Friday, March 27, 2015

Can US Still Save Itself-II?

By now, the results of PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) should be known by anyone who has any investment in the future of the US.

The fact that US public education system is a sham is a secret only to a people who are sublime to the point of being idiots or to a very high, and I don't mean administrative position, dejects. Yes, many US schools are well-equipped, some of them are architectural masterpieces, and even some school lunches are not that bad, but that makes no difference. While politically correct, humanities-educated teachers are discussing the issue of creationism, they forget what is this all about and it is NOT about biology or high school football--it is about:

1. Precise sciences, which are Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry. Such "subject" as "science" doesn't exist, unless, of course, it is in some American high school. I don't mention here all those "computer" (aka "technology") things, since any person with good math and physics background can get the basics of programming fairly easily;

2. Linguistics--knowledge of a proper native language, its usage and preservation, including through own literary masterpieces;

3. Ahem....history. Well, here I would abstain, since US History is a subject which can only be described by Schrodinger's Equation and is good only for some predictions of what US History is going to be in the future. I am pretty sure that at some point of time all of the Renaissance and Enlightenment (its best part), that is European,  heritage will be demolished in US.  Of course, what Tolstoy or Bach have on Spike Lee. Oprah will take it from here. 

None of them, especially pp.1 are taught properly in US public schools anymore. Yet, those are the subjects which DEFINE national intellect and abilities. How do I know this? I spent many years teaching American kids (yes, if you are 23 year old, you are still a kid), and by American I mean kids with European background--90% of them wonderful, talented and ethical human beings. All of them are as good as their European or Asian peers, yet they are the subjects of indoctrination, which, at this stage, becomes a totalitarian system of "education", which deplores serious knowledge and ability to think critically--and it always starts with Mathematics. So, for now, no surprise that American hi-tech industries can not employ all those "free thinkers", who are at the bottom of the global skills pool and who are losing it to the kids from Eurasia. Yes, my last years in education were spent teaching the kids from India and China--they work their asses off to get Newtonian Mechanics and Partial Derivatives. Have it ever occurred to anyone that more and more US Physics Nobel Prize Winners (not that Nobel is anymore a defining award) have Chinese names?   

Since I am Russian, I have to, and, yes, I know Russian education system was destroyed by all kinds of liberal morons, but the truth is--it is real. Russian 10th Grade homework--simple trigonometric identities. US homework, of course, differs with the real estate. 

 To be continued............


  1. Smoothie, are you serious? That left part of the image is from US school equivalent of the Soviet/ Russia 10thGrade/ It looks to me like 5-6th Grade in Soviet school.
    I know they do not even give home works until Sr classes.
    I remember doing differentials and integrals that were of MBA degree level in 9 or 10th grade.

  2. As I said, it differs with the "real estate", some heavily ethnic schools, as an example, emphasize Math and Physics. But the majority of US public schools, including also some "private schools", are really more about "well rounded students" (that is heavy emphasis on non-precise subjects) than creating a first world potential labor force. The level of SATs in Math is appalling--it is not about knowledge of the subject but a regurgitation of the simple math problems hidden within endless iteration of "cute problems" designed by IQ-worshiping (nothing wrong with IQ per se--it is a valid, but by far not the only, metric) . Obviously, more advanced SATs in Calculus or real Physics are the academic realm of very few kids. Usually from the private or very high reputation schools. Just to illustrate: Russia "reformed" its examination process heavily into the SAT type baloney (incidentally--a Bolognese System), albeit even those reformer creeps understood that a number of Russian top notch universities must retain, which they did, a separate admission process, which was so common in Soviet times--real separate entrance exams. Comparison of US SAT, which is used for the admission into US universities and, say, a collection of the Mathematics problems for Students Entering Higher Education by Skanavi can create a serious issue with credibility of WHOLE system--from teaching to testing. Just to give you example, attached here are some examples of trigonometric equations which are COMMON on the entrance exams into any serious Russian university--it is from Skanavi's book.

  3. US education system is in a pretty sad state. It’s been on a downward spiral since the early 90’s for sure. The majority of public schools, particularly those in large metro areas, as well as those that use the “common core”
    curriculum are a complete joke. They only thing they are worried about is
    passing the state mandated proficiency tests and just trying to get kids to
    graduation. Even many of the better public schools are not preparing kids for
    college. That’s why we have ended up with so many drop-outs or liberal arts
    grads fighting for spots to work at Starbucks and “pick any retailer” at the

  4. Sadly, you are correct. Your remark about Srarbucks is highly appreciated since I use a "barista argument" all the time myself, when I talk to people (young or otherwise) who seem to have no concept of what really matters in the first world labor force. US de-industrialization and implosion of the public education are also interconnected.

  5. That and the fact the system “high school counselors,teachers, parents, , etc. have all been pushing these kids towards college the
    last 25 years, whether they should be going or not. When I was in High School (seems like ancient history but was only 22 years ago) , it was ok if you wanted to join the military or go to a trade school or even a two year technical college. We knew college wasn’t for everyone or sometimes, you needed to attend a few years later like after serving in the military. The kids who were going off to 4 year
    college/university generally had some idea what they wanted to do, such as major in education, go into nursing, go into science/engineering. Out of my class there were many who had successful careers in the military, in trades, such as electricians, mechanics and even a few doctors and attorneys. What you
    didn’t see were a bunch of college drop outs working retail, with no prospects in sight and still living at home, because they’re burden with school debt. Ok to be fair there might have been 1 or 2, but it certainly wasn’t as big as issue as the media is making it out to be now for these current crop of kids.

    Now we seem to be doing the complete opposite, telling every
    kid they must go to college , because that’s what employers want….which is complete BS. The same professions that require a college degree today are the same ones that always have, accounting (CPA), engineering, scientists, medical, law, architect, etc. I know the sky is falling authors like to claim that businesses, say a degree is mandatory for all office jobs, but that’s crap and lazy writing, because they don’t want to research the facts or actually talk to any hiring managers or talk to one and try and apply that to the entire

    So, now here were are, with avg graduation rates for 6 years
    not even 4 years barely hovering around 50%. We have a whole score of kidswhether they dropped out or graduated with a useless major and no jobs skillscomplaining, they’re having a hard time finding a job or they’re notimmediately starting out on top. Meanwhile, they’re the same lot complaining about all the immigrants coming to the US either the ones who are working, in Science, IT and Engineering or even others working in trades and how they’re
    taking jobs….. No, the jobs are there for anyone, I’m sorry you choose to major in art history or basket weaving or 12th century Italian literature, instead of computer science or engineering. I’m sorry you didn’t actually take the time to research college majors prior to applying or that you didn’t bother to complete any internships, while in school.

    I’m also sad you felt you were above going through a trades program to learn how to be a plumber ,electrician, carpenter, and are now losing out on opportunities to those who do want to come to this country to make a middle class life for themselves.

    Sorry to rant, hot button issue for me, as I used to be an
    adjunct and would just shake my head at the self-entitlement attitude that these kids have today and they just think the world owes them everything.

  6. Don't be sorry, most of what you wrote I can subscribe to. In fact, that was the point of my post. It is a hot button issue for me too.