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robertogreco : comparisons   8

I no longer have patience | Ioadicaeu's Blog
“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” —Meryl Streep
via:litherland  marylstreep  patience  cynicism  criticism  demands  hypocrisy  dishonesty  praise  comparisons  comparison  conflict  loyalty  betrayal  exaggeration  arrogance  pretense  lies  manipulation 
september 2014 by robertogreco
What do international tests really show about U.S. student performance? | EPI
"conclusions like these, which are often drawn from international test comparisons, are oversimplified, frequently exaggerated, and misleading. They ignore the complexity of test results and may lead policymakers to pursue inappropriate and even harmful reforms.

Both TIMSS and PISA eventually released not only the average national scores on their tests but also a rich international database from which analysts can disaggregate test scores by students’ social and economic characteristics, their school composition, and other informative criteria. Such analysis can lead to very different and more nuanced conclusions than those suggested from average national scores alone. For some reason, however, although TIMSS released its average national results in December, it scheduled release of the international database for five weeks later."



"Because social class inequality is greater in the United States than in any of the countries with which we can reasonably be compared, the relative performance of U.S. adolescents is better than it appears when countries’ national average performance is conventionally compared.

• Because in every country, students at the bottom of the social class distribution perform worse than students higher in that distribution, U.S. average performance appears to be relatively low partly because we have so many more test takers from the bottom of the social class distribution.

• A sampling error in the U.S. administration of the most recent international (PISA) test resulted in students from the most disadvantaged schools being over-represented in the overall U.S. test-taker sample. This error further depressed the reported average U.S. test score.

• If U.S. adolescents had a social class distribution that was similar to the distribution in countries to which the United States is frequently compared, average reading scores in the United States would be higher than average reading scores in the similar post-industrial countries we examined (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom), and average math scores in the United States would be about the same as average math scores in similar post-industrial countries.

• A re-estimated U.S. average PISA score that adjusted for a student population in the United States that is more disadvantaged than populations in otherwise similar post-industrial countries, and for the over-sampling of students from the most-disadvantaged schools in a recent U.S. international assessment sample, finds that the U.S. average score in both reading and mathematics would be higher than official reports indicate (in the case of mathematics, substantially higher).

• This re-estimate would also improve the U.S. place in the international ranking of all OECD countries, bringing the U.S. average score to sixth in reading and 13th in math. Conventional ranking reports based on PISA, which make no adjustments for social class composition or for sampling errors, and which rank countries irrespective of whether score differences are large enough to be meaningful, report that the U.S. average score is 14th in reading and 25th in math.

• Disadvantaged and lower-middle-class U.S. students perform better (and in most cases, substantially better) than comparable students in similar post-industrial countries in reading. In math, disadvantaged and lower-middle-class U.S. students perform about the same as comparable students in similar post-industrial countries.

• At all points in the social class distribution, U.S. students perform worse, and in many cases substantially worse, than students in a group of top-scoring countries (Canada, Finland, and Korea). Although controlling for social class distribution would narrow the difference in average scores between these countries and the United States, it would not eliminate it.

• U.S. students from disadvantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the three similar post-industrial countries than advantaged U.S. students perform relative to their social class peers. But U.S. students from advantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the top-scoring countries of Finland and Canada than disadvantaged U.S. students perform relative to their social class peers.

• On average, and for almost every social class group, U.S. students do relatively better in reading than in math, compared to students in both the top-scoring and the similar post-industrial countries.

Because not only educational effectiveness but also countries’ social class composition changes over time, comparisons of test score trends over time by social class group provide more useful information to policymakers than comparisons of total average test scores at one point in time or even of changes in total average test scores over time.

• The performance of the lowest social class U.S. students has been improving over time, while the performance of such students in both top-scoring and similar post-industrial countries has been falling.

• Over time, in some middle and advantaged social class groups where U.S. performance has not improved, comparable social class groups in some top-scoring and similar post-industrial countries have had declines in performance."
education  assessment  testing  standardizedtesting  2013  timss  pisa  comparisons  schooling  martincarnoy  richardrothstein  via:Taryn 
september 2013 by robertogreco
The Referendum - NYTimes.com
"Yes: the Referendum gets unattractively self-righteous and judgmental. Quite a lot of what passes itself off as a dialogue about our society consists of people trying to justify their own choices as the only right or natural ones by denouncing others’ as selfish or pathological or wrong. So it’s easy to overlook that hidden beneath all this smug certainty is a poignant insecurity, and the naked 3 A.M. terror of regret."

“It’s tempting to read other people’s lives as cautionary fables or repudiations of our own.”

"One of the hardest things to look at in this life is the lives we didn’t lead, the path not taken, potential left unfulfilled. In stories, those who look back — Lot’s wife, Orpheus and Eurydice — are lost. Looking to the side instead, to gauge how our companions are faring, is a way of glancing at a safer reflection of what we cannot directly bear, like Perseus seeing the Gorgon safely mirrored in his shield."
adulthood  aging  children  life  living  decisions  tradeoffs  2009  timkreider  judgement  unschooling  cv  comparisons  choices  self-righteousness  certainty  undertainty  insecurity  regret 
april 2013 by robertogreco
I'm Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write.: Learning Advice from a Learning Life
"Be comfortable learning just enough and nothing more…

Be comfortable focusing on one subject to the exclusion of (almost) all else…

Learn alone: Books are great. So is the internet. So are solitary walks in the woods.

Seek out groups, teachers, or mentors to learn: Sometimes learning with other people really feels best (for some people often, others, rarely). Whether it's in a group where big interesting discussions can happen, or finding a teacher who can help you gain the level of skill you want to have, learning with other people can be wonderful. There's nothing that says just because you're a self-directed learner you can't direct yourself towards lots of other people!

Don't force it: If you find yourself reading the same paragraph half a dozen times because you're just not taking it in, stop. Put the book down. Maybe permanently, maybe just until the next day if it seems interesting again then. But I do find, in my experience at least, that anything I've ever had to choke down or really force myself through, I've forgotten. Every single time. That doesn't mean you might not want to force yourself through a boring chapter in an otherwise interesting book on occasion, or get through a not-so-interesting article online because it's the only place you've found to get that specific information you want. Just that if you're really not enjoying something and there's nothing forcing you to do it (as in, you're not studying for a test you really want to pass), then give up. If you're not enjoying it and not taking it in, what's the point?

Learn to quit: We live in a society that despises "quitters," and we're reminded of this in small ways on a very regular basis. Quitting is usually equated with "failure" (something else we're taught to avoid at all cost), when in fact quitting is sometimes the best and healthiest thing to do. If you thought you wanted to learn ballroom dancing, but then find you hate ballroom dancing class with a passion, stop going. If you loved a subject deeply and spent all your time studying it, but now find yourself no longer feeling it's draw, find something else you want to devote your time to. If everything you've been doing for years has been towards achieving a specific goal, yet you come to the realization that that's no longer a goal that will make you happy, let go of it. This is a lot harder in practice than in theory, but I know I've found much happiness when I realize something's no longer working for me, no longer what I want, and choose to let go.

Ask for help: Even for unschoolers, who usually strive to learn from their community, asking for help can be hard (or at least it can be for this perfectionist unschooler!). But I've had to come to realize that sometimes, you really do need to just ask for help. People are usually very happy to oblige in sharing something they know about and enjoy doing!

Don't fear mistakes…

Don't compare yourself to others…

Don't let others' ideas about the right way to learn get in your way…"
unschoolign  deschooling  learning  education  idziedesmarais  solitude  alone  mistakes  comparisons  quitting  readiness  2013  howwelearn  justenough  justintimelearning  depth  breadth 
march 2013 by robertogreco
The Distress of the Privileged « The Weekly Sift
"The lesson: Supremacy itself isn’t hate. You may even have affection for the person you feel superior to. But supremacy contains the seeds of hate."

"Privileged distress today. Once you grasp the concept of privileged distress, you’ll see it everywhere: the rich feel “punished” by taxes; whites believe they are the real victims of racism; employers’ religious freedom is threatened when they can’t deny contraception to their employees; English-speakers resent bilingualism — it goes on and on."

"The Owldolatrous approach — acknowledging the distress while continuing to point out the difference in scale — is as good as I’ve seen. Ultimately, the privileged need to be won over. Their sense of justice needs to be engaged rather than beaten down. The ones who still want to be good people need to be offered hope that such an outcome is possible in this new world."

[See also (referenced within): http://www.owldolatrous.com/?p=369 and http://www.owldolatrous.com/?p=288 ]
feminism  gender  class  hate  racism  comparisons  culture  chick-fil-a  transitions  change  comfort  pleasantville  2012  thehighroad  understanding  bristolpalin  homophobia  aesop  supre  superiority  distress  religion  rights  society  politics  equality  privilege  owldolatrous 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Coding Horror: Buying Happiness
"Despite popular assertions to the contrary, science tells us that money can buy happiness. To a point…

Emotional well-being also rises with log income, but there is no further progress beyond an annual income of ~$75,000…

But even if you're fortunate enough to have a good income, how you spend your money has a strong influence on how happy – or unhappy – it will make you. And, again, there's science behind this…

What is, then, the science of happiness? I'll summarize the basic eight points as best I can, but read the actual paper (pdf) to obtain the citations and details on the underlying studies underpinning each of these principles.

1. Buy experiences instead of things…

2. Help others instead of yourself…

3. Buy many small pleasures instead of few big ones…

4. Buy less insurance…

5. Pay now & consume later…

6. Think about what you're not thinking about…

7. Beware of comparison shopping…

8. Follow the herd instead of your head…"

[Interesting references in some comments]
impulsepurchases  impulse-control  impulsivity  dangilbert  poverty  mazlow'shierarchyofneeds  income  helping  comparisons  comparisonshopping  shopping  delayedgratification  consumerism  cv  consumption  2012  money  wealth  research  science  via:aaronbell  experiences  well-being  jeffatwood  codinghorror  insurance  psychology  stumblingonhappiness  happiness 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Be wary of test score comparisons  | ajc.com
"The first question that should raise eyebrows is who takes the tests. The TIMSS, for example, tests students who are in their “final year of school.” But the ages of students range from 17 in the U.S. to 21 in other countries…<br />
<br />
Then there is the matter of selecting which students from these age groups actually sit down for the test. The U.S. engages in actual sampling, while other countries are highly selective. Russia and Israel, for example, administer TIMSS to native speakers only. Switzerland gives the test to students in only 15 of the highest performing regions of the country.<br />
<br />
Moreover, little attention has been paid to how the tests are constructed. Items that appear on the test are negotiated by the participating countries. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that countries push hard for items that will mesh closely with their curricula in order to look good in the rankings.<br />
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Finally, there is the role that poverty plays in the results."
pisa  timss  testing  standardizedtesting  comparisons  schools  international  education  policy  us  global 
november 2010 by robertogreco

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