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This makes me angry. How did this man get to his current position? I can't possibly understand how he did not know any of the math questions. I'm sure even I would have forgotten some of the trig, but to not know ANY? But I hear people saying, "his job didn't require much in the way of math." Granted, but I'm sure his job requires lots of reading, and he got a 62%?

The real tragedy is that this man was able to rise as high as he did, and our current system supports it.

How many kids have mastered trig in the 10th grade? The standard math track is two years of algebra, a year of geometry, then trig (as far as I remember), and the more advanced track has you starting, but not completing, trig in the 10th grade, then moving on to calc.

My guess is that the test had a lot of algebra 2 material, which requires some memorization of formulas. It's not hard math, it's just sort of plug and play, but it's hard to remember what to plug the numbers into if you haven't had a recent refresher, or you're not teaching it.

As far as getting a 62% on the reading portion, well that's just pathetic.

As far as getting a 62% on the reading portion, well that's just pathetic.

For all we know, the reading test was either testing for a different kind of plug-and-play (“the author of the above paragraph is using (a) apostrophe; (b) synechdoche; (c) both; (d) neither”) or is testing mastery of a certain kind of teaching-to-the-test in the guise of “reading comprehension”.

Do you even know what the questions were? If not: how do you know you would have done better?

Surely by now you've heard the aphorism "It's who you know and who you blow"?

You can't possibly be implying that most people are in their current jobs because of skill or training?! Bwaahaaahaaahaaah! Such naivete! Where have you been hiding?

The man is most likely an incompetent bureaucrat, rewarded by a unionized education system that values seniority and paper degrees.

It says in the second paragraph he's an elected official.

I believe that sentence was in reference to his school board elections. Later in the article he says "I help oversee an organization with 22,000 employees and a $3 billion operations and capital budget, and am able to make sense of complex data related to those responsibilities."

Would a guy like that even know how many zeros come after the 3 in $3 billion?

Depends how its written. In your example, the answer would be there are no zeros after the 3. ;-)

Also depends which version of "billion" you're using, it could be either: 1,000,000,000 (short version) or 1,000,000,000,000 (long version).


edit: add link & proper version titles.

In dollars, its almost universally assumed billion is "short billion". (Although, occasionally you still hear people saying it)

It would be a fabulous retort if you were this fellow and you actually did happen to know. "Short or long" would be almost as good a come-back as "African or European" when asked about unladen swallows.

Which is quite meaningless. Organizations of that size will have at least a few data analysts, data mining specialists either in-house or on contract, and tons of tools created to help C-level management understand the complex data the organization generates. My cursory understanding of this man's profession is to make friends, maintain relationships, and occasionally "understand" the pretty charts that the data analysts produce for him. It's no wonder he doesn't need much in the way of intellectual horsepower to execute his responsibilities.

Obviously they should fire him and hire you.

Life lesson: If it sounds too easy for the money he's making, it's probably not.

Is that better or worse?

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