role in setting me in this direction.
So, for me, it was very important.

Survival skills. Very important. Crucial. Perhaps a good place to start is by figuring out how to support yourself and perhaps even support a family. Survival is going to be pretty near the edge if a person can't do that. In my freshman year of high school, I walked to school with my friend Fred. I was in College Prep, Fred wasn't, I became a mathematician, Fred became a plumber. Fred never took the geometry course that I took. I suppose geometry is somewhat related to plumbing but I suspect eyesight and measuring solve most of the geometric plumbing problems. At any rate, my understanding is, although we lost touch, that Fred had a good life.


I am not sure that you and I disagree all that much on basic issues. We wrote a lot of term papers and that can be very useful practice for separating truth from fiction. School helps prepare (so we hope) the young for adulthood.
Ken
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#86 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-October-31, 15:46

We're not. I love the fact that math is a journey, and interesting things can be found. Because I'm more of an engineer than a mathematician, I love the fact that these "cool things" - "look what I can prove" - 10 years later just might be the solution to a problem that, for instance, doubles communication speeds; or makes something rigorously analyzable, which doubles the speed of development ("A secret sharing scheme is a matroid" for something in my experience).

And certainly "find something you can get paid to do" is something needed for survival. But after I graduated high school, I took a "year 13", which consisted of Auto shop, Foods, Typing, and some courses strictly for my enjoyment (two semesters of band, the other science I didn't take at grade 12 level,...) There were those in those classes who got the "this is cool - this is what I should be doing" and went on to be mechanics or custom car builders, or chefs, or...I did not. I learned the "survival skills", so I don't get scammed (much) by auto shops, and I won't poison myself or burn my tools (any more) if I have to cook for myself.

What I expect of maths at the high school level (not the college prep level) is that kind of "survival skills". Some will find the joy of the tools that math provides; some will find the games lead them into solving problems with computer programs or arduino building; some will find a love of literature or the skills of oration from English class (and some will simply learn the skills of reading and writing at a "survival" level), and the same for everything else.
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#87 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-31, 16:56

View Postmycroft, on 2021-October-31, 15:46, said:

I learned the "survival skills", so I don't get scammed (much) by auto shops, and I won't poison myself or burn my tools (any more) if I have to cook for myself.

What I expect of maths at the high school level (not the college prep level) is that kind of "survival skills".


Your expectation of what counts as high school maths is set at a very low bar.

Mathematics does not teach you how to avoid burning yourself or poisoning yourself - most people learn these things before they get to school: typically before they know what algebra is.

If the purpose of high school is thought to be the prevention of self-immolation or accidental consumption of toxic waste, then we are in much worse shape than I thought we were.
A key benefit of mathematics and science education, in general, is that it teaches a person how to think, assimilate new information and create new ideas that make cohesive sense.
Thinking is an underrated skill.

On the other hand, it might explain our political leadership and their disinterest in funding education.

If Australia scrapped its deal to operate nuclear submarines for the USA (and pay for the privilege) and spent the money on more educational opportunities for its citizens, we would all be better off.
Nobody is going to save the world by blowing ***** up or being amazed by how far an object can be propelled from a tube and still hit a target, even if they can apply mathematics and the Coriolus effect to work out how to make it happen.
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#88 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-October-31, 18:13

So, did you see what I thought "survival skill" math is?

Don't get scammed.

Understand enough statistics that advertising or MLM push doesn't get you.

Understand enough statistics that your "hey rube" flag gets raised when people start throwing political BS around.

Balance your checkbook, know how compounding interest works, be able to make a budget based on paycheck. Don't get caught by rent-to-own, credit card, payday loan, or the like - or even by mortgage brokers.

Is that a high bar? No. It's survival skills. But it's a hell of a lot more than "before you hit school". You need more to survive than 1960, but it's still basic. But there's a huge fraction of today's society that couldn't, or chose not to, meet that bar. And there's a lot of misery caused by that. Yes, not all was avoidable, but a whole lot of it is and was.

That's what I think *everybody* needs. What I think the people with an affinity for math, or an affinity for formal education, could use and should be made available, is different, sure.
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
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#89 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-31, 18:47

View Postmycroft, on 2021-October-31, 18:13, said:

So, did you see what I thought "survival skill" math is?

Don't get scammed.

Understand enough statistics that advertising or MLM push doesn't get you.

Understand enough statistics that your "hey rube" flag gets raised when people start throwing political BS around.

Balance your checkbook, know how compounding interest works, be able to make a budget based on paycheck. Don't get caught by rent-to-own, credit card, payday loan, or the like - or even by mortgage brokers.

Is that a high bar? No. It's survival skills. But it's a hell of a lot more than "before you hit school". You need more to survive than 1960, but it's still basic. But there's a huge fraction of today's society that couldn't, or chose not to, meet that bar. And there's a lot of misery caused by that. Yes, not all was avoidable, but a whole lot of it is and was.

That's what I think *everybody* needs. What I think the people with an affinity for math, or an affinity for formal education, could use and should be made available, is different, sure.


I think that all makes perfect sense.
I have one question: what's a checkbook?
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#90 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-18, 14:08

Dahlia Bazzaz at The Seattle Times said:

https://www.seattlet...ve%20subscriber

Last fall, hundreds of thousands of Washington state students took their first state exams since the pandemic began. Their scores took a hit.

Between 2019 and 2021, the overall percentage of students who met state standards on the math portion of the exam fell by 20 percentage points. Just 30% of kids — public school students enrolled in grades 4 through 11 — met standards in math. In English, the portion of kids who met the standard fell by 9 percentage points.

“The pandemic affected students overall. The assessment scores reinforce that,” said Deb Came, assistant superintendent of assessment and student information at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

State education officials were quick to caution against putting much stock in the numbers. But some outside observers said the scores could show where to direct resources, especially at a time when the federal government has deployed billions of dollars to help schools improve students’ academics during the pandemic.

“Test scores don’t tell us everything, but they tell us something,” said Marguerite Roza, a Seattle-based education finance professor at Georgetown University.

The tests this year brought already low scores to dramatic depths: Just 16.5% of kids living in poverty had proficient scores in math. Among English learners, it was 5.5%.

Because of a waiver of some federal testing requirements, students took the assessment — which was shorter compared to prior years — in the fall, instead of the spring. They tested on the material they learned last year, meaning fourth graders took the test they normally would have taken as third graders. The participation rates were also lower compared to prior years, especially among kids in high school. Overall, around 91% of students participated who were eligible, compared to 97% during the 2018-2019 school year.

“We’re not gonna spend a lot of energy here because there’s too many factors that are unique,” said state Superintendent Chris Reykdal during a Jan. 7 news conference when the scores were announced. Though his office hasn’t yet performed a full analysis nor released school district-level data yet, he said a preliminary look didn’t show significant differences in the scores in districts where kids were learning remotely the longest, something that surprised him.

After watching a recording of Reykdal’s speech at the news conference, Roza said she was shocked by the lack of emphasis on the scores.

She pointed out the 24% proficiency rate in math for 11th graders and the 46% rate for fourth graders in reading.

“When are these 11th graders going to catch up to speed? Because they’re a year and half from graduating,“ she said. “ … They are screaming something at us, and if we’re not doing something about it, there’s a generation of kids that are going to be impacted,” said Roza.

These numbers are the first statewide academic assessment of students’ progress since the pandemic began. Districts have been testing kids on a smaller scale in the interim. Last spring, OSPI administered a voluntary survey aimed at sixth through 12th graders about their academic and emotional needs during the pandemic. More than half of middle schoolers surveyed said they found schoolwork harder and felt they learned less.

As districts review their data, it will be important for them to come up with a way to track their progress as they catch students up, said David Knight, an education professor at the University of Washington.

“I would say that it’s not good news — but not entirely surprising. We know that poverty is the biggest impediment to success in the classroom,” said Knight. “Low-income households were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. I think the important thing now is that we not let up in our pursuit to close gaps.”

Test scores are down all across the country, from Kansas to Vermont. Using their coronavirus stimulus relief funds, states like Tennessee have deployed competitive grant programs enticing districts to create tutoring programs.

A majority of about 1,000 educators in a nationally representative survey reported feeling concerned about the latest test scores in their school or district this fall, according to Education Week.

Washington state received $1.6 billion in the latest round of federal relief aid for schools. One-fifth of that money — or $334 million — must be spent on efforts to combat learning loss among students. As of November 2021, districts had spent only about 7% of that academic recovery money.

OSPI, which receives 10% of the federal relief money, says it has begun investing in various pilot programs to enhance math teaching and literacy outcomes. About $12 million will go to community-based organizations to fund academic enrichment programs for students, for example.

Those investments were laid out in a plan approved by the U.S. Department of Education drafted before the latest test scores were released. Reykdal said he isn’t keen on shifting direction before he sees results from another round of testing in the spring.

“What I’m not gonna do is use a very obscure assessment that we’ve never done in fall, on prior year’s learning, to make all of the decisions,” said Reykdal.

Most of the federal academic recovery money, 90%, goes straight to school districts to use at their discretion.

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#91 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-January-19, 00:15

 pilowsky, on 2021-October-31, 18:47, said:

I think that all makes perfect sense.
I have one question: what's a checkbook?


I still have a few. Thinking of checking to see if they still work. They are like ancient history

They are wonderful things. When we could trust a piece of paper with a signature

Come to think of it. Can't you write your guarantee of payment on anything
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#92 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-January-19, 09:20

I've written a cheque once in the last 5 years. And it was to pay for bridge (GNT district qualification). I've *used* about one a year for the last decade, as void cheques for banking information.

Things might be different in the Real World (anywhere where non-NA traditional banking applies).
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#93 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-January-19, 13:47

View Postmycroft, on 2022-January-19, 09:20, said:

I've written a cheque once in the last 5 years. And it was to pay for bridge (GNT district qualification). I've *used* about one a year for the last decade, as void cheques for banking information.

Things might be different in the Real World (anywhere where non-NA traditional banking applies).


We still use checks sometimes. A woman cleans our house once a week, she gets a check. I suppose we could give her cash but she is a very honest person and would report it to the IRS anyway. And there are a few other cases.

As to signing things, the other day I picked up a prescription at the pharmacy, and I needed to sign for it. There was one of these felt tip, or something tip, pens that you use to write on a glass-like surface. My handwriting on these things would get me an F in third grade. This time, as I was trying my best, I must have accidentally nudged a button because it quickly accepted what I had written. It was one partially completed vertical line, the start of a K. No problem, the machine thought that to be a perfectly good signature. Someday I will sign it as Paul Bunyan. It's true that the pharmacist knows me, perhaps she vouched for me with the machine.
Ken
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#94 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-January-19, 14:21

Getting back to the article Y posted, nobody can be surprised that students are having a tough time, the question is what to do about it. A few thoughts:


A. I finished high school in 1956. At that time, Calculus was not offered at any high school that I know of. So I started college, engineering at the University of Minnesota, with no knowledge of Calculus. Also no knowledge of Linear Algebra. My world did not come crashing down. The issue is not whether the young person has learned to integrate by parts, the issue is whether he has matured enough to learn how to do that and other more difficult things. Colleges need to accept that new students will be arriving at their doors who have not learned all of the material that they might have learned had covid not messed up their schooling. This can be coped with.

B. Some people would like to be plumbers instead of mathematicians. It will be ok if covid interfered with their study of Macbeth. Out damn spot. Many a plumber has said the same thing.

C. I don't want to minimize the trouble here. The posted article has a link to a middle school survey. Apparently many middle schoolers don't think what they are learning is either interesting or important. That's a serious problem.

I hope the young can come to believe that we, the oldsters, really want the best for them. And I hope that faith is justified.
Ken
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#95 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-January-19, 15:25

View Postkenberg, on 2022-January-19, 13:47, said:


As to signing things, the other day I picked up a prescription at the pharmacy, and I needed to sign for it. There was one of these felt tip, or something tip, pens that you use to write on a glass-like surface. My handwriting on these things would get me an F in third grade.


I just make an X. Works every time.

#96 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-January-19, 15:29

Sharpies - the personal pen of real estate criminals.
Useful for amending weather reports.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#97 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-January-20, 10:00

Thinking a bit more about covid and education. Adults should


1. Say flat out that the situation is a mess

2. Acknowledge that we adults have not handled this as well as we should have

3. Make serious efforts to do better

4. Tell the young, at least those maybe ten and up, that while we intend to do our best for them it is also simply a fact of life that the choices that they make will be crucial.
Ken
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#98 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-January-20, 10:14

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-January-19, 15:29, said:

Sharpies - the personal pen of real estate criminals.
Useful for amending weather reports.


Are you certain Trump and My Pillow Guy aren't marketing Sharpies as mind-expanding suppositories?

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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