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[Xmca-l] Re: Asia tops global school rankings



Dear Carol:

I think that programmes like PISA and TIMMS are not designed to, and do not
actually claim to, predict individual academic success for the purposes of
gate-keeping. Every study using PISA and TIMMS that I have read have used
the tests as they were designed, to evaluate the overall effects of
instruction on a whole society and to compare it with other societies.

Like Haydi, I believe in testing, and I think LSV did too. But Vygotsky
knew that academic success is by its very nature not individual. So if you
want to really predict academic success on an individual scale, you can't
do it by looking at what the child has already internalized, because that
has been already individualized and is no longer predictive of future
academic prowess.

When I read Cole and Scribner (and also Stephen J. Gould), I find that what
they have done is to take this argument and extend Vygotsky's skepticism
about the predictive potential of testing beyond the individual and the
interpersonal to the social and cultural. That is, if you really want to
measure what it is to be a thinking, speaking person, you can't even
confine yourself to looking at what a society has internalized and codified
in its academic rituals; you need some measure that will look at very
different societies and be able to see human progress in all its complex
potential independent of one specific model. I think that the PISA and the
TIMMS are NOT designed to do this, but I think that, oddly enough, they
were pretty well designed to work in a modern Korean context. (China is a
very different matter, though.)
.
I have never really studied the GRE, but I remember my wife taking it to
get into graduate school in the USA. The mathematics portion has no
predictive power over here in Asia (because of the ceiling effect) and the
verbal quotient is mostly a test of language ability. Tests of language
ability have been shown not to correlate with students' grades after the
first semester or so of study, because the verbal ability of people who go
and study in the USA changes quite rapidly.My wife also had to take a
"literature" GRE test. In preparation, she read the whole of "Clarissa", an
eighteenth century novel by Samuel Richardson in nine volumes (it has to be
said that she's rather fond of that sort of thing, and I suspect she really
just used GRE preparation as a pretext). There was only one question on
Richardson in the whole test, and you could answer it without reading any
book at all (I think it was something like "Who was the author of
'Pamela'?")

David Kellogg



On Wed, May 13, 2015 at 9:16 PM, Carol Macdonald <carolmacdon@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Dear David
>
> I have been looking at the report on BBC.com at the moment.  I am not quite
> clear about what you imply, in your dense text. Are we to discount this new
> league table because of the nature of PISA and TIMMS assessments?
>
> I fully endorse you view of the "sat" nature of SAT.  Does the same apply
> to the GRE? Are they in the same stable?
>
> Carol
>
>
> On 13 May 2015 at 13:58, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I am rooting--quite unironically--for the cheaters; since the psychology
> > profession, with a few noble exceptions (such as Bernard Spolsky and
> > Stephen J. Gould), has been largely derelict in its duty to expose the
> > psychometric frauds, I think the only hope of putting them out of
> business
> > permanently lies in the highly ingenious work of Korean and Chinese
> > test-takers, and I wish them all the best.
> >
> > The so-called SAT, whose predecessor was designed to keep Jews out of
> > academia, now serves much the same purpose with respect to Asians (with,
> I
> > am pleased to say, about the same degree of success). According to
> Bernard
> > Spolsky, the extremely unstable statistical relationship of the "SAT' to
> > either "aptitude" (that is, its ability to predict real academic success)
> > or "achievement" (that is, its correlation with high school grades) is so
> > tenuous that the company no longer claims that "A" actually stands for
> > anything ("sat" just means you had to sit down and take a test).
> >
> > The true "cheating" scandal is the ability of ETS and other agents of the
> > testing industry to sell wares which purport to predict academic success
> > and in fact merely manufacture it for sale.
> >
> > David Kellogg
> >
> >
> >
> > On Wed, May 13, 2015 at 8:10 PM, rjsp2 <r.j.s.parsons@open.ac.uk> wrote:
> >
> > > It's all right, Peter. Cheating is a necessary life skill; this result
> > > is measuring the fact that the Asians are better at it than we are,
> > > hence are bound to succeed in life.
> > >
> > > Now where was that irony emoticon...
> > >
> > > Rob
> > >
> > > On 13/05/2015 11:40, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
> > >
> > >> And yet, here it says that cheating is rampant.
> > >>
> >
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/05/12/new-allegations-of-an-sat-security-breach-this-time-on-a-u-s-test/
> > >>
> > >> -----Original Message-----
> > >> From: xmca-l-bounces+smago=uga.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> > >> xmca-l-bounces+smago=uga.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Dr. Paul
> C.
> > >> Mocombe
> > >> Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 6:36 AM
> > >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Asia tops global school rankings
> > >>
> > >> Asia tops global school rankings
> > >> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32608772
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> > >> President
> > >> The Mocombeian Foundation, inc.
> > >> www.mocombeian.com
> > >> www.readingroomcurriculum.com
> > >> www.paulcmocombe.info
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > > -- The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an
> > > exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland
> > (SC
> > > 038302). The Open University is authorised and regulated by the
> Financial
> > > Conduct Authority.
> > >
> > >
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
> Developmental psycholinguist
> Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
> Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa
>