Are you concerned that 50% of high school students score below average on standardized tests?

Asked by: bigdave
  • Education is Our Future

    The fact that 50% of high school children are below average on testing is startling. It reflects the nation's (I'm assuming this is in the United States) apathy towards its youth. School, above all else, should produce critical thinkers that care and are capable of participating on the world stage. This statistic must be changed in the next few years or the decline of the country itself is imminent.

  • Yes, concerned for the US.

    But by no means surprised. You cannot have high expectations on a class society with an already sub par educational system. The economic inequity certainly effects kid's education...Like it always has. It started with the no education, to little schools that were 'restricted', to the Catholics opening Parochial schools for the Catholic kids, to the Quakers opining schools for all. Now, the curriculum is so tailored to the underachievers, the 'smart kids' have to go to 'early college' {advanced high school} to learn something. In other words parents spend a fortune for a teen ager to get a public education. But, hey if the US is satisfied with the stoner, uh duh, kids. What say you?

  • Yes, it's a problem

    Yes, poor test results indicate that we have some serious problems with our education system. I have two young kids; there is no way I can trust the public education system to educate them and give them the knowledge base they need, both for college and future life. Education is not education anymore. Teaching is catered to the slowest learners, tests are made easy, the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality ruins the sense of earning a reward. It's just bad.

  • I am totally surprised

    In a country like US which is full developed the students do not take interest in study. Well I want them to score more marks in order to save their future from darkness. Only thing the students need to do to achieve their goal is full concentration towards studies .

  • Depends on the test and what you mean by standardized and average.

    First off, which tests do you mean?

    The second question I have is by "standardized" are you talking about fitting data into a normal distribution bell curve or just requiring all students to take identical exams? Putting it on a bell curve is misleading and there is reason to believe that human performance does not match bell curves.

    The last question is: what do you mean by average? In the strict mathematical sense, the average is just the arithmetic mean of the data set. For example, adding up all the scores and and dividing by the number of students. However, in colloquial language, "average" can also mean what is called the median or mode of the data. The median is the exact midpoint of the data where the highest and lowest scores are added and divided by two. The mode is just the most common data point in the sample. For example, if most students scored 75% that would be the mode. Another question I have is whether the data used to set the mean, median, and mode is the same data set being compared. For example, if the "average" was calculated using scores from students 30 years in one particular school and you are now comparing them to all students nationwide, that would be a cause of concern for me.

    So in closing, this can either be concerning or not depending on the meaning of the terms used. In the face of that ambiguity, I am going to say yes.

  • I am not concerned about it.

    I am however concerned about how people on this site will react to this question. Notice that I am saying "how people on this site will react to this question", not how they will reason about the issue.
    A little research on your part will demonstrate why you should not be concerned either.

  • Is this a trick question?

    The entire definition of the word "average" means half the students will score below it. You could give a test where every kid scores eighty percent correct or above and 50% will still score below the average score.

    This sounds like an idiotic attempt to catch people out for not knowing math. Which just makes the questioner kind of a jerk.

  • What a silly question!

    The average mark is the middle mark. So, by definition, half the people taking the test will be below the average, and the other half will be ABOVE the average!! This is what the average means (pardon the pun). If you don't like this fact, don't have an average and don't tell children how well or badly they are doing.

  • This Question is a Trick

    By definition, the average lies directly in the middle of a set of numbers. Therefore, 50% of scores will be above and 50% will be below at any given time. This makes the question a trick; all testing scores will have this average, making it perfectly normal. The trap is in trying to make you think it is bad by asking if it makes you concerned.

  • Standardized Tests Suck

    Standardized tests most often do not really provide a complete view of how successful a child may be. Although most successful students do tend do score higher on these tests, success is better linked to determination, work ethic, etc. Than standardized testing scores. The test scores are sometimes the effect, determination is the cause. To illustrate my point, let me give an example. Let us say there is a very astute student who does well at art and music, but cannot, for the life of himself, do well at English, math, or science. This student would do terribly on the SAT, but if he loved music, he may become a great musician, or perhaps if he loved art, and wanted to become an artist, he will do that provided he has the determination. The SAT does not account for this in any way. It only looks at the success of those left-brained people, but it essentially ignores those with right-brain dominance.

  • Joke or badly worded question

    Anyone agreeing that this is a point of concern and a damning indictment of our education systems should maybe appreciate the irony that they have no understanding of the concept of 'average'.

    Either the question is posed as a joke, or what they are intending to ask is, are you concerned that 50% of students fall below the expected standard

  • Is this a joke?

    About 50% of high school students should score lower than average on standardized tests. Hence the word "average". It would be concerning if more than 50% of high school students scored below the average because that would mean that about 25% of the students would score extremely low in order to make the average at that level. I really hope this was meant to be a trick question...

  • Not concerned at all.

    Of course 50% of scores will fall below average. It is possible that there are a few outliers that bring down the average a little but there should be just as many that bring it up. Either way, an average should have approximately half the scores above and half below because THAT IS HOW AVERAGES WORK! I am hoping this was a trick question?

  • Ha ha ha

    OK, I see some imbeci----- I mean some uninformed person, saying that the score at the boundary between the top 50% and the bottom 50% is the definition of "average". That of course is the definition of "median", not of "average". Fortunately more people know that today than used to know that when statistics was not so widely taught in secondary school.

    At any rate, standardized testing is evil.

  • It's tautological: 50% MUST score below average

    Everyone wants their child to be a winner. NOT everyone wants to put the effort into ensuring that their child will be one-- and their children know it, and they don't try so hard themselves... But *that* is a different argument.

    Tests are supposed to be standardized such that the scores in the middle represent the majority of students; because that is how things tend to get distributed in real life. Half are below. Half are above. Get used to it. Trying to change the tests will make them worthless as instruments of measurement. Trying to change the students, while better, will only set a new normal (average).

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bigdave says2013-11-10T15:46:55.163
Conclusion... October 2013. One in four respondents answer questions at the reactive level.