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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

You may already be a loser!


U.S. students scored dead last in math in a study of eight developed countries, but first in "confidence in math skills, even though they suck at it," writes Bill Maher on The Free Press"We're number one in thinking we're number one."


It's an excerpt from his new book, What This Comedian Said Will Shock You, which collects his on-air editorials.


"Kids now have too much self-esteem, and it’s turning them into angry, screaming grievance collectors," writes Maher.


"It’s no wonder that by the time they get to college, just having to listen to an opinion they don’t agree with is considered an act of 'violence.' This is what happens when no one ever loses and everyone gets a prize."


It's not new, but as a long-time hater of the self-esteem movement -- I was there at the beginning -- I appreciate the sentiment.


Many math reformers want to boost students' confidence in their math abilities, sometimes telling them that they are brilliant "mathematicians."


Yes, many students need to believe that they can learn math, if they work at it. It's not some esoteric talent reserved for the few -- or for Asians. As with reading, giving up is not a viable option.


But they're not going to be confident if they can't do the math. Students are way smarter than that.

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7 Comments


Heresolong
Heresolong
May 26

So Bill Maher will now make a few more million saying things that he mocked us for saying forty years ago. OK. I guess if it makes someone listen that's good, but that person will most likely be off following the next fad in about five minutes.

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Stephen Collins
Stephen Collins
May 25

The title of this post reminded me of something my daughter said when she was in the 6th grade and we told her she'd have to wait for the eight grade to get a phone like her brother. "Eighth grade? I'll be a loser by then."

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m_t_anderson
May 25


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m_t_anderson
May 25
Replying to

Unfortunately, I've known folks whose cats have better standards than their "owners."

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superdestroyer
May 25

Why does anyone listen to him? Why would anyone listen to someone who does not have children about children?

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Stephen Collins
Stephen Collins
May 25
Replying to

Not listen? Even when's it's the truth? I see you've succumbed to the myth of not being able to comment on anything where you don't have the lived experience. You don't need the experience of raising kids to judge bad behavior. Don't be so defensive.

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