brain sizes: Einstein's and women's
John Knight
johnknight at usa.com
Sun Jul 14 15:21:12 EST 2002
http://christianparty.net/timssl10.htm
Question L10 on the 12th Grade TIMSS Math test given to 12th graders around
the world in 1995 reveals an astounding difference in math skills between
the sexes in all the countries who participated. The average difference in
all countries was 8.3%, with 31.9% of boys and 23.6% of girls answering
correctly, but the difference in the US was 12.3% (14.9% of girls and 27.2%
of boys). In countries like Sweden where 59.8% of the boys answered
correctly, guesses on the test would not have influenced the scores by that
much, but where only 14.9% of American girls answered correctly, guesses
must be taken into account.
Since this was a multiple choice question with five possible choices, the
probability of getting the correct answer just by guessing is 20%. In other
words, for every five students who guessed, one of them would have gotten
the correct answer by chance. The maximum score would have been achieved
had all the students who didn't understand the problem guessed at the
answer, so where 14.9% of American girls answered the problem correctly, 20%
of them would have gotten the correct answer if all of them had just guessed
at the question. It's not clear how they managed to score lower than if
they had just guessed, but discovering why may go a long way towards
understanding what has gone wrong with American "education".
27.2% of American boys got the correct answer, 22.75% by guessing, and 4.45%
indicating that they understood the problem [x = total guesses, 0.2x =
correct guesses, 0.8x = incorrect guesses = 72.8%, x = 91%, 0.25x = 22.75%
guessed correctly, 27.2% got the correct answer - 22.75% guessed the correct
answer = 4.45% understood the problem]. However, with an estimated error of
plus or minus 3%, only 1.45% are known with certainty to have understood the
problem.
Prior to adjustment for the 3% error, 59.8% of the boys in Sweden got the
correct answer, 10.05% guessed correctly, 49.75% indicated that they
understood the problem, and 40.2% guessed incorrectly [x = total guesses,
0.2x = correct guesses, 0.8x = incorrect guesses = 40.2%, x = 50.25%, 0.2x =
10.05% = correct guesses, and 59.8% correct answers - 10.05% correct guesses
= 49.75% who understood the problem]. After adjustment for the 3% error,
only 46.75% are known with certainty to have understood the problem. Per
capita, compared to American boys, 32 times as many boys in Sweden are known
to have understood the problem, and compared to American girls, an infinite
number are. Even though American boys did poorly on this question, compared
to American girls, an infinitely larger number of them are known to have
understood the problem.
Is this adequate proof that our attempt to establish "gender equality" is a
failure? Yes. To achieve that ephemeral goal, our "educators" began an
unnecessary and destructive "gender war" of unprecedented proportions, more
than doubled education spending as a percent of GDP, and out-spent by more
than three times countries whose students far outperformed ours. Japan,
whose 8th graders scored 105 points higher than ours, spends half as much
for education. Korea, whose 8th graders scored 107 points higher than ours,
spends even less per student than Japan.
John Knight
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