Actually, I don’t really think so. But if I were Diane Ravitch and looked at the trend in PISA for Finland as she looked at the trend in NAEP for New York City, I would see that Finland has declined in reading, math, and science. And then I would (wrongly) conclude that Finland sucks and is doing things all wrong.

Or perhaps if I really wanted to be like Diane Ravitch I would switch from looking at trends to levels of achievement, like when she looks at Massachusetts. In that case, I would still think Finland is great and doing everything right.

Or maybe I could be like Diane Ravitch and switch to a different test that produced results more to my liking, like when Diane stopped paying attention to NAEP for New York City when it showed significant gains and started focusing instead on problems in the state test measures.

That’s the problem with being a manipulative propagandist. It’s so hard to keep your story straight from one deception to another.

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Finland in the International Mathematical Olympiad in the last ten years: #72,#67,#74,#61,#39,#55,#63,#55,#38,#63.

A country doesn’t have to have a really good math ed system in order to do very well at the 99.99(9)% level (elite students can excel in spite of the system). But those who do have a really good system always do well also at the ultra-elite level. So had Finland provided deep math education then the country, with its very small population, would have placed ~#25 (like Singapore).

A group of stunning suburban moms did a survey and consensus was that Finland is too small too odd and too far away to care what their math scores are. New Jersey is crushing Finland in every way including sandwich variety and musical genius’ born there and the abject irrelevance in comparing the USA to them in anything other than sweater making is nattering nabobism of the highest order. Oh and New Jersey said to say bite me to Finland.

That was really mean. Your exasperation shows!

On a more fundamental note, I hope many are aware of the Finnish mathematicians response to Finland’s

“The results of the PISA survey have brought about satisfaction and pride in Finland. Newspapers and media have advertised that Finnish compulsory school leavers are top experts in mathematics.However, mathematics teachers in universities and

polytechnics are worried, as in fact the mathematical

knowledge of new students has declined dramatically.

… For example, in order not to fail an unreasonably large amount of students in the matriculation exams, recently the board has been forced to lower the cut-off point alarmingly. Some years, 6 points out of 60 have been enough for passing.

This conflict can be explained by pointing out that

the PISA survey measured only everyday mathematical

knowledge … the kind of mathematics which is needed in high-school or vocational studies was not part of the survey.”

PISA was supposed to be the answer to those arguing that TIMSS tests “just” math and science proficiency rather than the so-called “understanding.” Yet both Finnish mathematicians comments, and the surprising PISA success of Shanghai’s education — traditionally thought as focused on skills — paint a much more nuanced picture.

You seem to be assuming, the PISA is a good indicator of math proficiency.

MOM — Ravitch does when she cites Finland as great.

Ze’ev — It’s only mean if it is untrue. What have I said that is untrue? And yes, she is exasperating.

Of course it’s mean, Jay – it says right there on the table that they’re “mean scores.”

Finland, importantly, placed 11th in percentage of students at level 6 in mathematics.

Or you could win national honors like Diane Ravitch!

She was awarded the Moynihan Award recently and another is soon to be announced.

Finland in the International Mathematical Olympiad in the last ten years: #72,#67,#74,#61,#39,#55,#63,#55,#38,#63.

A country doesn’t have to have a really good math ed system in order to do very well at the 99.99(9)% level (elite students can excel in spite of the system). But those who do have a really good system always do well also at the ultra-elite level. So had Finland provided deep math education then the country, with its very small population, would have placed ~#25 (like Singapore).

http://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx

A group of stunning suburban moms did a survey and consensus was that Finland is too small too odd and too far away to care what their math scores are. New Jersey is crushing Finland in every way including sandwich variety and musical genius’ born there and the abject irrelevance in comparing the USA to them in anything other than sweater making is nattering nabobism of the highest order. Oh and New Jersey said to say bite me to Finland.