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Test Scores vs. Entrepreneurship

Logic_on_rails
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6/8/2012 9:01:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Based on http://zhaolearning.com... .

As some of you are no doubt aware, I have stated before (also based on reading Yong Zhao as with the above article; he is quite fascinating to listen to) that while China is moving towards a more decentralised testing system the US (along with other countries) is moving towards a more centralised, test centric education system. Why are both striving for what the other wants?

This graph http://zhaolearning.com... compares PISA maths skills and one of the world's largest entrepreneurship studies. Both were initiated at relatively similar times, so it's interesting to check into the background. For those interested in raw scores instead of ranking, see this graph http://zhaolearning.com...

Furthermore, Tom Loveless, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy, found a negative correlation between student confidence in their maths abilities and their maths score on the TIMSS -http://www.brookings.edu... ; simple source - http://zhaolearning.com... While I don't profess to support supremely confident idiots, and more difficult tasks will naturally undermine confidence by virtue of getting more questions wrong, I find that this result is rather worrying.

My point is that these sort of results ought to question the drive towards a greater focus on testing. While testing is useful to a degree, the inability of testing to accurately assess many facets of understanding or even quantify various valuable qualities seriously undermines the case for an expanded use of testing.

I'm interested to hear feedback on the matters addressed in this post.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
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Logic_on_rails
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6/8/2012 9:20:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
It appears I forgot to actually mention that the first graph showing PISA maths scores and entrepreneurship showed that countries with good PISA scores, on the whole, had low entrepreneurship skills!

There are notable exceptions, such as Australia, but the overall trend is that PISA scores tend to not correlate with entrepreneurship. The question is thus - why move towards a system students on a measure that doesn't lead to desired skills?

While that last statement does make the presumption that entrepreneurship is good, I don't see that as being flawed. Yes, not every citizen need have entrepreneurial skills, but on the whole it's quite a beneficial skills for a majority of citizens to have.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
darkkermit
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6/8/2012 9:32:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Percieved Entrepreneurship skills isn't exactly a good thing If they don't really have it. It just means we have a bunch of cocky baestards that don't have any idea what they are doing and will fail.
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Logic_on_rails
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6/8/2012 10:33:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/8/2012 9:32:18 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Percieved Entrepreneurship skills isn't exactly a good thing If they don't really have it. It just means we have a bunch of cocky baestards that don't have any idea what they are doing and will fail.

I'll grant that entrepreneurship might not be so easily tested as those simplistic graphs show (Zhao makes a mention of this near the article's start) . However, given that these results come from one of the largest assessors of entrepreneurship globally, we ought to consider the results somewhat accurate or useful.

Also, Dark, you don't really addressed some of the other points in the post. I'm not sure whether you agree with them or not.

Point being, your presumption that all the data should be dismissed is not one I'd really agree with, although your criticisms might merit a weakening of my case to some extent.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
darkkermit
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6/8/2012 11:04:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/8/2012 10:33:09 PM, Logic_on_rails wrote:
At 6/8/2012 9:32:18 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Percieved Entrepreneurship skills isn't exactly a good thing If they don't really have it. It just means we have a bunch of cocky baestards that don't have any idea what they are doing and will fail.

I'll grant that entrepreneurship might not be so easily tested as those simplistic graphs show (Zhao makes a mention of this near the article's start) . However, given that these results come from one of the largest assessors of entrepreneurship globally, we ought to consider the results somewhat accurate or useful.

Also, Dark, you don't really addressed some of the other points in the post. I'm not sure whether you agree with them or not.

Point being, your presumption that all the data should be dismissed is not one I'd really agree with, although your criticisms might merit a weakening of my case to some extent.

No, the data literally said "Perceived Entrepreneurship Capacity" not Actual Entrepreneurship Capacity. In other words, its meaningless. It would be like testing "Perceived mathematical ability" vs. "actual mathematical ability" which is actually a negative correlation as well.

http://www.education.com...

American students get terrible math scores compared to their international peers, but they think they're great in math—in fact, they have more confidence in their math skills than students from any other country.
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Logic_on_rails
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6/9/2012 6:15:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I am completely aware that 'perceived' is not 'actual' . However, if there is a connection between the 2, ie. our perceptions of entrepreneurial skills are somewhat accurate to their actual values, then it's important to take note of this connection. If our perceptions mean nothing then why does the data quite unequivocally show such a distinct trend across multiple countries of high test scores being paired with low entrepreneurial capacity?

On the maths point, I did state in my first post that supporting supremely confident idiots is a poor point, and also noted that more difficult work can undermine one's confidence to a point. However, your citing of America is rather a small sample; does the UK, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and all those other countries around America on the graph have supremely high confidence in their maths abilities as well?

The last issue, one that might be perhaps a tad removed from this thread's original title, is whether the drive to high test scores is necessarily a positive. I'm talking globally here as the drive is taking place globally. I hear the exact same complaints in Australia yet as shown by the graph we're doing okay on both measures, whereas the US might definitely improve from some improved scores. Note my point earlier about China moving towards a less test centric education system and much of the West moving towards a test centric system. Why do both want what the other has?
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
RoyLatham
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6/26/2012 9:40:22 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
It's odd to compare actual math ability with what is essentially willingness to take risk in entrepreneurship. One explanation is that people who know a lot are more likely to perceive risks that others don't see. Another is along the lines of "people who are good at math care a lot about knowing the right answer" vs. "people who are eager to be entrepreneurs think they can succeed despite knowing all the answers."

Many of the big names in high tech business innovation are college dropouts: Gates, Chambers, Ellison. They don't seem like math-major types.

Keep in mind that very few people want to be entrepreneurs. Most people want the security of a paying job. So it's like saying what correlates with the number of professional singers or professional athletes or some other relatively small fraction of society.
RoyLatham
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6/26/2012 9:44:48 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
the reason for testing is to assess basic skills. Having a high school diploma ought to mean to a potential employer that a person can read and do basic math. Currently, that's not the case.

The idea that if testing is not perfect it is not at all useful is a mistake.
Greyparrot
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6/26/2012 10:17:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Great point! If you are a math nerd and know all the odds, it may be hard to take gambles and risks. Imagine C-3PO opening up a galactic chain of coffee stands.

The odds are 46.237 million to one!
darkkermit
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6/26/2012 10:30:52 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/26/2012 10:17:21 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
Great point! If you are a math nerd and know all the odds, it may be hard to take gambles and risks. Imagine C-3PO opening up a galactic chain of coffee stands.

The odds are 46.237 million to one!

I wonder how many of those with percieved entrepreneur skills actually become entrepreneurs. I bet most of them quit as soon as they realize how hard it is.
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RoyLatham
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6/26/2012 12:33:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/26/2012 10:30:52 AM, darkkermit wrote:
I wonder how many of those with percieved entrepreneur skills actually become entrepreneurs. I bet most of them quit as soon as they realize how hard it is.

It's a tiny percentage. I started a company that became successful. If I knew ahead of time how difficult it was, I would never have made the attempt. I wouldn't make the attempt nowadays. the government has pretty much gotten it's act together to make sure you don't have a chance. To be an entrepreneur today, you must be unaware of the 10,000 pages of regulations the government puts out every month that you are supposed to obey.

There are some exceptions. Sometimes people have no real choice except to be entrepreneurs: they inherit the family business, they immigrate and have to survive, they happen upon an opportunity that looks better than being unemployed. Also, there are some children of successful parents who have little to fear economically in failure. It's actually surprising how little that helps.

My experience is that there isn't one employee in a hundred who wants to assume the risk of ownership.
darkkermit
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6/26/2012 12:39:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/26/2012 12:33:36 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 6/26/2012 10:30:52 AM, darkkermit wrote:
I wonder how many of those with percieved entrepreneur skills actually become entrepreneurs. I bet most of them quit as soon as they realize how hard it is.

It's a tiny percentage. I started a company that became successful. If I knew ahead of time how difficult it was, I would never have made the attempt. I wouldn't make the attempt nowadays. the government has pretty much gotten it's act together to make sure you don't have a chance. To be an entrepreneur today, you must be unaware of the 10,000 pages of regulations the government puts out every month that you are supposed to obey.

There are some exceptions. Sometimes people have no real choice except to be entrepreneurs: they inherit the family business, they immigrate and have to survive, they happen upon an opportunity that looks better than being unemployed. Also, there are some children of successful parents who have little to fear economically in failure. It's actually surprising how little that helps.

My experience is that there isn't one employee in a hundred who wants to assume the risk of ownership.

When in doubt, go black market. I know someone who supports himself through college running an illegal taxi service for people too drunk to drive from parties. Curious what the future holds for him.
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