Better predictor than SES

How can we expose more people to critical thinking?
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hammegk
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Better predictor than SES

Post by hammegk »

http://www.city-journal.org/2013/23_1_vocabulary.html
Early in the twentieth century, a well-meant but inadequate conception of education became dominant in the United States. It included optimism about children’s natural development, a belief in the unimportance of factual knowledge and book learning, and a corresponding belief in the importance of training the mind through hands-on practical experience. In the 1920s and 1930s, these ideas began spreading to teacher-training institutions. It took two or three decades for the new teachers and administrators to take over from the old and for the new ideas to revolutionize schoolbooks and classroom practices. The first students to undergo this new schooling therefore began kindergarten in the 1950s and arrived in 12th grade in the 1960s.

Their test scores showed the impact of the new ideas. From 1945 to 1967, 12th-graders’ verbal scores on the SAT and other tests had risen. But then those scores plummeted. Cornell economist John Bishop wrote in the 1980s of “the historically unprecedented nature of the test score decline that began around 1967. Prior to that year test scores had been rising steadily for 50 years.” The scores reached their nadir around 1980 and have remained low ever since.

Some scholars thought that the precipitous fall of verbal SAT scores simply reflected the admirable increase in the percentage of low-income students taking the SAT. But Bishop observed that the same downhill pattern had occurred in verbal scores on the Iowa Test of Educational Development—a test given to all Iowa high school students, who were 98 percent white and mostly middle-class in attitude. He argued that the declining effectiveness of American schools was a leading indicator for the shrinking income of the American middle class. The evidence today suggests that he was right. The decline in the educational productivity of our schools tracks our decline in income equality. For 30 years after 1945, Stiglitz observes, economic equality advanced in the United States; after about 1975, it declined.
Vocabulary doesn’t just help children do well on verbal exams. Studies have solidly established the correlation between vocabulary and real-world ability. Many of these studies examine the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), which the military devised in 1950 as an entrance requirement and a job-allocating device. The exam consists of two verbal sections (on vocabulary size and paragraph comprehension) and two math sections. The military has determined that the test predicts real-world job performance most accurately when you double the verbal score and add it to the math score. Once you perform that adjustment, according to a 1999 study by Christopher Winship and Sanders Korenman, a gain of one standard deviation on the AFQT raises one’s annual income by nearly $10,000 (in 2012 dollars). Other studies show that much of the disparity in the black-white wage gap disappears when you take AFQT scores—again, weighted toward the verbal side—into account.

Such correlations between vocabulary size and life chances are as firm as any correlations in educational research.
Comments?

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Rob Lister
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Re: Better predictor than SES

Post by Rob Lister »

hammegk wrote:Comments?
Sure. A casual read shows them asserting that
If we want to reduce economic inequality in America, a good place to start is the language-arts classroom.
That is wrong on more than one level but most probably wrong here:

Smarter people have better language skills
ergo
Teaching language skills better means smarter people.

I don't think that follows.

More likely:
Being smart is a preexisting condition of better language skills.

Comments?

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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Better predictor than SES

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

Rob Lister wrote:More likely:
Being smart is a preexisting condition of better language skills.

Comments?

You tawkin sheeyit. :evil:
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"Yes! A BIG REWARD!" ====> Click here to turn in a sicko
The arc of the moral universe bends towards chaos.
People who believe God or History are on their side provide the chaos.

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hammegk
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Re: Better predictor than SES

Post by hammegk »

Rob Lister wrote:
hammegk wrote:Comments?
Sure. A casual read shows them asserting that
If we want to reduce economic inequality in America, a good place to start is the language-arts classroom.
That is wrong on more than one level but most probably wrong here:

Smarter people have better language skills
ergo
Teaching language skills better means smarter people.

I don't think that follows.

More likely:
Being smart is a preexisting condition of better language skills.

Comments?
So you prefer to argue IQ is the key, ala Bell Curve.

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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Better predictor than SES

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

How about:

Being "smart" is a good definition of better language skills.
Image "If I turn in a sicko, will I get a reward?"

"Yes! A BIG REWARD!" ====> Click here to turn in a sicko
The arc of the moral universe bends towards chaos.
People who believe God or History are on their side provide the chaos.

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Rob Lister
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Re: Better predictor than SES

Post by Rob Lister »

hammegk wrote:
Rob Lister wrote:
hammegk wrote:Comments?
Sure. A casual read shows them asserting that
If we want to reduce economic inequality in America, a good place to start is the language-arts classroom.
That is wrong on more than one level but most probably wrong here:

Smarter people have better language skills
ergo
Teaching language skills better means smarter people.

I don't think that follows.

More likely:
Being smart is a preexisting condition of better language skills.

Comments?
So you prefer to argue IQ is the key, ala Bell Curve.
Key to what?

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DrMatt
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Re: Better predictor than SES

Post by DrMatt »

The actual dates suggest confounding factors, such as availability of illicit drugs in high schools.
Grayman wrote:If masturbation led to homosexuality you'd think by now I'd at least have better fashion sense.