[News] High School Seniors Show No Improvement on Latest Tests

What is to blame for students' poor performance in English and math?

  • Students

    Votes: 10 50.0%
  • Parents

    Votes: 10 50.0%
  • Teachers

    Votes: 6 30.0%
  • Racism/classism

    Votes: 4 20.0%
  • The design of the educational system itself

    Votes: 15 75.0%
  • The study and tests are flawed

    Votes: 6 30.0%

  • Total voters
    20

Necronic

Staff member
I've never really seen much indication that people hate intelligence.

We hate intellectual frauds desperate to show the world how smart they are.

There's a difference.
 
I once got made fun of for saying "structural integrity." This was from someone pursuing a post-grad degree. :confused:
 
I've never really seen much indication that people hate intelligence.

We hate intellectual frauds desperate to show the world how smart they are.

There's a difference.
Put a kid in a class with all levels of achievers, who can answer every damned question that the teacher asks after a lesson... then you get the idea that yes, Americans hate smarter people. I've heard ridicule directed at these kids/people through grade school/high school/college/teaching in high school i.e. other teachers harassing the know it all in in-service/to a lesser extent in the work place.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
I've never really seen much indication that people hate intelligence.

We hate intellectual frauds desperate to show the world how smart they are.

There's a difference.
You obviously were never threatened by jocks in school for "shooting the curve."[DOUBLEPOST=1399586191,1399586141][/DOUBLEPOST]
Put a kid in a class with all levels of achievers, who can answer every damned question that the teacher asks after a lesson... then you get the idea that yes, Americans hate smarter people. I've heard ridicule directed at these kids/people through grade school/high school/college/teaching in high school i.e. other teachers harassing the know it all in in-service/to a lesser extent in the work place.
Bart Simpson is the cool underachiever all the kids want to be like. Lisa Simpson is the nerd they groan at.
 

Necronic

Staff member
There is a big difference between an intelligent person and a know it all. Know it alls, like Lisa, lack a lot of intelligence in some very basic areas.
 
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GasBandit

Staff member
There is a big difference between an intelligent person and a know it all. Know it alls, like Lisa, lack a lot of intelligence in some very basic areas.
Name an intelligent recurring character on the Simpsons that isn't either marginalized and/or disparaged by the moronic majority, or a villain outright.

 

Necronic

Staff member
Name a major character with ANY distinguishing greatness in that show that isn't marginalized in some other way. It's a comedy ffs.[DOUBLEPOST=1399587863,1399587773][/DOUBLEPOST]In a way that is hard to appreciate, know it alls are really just another form of bully. Most of us probably don't appreciate it because (correct me if I'm wrong here) I think most of us are pretty intelligent, but having a know it all constantly show you how much smarter he is than you must feel really crappy to a person who isn't that smart.

And I don't think it's really that intelligent to do something like that to someone and not realize it. I do appreciate that we really are verging on some Harrison Bergeron stuff here, but....there's a really important difference.

Hand-raisers and know it alls show off their intelligence solely for the benefit of their fragile ego, not because they are accomplishing something of value. That's very different than someone who generates something of value with their intelligence, like the dudes at the Hadron place.
 
Really? We are now resorting to calling people names? Do Gym Class Heroes get made fun of for treating gym like the Olympics? Just checking.
 

Necronic

Staff member
Who's calling people what names?

Edit: in a fit of delicious irony I just locked my keys in my office, a decidedly idiotic thing to do.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Name a major character with ANY distinguishing greatness in that show that isn't marginalized in some other way. It's a comedy ffs.
As such, it is a window to the collective consciousness of the culture. Underachievement is glorified, as is belligerent ignorance. Lisa wasn't that much of a "know it all," especially not compared to the even smarter Martin Price. But even her more modest attempts at intellectual or cultural achievement are ridiculed or sabotaged, if not portrayed as outright futile. Nowhere is it more eloquently shown that achievement is ridiculed than in the current ubiquitous epithet for those who strive: "Tryhard."


In a way that is hard to appreciate, know it alls are really just another form of bully. Most of us probably don't appreciate it because (correct me if I'm wrong here) I think most of us are pretty intelligent, but having a know it all constantly show you how much smarter he is than you must feel really crappy to a person who isn't that smart.

And I don't think it's really that intelligent to do something like that to someone and not realize it. I do appreciate that we really are verging on some Harrison Bergeron stuff here, but....there's a really important difference.

Hand-raisers and know it alls show off their intelligence solely for the benefit of their fragile ego, not because they are accomplishing something of value. That's very different than someone who generates something of value with their intelligence, like the dudes at the Hadron place.
I think maybe you've had the good fortune to be surrounded by people generally more intelligent than some. I'll admit that there have been times I've "flexed my brain" to make someone else feel stupid, but I've been told by friends and loved ones before that, even when I'm not, my intellect (even my vocabulary alone, in particular) is intimidating. I think what it boils down to in many cases is that when the average (or sub-average) feel intimidated, they find ways to cut you back down to their level. It's the crab mentality. And when those insecurities become part of setting policies, you get tall poppy syndrome sneaking up on you.
 
If you don't think it is wrong to use "hand raisers" and "know it alls" when talking about smart outgoing kids, then I don't know what to say. Those kids are no different than outgoing jocks, and therefore I do not agree with the idea that they should be labeled in a way that is cast in a negative light, but everyone seems to agree that they are just being arrogant dicks.
 

Necronic

Staff member
I'm not talking about all smart outgoing kids at all. I'm talking about people desperate to prove how smart they are and see it in the eyes of others. There is an important difference and it's usually very obvious.
 

Necronic

Staff member
As such, it is a window to the collective consciousness of the culture. Underachievement is glorified, as is belligerent ignorance. Lisa wasn't that much of a "know it all," especially not compared to the even smarter Martin Price. But even her more modest attempts at intellectual or cultural achievement are ridiculed or sabotaged, if not portrayed as outright futile. Nowhere is it more eloquently shown that achievement is ridiculed than in the current ubiquitous epithet for those who strive: "Tryhard."
Hmmm. I mean...you make some good points. I find comedy to be a bad place to find insights into anything other than the negatives of people, it's inherently biased. Based on what I know of you I'm guessing you've read Stranger in a Strange Land. I'm not always a Heinlein fan, but his analysis of comedy is pure genius.

"Tryhard" as a term though, with the people I play with, has a pretty specific meaning. It's people who start taking the game so seriously that they ruin it for everyone else they play with. Basically, they're assholes. But I have heard it used as a generally degrading term for people who really get into the numbers of a game....which is what I'm guessing you're talking about. I see it, sure, but (at least in my circle) it doesn't get very far.

But I play EvE online which has try hard as a pre-req :)


I think maybe you've had the good fortune to be surrounded by people generally more intelligent than some. I'll admit that there have been times I've "flexed my brain" to make someone else feel stupid, but I've been told by friends and loved ones before that, even when I'm not, my intellect (even my vocabulary alone, in particular) is intimidating. I think what it boils down to in many cases is that when the average (or sub-average) feel intimidated, they find ways to cut you back down to their level. It's the crab mentality. And when those insecurities become part of setting policies, you get tall poppy syndrome sneaking up on you.
Maybe I have been lucky, I mean...I'm a scientist so a lot of the people I know are really smart. But I meet and hang out with all sorts of people, and the only time I've ever had anyone shit on me for being smart is when I was intentionally and unnecessarily using flowery language, which really was pretty stupid.

It's not that people don't like smart people. People don't like braggarts. And it's not just jealousy, I think people dislike braggarts because it shows a really sad part of the human ego, a need for external validation that requires beating other people.
 
I would think the fact that there are a ton of pejorative terms for smart people would be telling enough about how our society values intelligent people.

Hell, look at how hard our culture makes fun of Asian culture for daring to try to raise intelligent children.
 
I am not a teacher, nor a parent, nor a current high school kid.

but I believe that the reason why they show no improvement in Math is because Square One TV never came back on the air.


(being light-hearted, feel to ignore in favor of serious discussion)
 

Necronic

Staff member
The episode with the murder suicide was really weird. Seems like there are better ways to teach zero-sum game.
 
In a way that is hard to appreciate, know it alls are really just another form of bully.
It's not that hard to appreciate. It was even blatantly demonstrated on the Simpsons "Bart the Genius" episode, where he scams his way into a gifted-and-talented school, only to have the other, smarter kids take advantage of his ignorance to steal his lunch.
I'll admit that there have been times I've "flexed my brain" to make someone else feel stupid, but I've been told by friends and loved ones before that, even when I'm not, my intellect (even my vocabulary alone, in particular) is intimidating.
That sounds...familiar.

--Patrick
 
It's not that hard to appreciate. It was even blatantly demonstrated on the Simpsons "Bart the Genius" episode, where he scams his way into a gifted-and-talented school, only to have the other, smarter kids take advantage of his ignorance to steal his lunch.

That sounds...familiar.

--Patrick
I'm pretty sure it sounds familiar for most people on this board. There are quite a few smart cookies on this forum.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
It's not that people don't like smart people. People don't like braggarts. And it's not just jealousy, I think people dislike braggarts because it shows a really sad part of the human ego, a need for external validation that requires beating other people.
As someone who had to learn to hold back his intelligence, and to carefully phrase things to avoid seeming arrogant, it's not always the motivation of a smart person to show off their intelligence, especially a child. I've had friends tell me that I'm so smart that they're afraid of me. Not recently, since I've learned how to hide the bits that seem most threatening, or the most annoying, but I hated my own intelligence for a while growing up, because I didn't know how to not have people hate me for being smart.
 
Tress nails it. Just fricking nails it. I can't tell you how often these kids don't do their homework, but then go on and on about their multi-hour Minecraft or CoD sessions. There are too many parents who ignore teachers entirely, or view any criticism of their child as a personal attack.

There other facets that doesn't get nearly enough attention in this discussion. One is the growing multibillion dollar testing industry that creates tests that often don't reflect the actual curriculum, lobby the hell out of state legislatures to adopt those tests, and the immediate effect is "poor performance" ratings. This forces a rewrite of the curriculum, which takes time and effort to design and implement. By then, the politicians get their noses out of joint, change the standards AGAIN, and the unhealthy cycle repeats. I understand the need for high standards, but when they're constantly shifting, often arbitrary and unrealistic, and utilize testing systems that simply don't provide enough accommodations for those students that need it, of course it won't end well. But there's money to be made and passed around, so it keeps happening. I don't think that the growing influence from private businesses gets nearly enough attention.
 
We need another Soviet Union. That'll prioritize American education right quick. Seriously, that was a HUGE driving force in the 1950-1970's. There's a reason why old school American engineers and scientists were among the best in many generations.
 
We need another Soviet Union. That'll prioritize American education right quick. Seriously, that was a HUGE driving force in the 1950-1970's. There's a reason why old school American engineers and scientists were among the best in many generations.
Don't worry, Putin is all over that.
 
Never seen Square One. It wasn't a thing either a) at my school or b) when I was going to school (not sure which).

EDIT: Looked it up. It's (b).

--Patrick
 
I apparently missed a page of replies.

There is a big difference between an intelligent person and a know it all. Know it alls, like Lisa, lack a lot of intelligence in some very basic areas.
Everyone lacks intelligence in some areas and possesses it in others.

What it sounds like you're trying to say is "you can get the answer right, but don't be smug about it". But Dei's right; no one would say that to someone doing well in gym class.
 
I can share quite a bit of sentiment with what lots of people have said. I've always been looked down on because of my intelligence. It's even worse that I grew up in a town of under 2000 people. You're practically a circus freak back home if you enjoy reading a book.

My brother and I both were much smarter than most the folks around us. He sublimated his intelligence completely, while I retreated into the hobbies that draw me to you fine folks.

I know that sounds like bragging, but it's really not. It kind of made growing up terrible. For me, that was more traumatizing than dealing with coming out as gay in a small town. I was more of an aberration for having read Shakespeare and The Odyssey for fun than I ever was for just being gay.
 
I can share quite a bit of sentiment with what lots of people have said. I've always been looked down on because of my intelligence. It's even worse that I grew up in a town of under 2000 people. You're practically a circus freak back home if you enjoy reading a book.

My brother and I both were much smarter than most the folks around us. He sublimated his intelligence completely, while I retreated into the hobbies that draw me to you fine folks.

I know that sounds like bragging, but it's really not. It kind of made growing up terrible. For me, that was more traumatizing than dealing with coming out as gay in a small town. I was more of an aberration for having read Shakespeare and The Odyssey for fun than I ever was for just being gay.
Crowd has their pitchforks and torches: Confess!

Bowie: I'm gay.

Crowd: Oh, well, that's alright, you just love whoever you love and feel attracted to--

Bowie: And I read books. For fun.

Crowd: BURN THE WITCH!
 
I just think the nature of learning is bunk.

Going to be honest here, but during school I suffered from a few specific learning disabilities. It got so far down, that by the time I was a sophomore in high school I either barely passed my classes or outright failed them (had to transfer out of Spanish because it was as if I didn't learn anything half way through the semester).

The issue was not lack of interest, but lack of retention, because my brain had issues retaining vocalized information. A teacher standing in front of me going on and on about a subject sounded like the peanuts adults. "Wahhh wahhhhh wahh wah wah" Where I did excel though, was reading. I was five grades ahead on my reading compared to my peers and could speed read circles around my friends.

So what did my school do? They talked to me. They moved me into a specialized class that was mostly saved for kids that had similar learning issues as me (and a few troubled students). The idea behind the class was that the teacher oversaw the class but taught absolutely nothing. He would tell us what we would be learning that week, gave us a set of assignments due by the end of the week, and told us to learn about it on our own. During class, rather then having to pay attention to someone, I checked out some books and read them at my desk. There was no homework. Going to school became relaxed, with much less daily pressure.

By the time I was a junior I went from a failing student to a 4.0 average. I was even inducted into the National Honor Society. I retained more knowledge about math, biology, English, etc... then I had ever learned in the regular classes, all because I was allowed to get myself engaged in the material my own way. Before I knew it, I started reading information at home, not just because I had to, but because I wanted to.

We focus so much on tests and quizzes, we forget that the biggest issue is simply engagement. You have to make them want to learn, and beating them over the head with information at the front of a room is not always the best method to achieve that.
 
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