"Abductions" DO NOT exist :They are misinterpreted sleep phenomena

Pepijn Schmitz pschmitz at no.spam.stormtech.com
Mon Apr 13 17:41:07 EST 1998


Norman Quisling wrote:

First off I'd like to say that I'm dissapointed that you don't address the original subject of my post anywhere: the
_quality_ of education. You only talk about how easy it is to get education, but you say nothing about the fact that
the quality of the education that you get, once you're in, is a lot lower in the US than it is elsewhere, as measured
by the tests that I was talking about.

> Pepijn Schmitz wrote:
>
> > While I agree with you that generalizations are bad and should be avoided, it is
> > a known fact that on average... the American population is a lot less educated than > most other countries. Plus,
> > the education that they did receive is generally a lot worse than that in most
> > other countries.
> [snip]
> > Pepijn
>
> Is it a known fact,

Yes.

> or is it a case of different populations of students
> being compared on test scores?

No.

> What I mean is, the US has no system to
> cull the student population of lower achievers, as many other countries
> do. I don't know the specifics on how France handles their education
> system, but I know at least some European countries have a competitive
> system where more marginal students are shunted off to learn a trade,
> and education is only guaranteed through age fifteen. Only the top
> students stay on the academic track.

I'll use the Netherlands as an example here, both because I know how things work there (since I'm Dutch myself), and
because Dutch students finished first on average in the aforementioned test. It is true that in the Netherlands, you
are _strongly_ encouraged to perform well in school. Both the schools themselves, as well as the government, do their
best to guide students to the highest level of education they're capable of.

Lower and middle school ('high school' in the US) are public, and free for everyone. Colleges and universities are not
free, but still public, and cost a _lot_ less than colleges and universities in the US. Also, from you eighteenth to
your 27th birthday you get a scholarship from the government if you're going to a public school (almost all), which you
don't have to pay back if your grades are good enough. If the scholarship is not enough you can also get a loan with a
low interest that doesn't start accumulating until you graduate.

As you can see it is _very_ easy for everyone in the Netherlands to get an excellent education, regardless of your
athletic abilities, or how much money your parents have. The same goes for most other European countries, although the
Netherlands' system is probably the best one (in terms of giving the best education possible to as many people as is
possible).

The populations being compared were the same: college students with math and or physics majors, so your point is
irrelevant. But even if they were different: what you are describing is exactly the problem of the US educational
'system'. Students can breeze through college on a sports scholarship without even knowing how to read! It makes sense
to disregard all these facts in choosing the test population, since their effects are exactly what you are trying to
measure.

> In the US, students stay on whtever track they are capable of or desire
> to. So our top students will include a broader range of abilities than
> many countries. Also, don't forget, that it's a lot easier to get into
> college here. Although there is competition to get into some colleges
> and universities, in general, if you can do the work, a college
> somewhere will take you.

On the contrary, it is a lot more difficult to get into college in the US than it is in Europe. The colleges and
universities are much more expensive than they are in Europe, and the government doesn't help you out nearly as much as
it does in most European countries.

Also, American students don't stay on whatever track they are capable of, they stay on the track that they can afford.
The quality and kind of education that you get in America have exceedingly little to do with your interests or
capabilites, but more and more with money.

In contrast, in most European countries the effective criterium for entering a college or university (and staying
there) is not wether or not you can afford it, but if you have the capabilities. You either need to have a previous
diploma from a high enough level of education (with the right combination of subjects), or you need to take entrance
exams.

> I have three children with learning disabilities. They are all from
> Romania, and because of their early life, have some hurdles to overcome.
> However, they attend the same classes and take the same subjects as
> other kids. And they take the same achievement tests. The only
> difference is that the work they do is slightly modified. So if you are
> comparing any age groups, unless you have the same range of abilities
> present in all countries, you can't make these comparisons.

Yes you can, that is exactly the point. If your children are capable of passing the same achievement tests as their
fellow students, then they should be treated exactly the same as those other students for purposes of choosing a test
population, because those achievement tests are part of the system that you are trying to measure. If the average test
scores of US college students are lower than those of other countries' students because of students with learning
disabilities being included, then that shows that there's something wrong with the achievement tests you mentioned,
which is exactly the point!

> Don't forget about this little facet. If the Euros are so well educated
> and sophisticated, why do they need the US to pull them out of the bad
> situations they get themselves into every few years?

Whoa, getting personal are we? First of all, we _don't_ need the US to pull us out of bad situations. I'm excluding the
second world war and the Marshall plan here, because there we did need the US, and I'm very grateful for the help we
got then because the Netherlands probably wouldn't be the way it is today without that help.

But since then we haven't needed the US for anything, thank you very much. The problem is that the US sees itself as
some kind of global police force, and feels this urge to butt in every time their own interests are in danger
somewhere.

Second, your whole remark is besides the point. None of the incidents that occurred in Europe in which the US
intervened (and now I _am_ including WW II) had anything to do with the level of education here or in the US. Nor did
it have anything to do with the question of how many people believe they were abducted by aliens, to bring this thread
back to its original subject.

> Why are the French
> so attached to communism and socialism, even though almost everyone but
> Fidel Castro has recognized they are failed systems.

Even if it were true, what has that got to do with anything? More specifically, what has it got to do with education,
which is what we were talking about? Talking about technological advances: please tell me the political system of the
country that first put a satellite in orbit around the earth? Or a man?

> And finally, why is
> the US perpetually at the head of the pack, from a technological
> standpoint?

They are not. Europe and Japan can compete with the US any time on a technological level. The best cars come from
Europe and Japan. The best TV's come from Europe and Japan. CD's were invented where? Right, in Europe (Philips). I
could go on for a while. Most major technological advances in, for example, integrated circuit design come from Europe,
Japan or big corporations like IBM that can hardly be called American companies anymore.

> If you French were as well educated as you claim, you
> wouldn't be mired in a perpetually stagnant economy, having to beg for
> crumbs from the Germans. You would be out front.

'You French'? I'm Dutch, thank you very much. And where did I claim that the French were well educated? (I'm not saying
they're not, before I get flamed by our French viewers, but we weren't talking about France, we were talking about the
US.)

Pepijn

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