Teachers Failing the ASVAB?

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For the readers of my blog who don’t know, less than a week ago I changed my duty to station to Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii, from Fort Drum. And thank goodness for that. My morale has already doubled based on the weather improvements alone. More on Hawaii later.

Yesterday I took part in my unit’s inprocessing with a  large group of new people. One female Staff Sergeant told me she was just coming off recruiting duty in the San Francisco area. I asked her if that was a particularly tough area to recruit in, given the high salaries common there, the average education levels and the lack of historic military culture. She assured me that it was indeed difficult to recruit, particularly given the Army’s cutbacks in which the standards for recruitment are higher than they were the two wars were raging.

Shocking to me, she said that sometimes people with Master’s degrees and teachers would fail the ASVAB test. The ASVAB is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The test was designed to help the Army fit people to the right jobs, as well as predict who will perform well.

I used to be skeptical of the ASVAB and intelligence tests in general. While I do think it’s impossible to design a test that can judge every facet of a person’s abilities, what with the mysterious chemistry of social skills, psychology and raw computational power, as well as the new aspects being studied concerning intelligence, such as fast thinking and slow thinking, my experience has shown that the ASVAB is indeed an adequate predictor of a person’s potential. I first noticed this at the NCO academy where some with low GT score really struggled with even basic concepts. There are of course exceptions, and I’ve seen those, too. GT is General Technical; a subcategory in the ASVAB and generally considered the most important aspect of the test. A GT score of 110 or higher will enable a person to work in almost any job in the Army, minus the ones that require extensive technical training such as surgeons and some higher sciences in R+D; those jobs require higher degrees. The GT highly correlates with IQ, but much of the ASVAB measures “crystalized intelligence”; raw knowledge that does not necessarily require logic to recall. The ASVAB was sited in Charles Murray’s controversial book, “The Bell Curve”, in which he contends that the ASVAB does an adequate job of measuring intelligence and thus performance.

The Army put a lot of research into the ASVAB. Studies show that just as with IQ, people with higher ASVAB scores are more successful in their job. Again, my experience in my own office at Fort Drum showed this to be the case.

The ASVAB score is based on a percentile of the population that took the test. If a person scores an  80 on the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test ; the raw score on the ASVAB), this means that he performed better than 80 percent of the people who took the rest. The Army’s minimum standard for passing is a 31, which is pretty abysmal. When I was at the Army’s Intelligence school at Fort Huachuca, there were some people with very high ASVAB scores in my class. We had about 60 people and two people scored a 99 on the test. I scored a 94 with a 133 GT, which placed me third in my class. I think I would have done slightly better if I had just come out of college like those two other guys did as it had been well over a decade since I took regular standardized tests of much importance. I struggled to remember how to solve  some of the higher math problems, problems I hadn’t worked on since high school. But there’s no question those guys were bright.

For someone with a Master’s degree or a teacher to fail the ASVAB is to me, frightening. It may not be easy to do extremely well on the test, but it seems almost impossible to fail if one can read. My question is, how is this possible? Have any readers met people with education that are this incompetent?


21 thoughts on “Teachers Failing the ASVAB?

    Bill said:
    April 15, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Education septs are the sewers of the universities – if you fail out of everything else, you can’t fail out of education. The inverse isn’t true (before anyone gets huffy 😉 – lots of smart teachers, but no doubt that the lowest common denominator ends up in education – so no shock here. Sad but not shocking.

    apollonian said:
    April 15, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Magus Dissapointed In His Pharisaist Dream-Come-True

    Magus: w. everything I’ve explained for u about the on-going, even quickening, CYCLIC “Decline of the West,” by Oswald Spengler, u shouldn’t have any trouble understanding how things are bad and, necessarily, getting worse.

    U got homosexuals taking over the culture, in practical control of the establishment mass-media, for example, in control of public edjumacation, for another example, etc., and u just continue to refuse to face the facts–because u hate the real, OBJECTIVE world, preferring ur own moralist/Pharisaist subjectivist world. It’s “good” to believe in “good,” so u resist the real world. Is it any wonder u have such difficulty?–get ready, buddy, ur difficulty is only beginning.

    All aspects of the objectivity-respecting, -oriented culture, rule-of-law, rationalist civilization, which is necessarily anti-semitic, of course, are being overthrown–in the name of ur IDOL of “good-evil” Pharisaism–and u’re not over-joyed?–it’s what u get when u reject TRUTH (Christ), above all/any other precepts, principles, ideals–especially that satanic quality known as “good,” which doesn’t exist, but which u obsessively, psychotically insist upon–have fun.

    Anderson said:
    April 17, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    apollonian, your comments are flat out ridiculous. Just thought i’d throw that out there.

    In regards to the topic, I’m will say that I am a bit taken aback from this. I’ve met quite a few slow thinkers(kind term for idiots) and in general simple minded individuals in the service, and to think that someone who has paid close to or more than 100,000 dollars for education can’t pass such a simple test is pretty pathetic to say the least…

    apollonian said:
    April 17, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Anderson: u’re just asserting without substantiation (question-begging). For if there’s a problem w. my comments in general, u need to say what’s problem, SPECIFICALLY, giving at least one example, get it? See, first u gotta have a minor premise before u can generalize, but u just want to skip that step, eh? Ho ho ho ho But u’re obviously not too swift, so I won’t push it, ho ho ho.

    Bill said:
    April 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Appollonian – you criticize Anderson for making assertions without substantiation (something btw, I’m not sure is a pre-req for off the cuff discussion on a blog). You make the claim that the homosexuals are taking over and somehow linking that to the decay of society, but you haven’t presented any evidence of a decay of society. It would depend on what you’re measuring, but you could make a very strong case that things are better now than they ever have been.. As far as Gays controlling stuff, even if they controlled everything, so what? Do the two gay dads on Married With Children 2014 Edition exert power over me? Then you bring up Objectivity. My irony meter went through the roof. The very notion of Objectivity is in itself, subjective. I certainly believe in objective measures, but I acknowledge that it’s a subjective bias on my part and that i could very easily be wrong about them – the chances are pretty low, low enough I’ll deal with it, but arguing that a true objective anything could even be known by a person is something you would need to present a lot of evidence for (evidence that doesn’t exist).

    Please indulge me in explaining why rule of law rationalist society is necessarily anti-Semitic (unless you’re using some obscure definition of the word I’m not familiar with) And how on Earth does Truth == Christ? None of us even know Christ existed (as much as I’d like to believe he did and is the son of God) and the main way are introduced to him, The Bible, is so ridden with errors, contradictions and preposterous nonsense that rejecting him based on reading the Bible is hardly an unreasonable thing to do. In fact, the only way I’ve been able to hold on to my Christianity is by fully acknowledging that the majority of the bible is BS, what isn’t is likely impossible for me to know b/c of translation issues etc etc.

    apollonian said:
    April 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Objectivity: A Necessary Assumption Of Metaphysics

    Bill: the issue of objectivity (Aristotle) is the basic issue of METAPHYSICS (which Aristotle himself called “first philosophy”–the first premises for any system), by definition. Remember that ur very first premises can only be assumed, there being, necessarily, nothing prior. Thus, by trial and error, we reduce the possibilities for nature of existence to being either, (a) objective or (b) subjective (entirely within the mind). Neither can be proven; u can (must) choose whatever u pls.

    Subjectivity, however, quickly reduces to the absurd, for then ANYTHING GOES, everything is both true and false at same time, deuces wild, one is God unto one-self.

    Thus objectivity (Aristotle) is the only rational alternative, foundation then of science, logic, etc. Objectivity is what then proves, but itself cannot be proven, again.

    “Decay of society”?–observe Fukushima, literally OUT OF CONTROL, pouring radiation into the Pacific ocean, thousands of times more contamination than Chernobyl, already, and no end in sight–and there are DOZENS more such-like designed reactors in USA ready and waiting for similar accidents.

    Ever hrd of AGENDA-21?–extermination of humanity, all in name of “sustainable development,” serving the Jewwy oligarchs.

    Do u realize the “money”-supply of USA and world is literally a COUNTERFEIT scam which serves the Jewwy, satanic psychopaths now running the world?–they just literally print-up all the “money” they want, for practical purposes, launching genocidal wars–over a million killed in Iraq–this after they’ve perpetrated the “terror” incidents, like 9/11, which are used as pretexts.

    I trust u understand it was ZOG (Zionist occupation gov.) that did the poison-gas attack in Syria, a few months ago, and just now in Ukraine hired the snipers to kill the cops and protestors.

    ZOG puts fluoride poisoning in water supplies, puts GMO poisons in food supplies, along w. other poisonous additives, like aspartame, MSG, HFCS, etc. ZOG forces toxic vaccines upon the people, and does the poisonous “chem-trail” seeding of the atmosphere for purpose of geo-engineering, altering weather. ZOG forces poisonous drugs upon school-kids (20% in USA) and others. ZOG murders US troops and others w. depleted-uranium weapons.

    We’re OBVIOUSLY in midst of “Decline of the West,” by Oswald Spengler, the society first built by HONEST, objective-oriented, racist farmers whose succeeding generations become progressively more corrupt and perverted, esp. by the hubris of “good-evil” Pharisaism (“tolerance” and “diversity”) which is primary vehicle of subjectivist insanity, first instituted then by leadership of Jews who follow the Talmud (see RevisionistReview.blogspot.com and Come-and-hear.com for best Talmudic expo), preaching a collectivist subjectivism (“whatever is good for Jews”) against the Christian objectivity and honesty of the people, Christianity being worship of TRUTH TRUTH TRUTH above all/any other precepts (see Gosp. JOHN 14:6).

    Queers are obviously not intelligent enough, being gross addicts of sense-gratification, to be primary causes or effectuators, like Jews, queers being the consequence and manifestation of an already horrifically corrupted culture. Note then queers are deeply and heavily integrated within the putrid education establishment, bureaucracy, and other areas–like the Roman Vatican, for example.

    So there u have it, Q.E.D., the thesis supported by numerous facts.

    apollonian said:
    April 19, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Who distributed the “anti-Semitic” leaflets in Ukraine requiring Jews to “register”?–Jews, of course–who else? Ho ho ho Ck http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/04/19/359181/ukraine-jew-registration-hoax-traced/

    Bill said:
    April 20, 2014 at 4:31 am

    I double majored in phil and can dance around a question too. The fact remains, you’ve got an empty sack on the Objectivity realm. It’s a subjective notion. Take any objective measure and while it may be good enough to put a rover on mars, it *could* be a subjective delusion. I’m not arguing it is, just pointing out it could be. I’m all for being as objective as we reasonably can, but pretending it’s some absolute notion that can be known is intellectual masturbation. Posit an objective item you want, i don’t care what it is, and I can counter with given enough monte-carlo simulations,it could be explained by coincidence. Again I don’t think this is true, but it’s possible and if it’s possible getting on a high horse against it is – well, I’ll leave it at that.

    The Fukishima comments are just too vague to really argue with. If you want to talk Specifics I’ll be glad to. out of control, worse than Chernobyl etc etc all require criteria you to argue, suffice to say I think that’s nuts. However I don’t need definitions to shut down a few points. “Waiting to happen” -Based on What? I’m guessing you aren’t familiar with the design of reactors , (not an insult, just an observation that if I’m wrong about, i’ll gladly recant). Will these disasters happen all at once or be triggered by natural events ? If so, what? From every ‘objective’ measure I can think of nuclear power has a tremendous track record and we can always play the “Something bad could happen” game, but implying that it’s just some ticking time bomb is either rhetorical nonsense or just plain nonsense.

    Agenda 21? Yah, I heard Glenn Beck freaking out about it a few years ago. If you live in fear of UN Treaties, let alone non-binding ones, go ahead. I’d be hard pressed to think of something i worry about less regarding my own life. But in terms of things likely to wipe out humanity, that’s got to be dead last on any list or really close to it.

    Now the money supply. I assume you’re using ‘print’ in the abstract sense of the word. You can call it illegitimate all you want, but counterfeit, I’m not sure that word means what you think it does. Then you delve into Genocide and I know I’m dealing with someone who’s not being serious. With technology, we could wipe any country or group of people right off the map. We could easily engage in genocide. Show me one group of people that’s been wiped off the map by the US in the last say, 20 years. You have a bizarre definition of Genocide if it involves a country with a thriving population. And that’s where I got to the point that I realized this is going nowhere.

    For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just bow out now. Do me a favor and drop me a line right before all the genocide and death and carnage happen. When the west finally falls, shoot me an email right before it all goes bad and rub in my face how wrong i was. Fair enough?

    apollonian said:
    April 20, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    The Subjectivist As Un-Movable Child–Cannot Be Persuaded, Ho Ho Ho

    No psycho: all u’re doing is fooling urself and insisting what u say is the fact–not unlike a child. Everything is subjective to u, because u say so–just like a little child, ho ho ho–but, just like a child, u’re convinced u’re sooooooooo clever, eh?–indeed, and u only fool urself, as I note.

    And I agree the argument is over, for practical purposes–I’ve done all I needed to do. I only make these notes for any others still interested in the discussion. For any “evidence,” which is what “Bill” demanded, automatically implies an objective reality.

    Thus observe human consciousness and reason is oriented ONLY to an objective reality–and it’s not the fault of human consciousness.

    Thus “Bill” implies human consciousness is conscious only of itself (subjectivism), and not of an objective reality–something which he knows he can’t prove. Consciousness must be conscious of something, and observe consciousness itself is something which even “Bill” can’t deny.

    And to say a consciousness only capable of objectivity is subjectivism is obvious contradiction. “Bill” wants to pretend he owns the terms, everything being subjectivism no matter what–because he says so.

    Thus we understand a conscious capable of grasping an objective reality–it’s necessary assumption in accord w. any objective conception–“Bill” doesn’t want to agree to it, but that’s his problem, not mine, ho ho ho ho

    Bill said:
    April 21, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Why the scare quotes around my name? I’ve been posting on Doug’s blogs with my real identity known for several years now. If you want to be pedantic, my given name is William, but I use Bill – no scare quotes needed. And no, I haven’t argued that anything is such b/c i say so – it’s been pretty clear and if you can’t understand it I’m too busy to really explain it. I qualified everything I said to the point I can’t understand how there’s ANY uncertainty, but I’ll grant that I wrote it so it ought to make sense to me. I’ll take one last stab at it though, everything any human knows is subjective b/c the only way they know anything is subjectively. I see X every time Y precedes it and don’t see X when Y doesn’t. Multiply by a few thousand people and you have something that would be taken to be objectively true. Each person could be wrong, each could be mistaken, each could be deluded. It’s doubtful but possible. All I can know anything about though is through my own experience. Call me a child all you want, that’s silly. You can just show me how it’s not true and I’ll sing your tune just as loudly as you are.

    Just out of curiosity , why call me a psycho? It’s not a hurt feelings things, it’s a WTF thing. There’s 1000 other insults you could throw out that would stick, psycho though, i don’t get it. Hey, maybe it’s just the evil Jewish ZOG puppet masters that are putting these thoughts in my head. Maybe they’re as powerful as you think and they’re putting the thoughts in your head too. They’re making you believe in Objectivity, in a purely subjective manner, all the while convincing you of the opposite. It’s no goofier or less founded in reality than anything else you’re arguing, so maybe we should just agree on that?

    T. J. Babson said:
    April 21, 2014 at 1:43 am

    I took the ASVAB 30+ years ago. I remember one section that drove me crazy involved counting something like the number of e’s in a long, random string of letters. This was supposed to test “attention to detail” or something along those lines.

    T. J. Babson said:
    April 21, 2014 at 1:47 am

    But–seriously–it would not surprise me if many so-called “educated” people failed the ASVAB.

    It is pretty easy to get through college without learning anything.

    magus71 responded:
    April 21, 2014 at 2:11 am

    The ASVAB has changed since it’s early days. I’m not sure how, but I know the scores are not the same anymore. The only part that gave me trouble was some of the math at the end. My highest score was in mechanical I think.

    apollonian said:
    April 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Oh The Travail Of Persuading A Fool That Reality Exists

    Bill: reality is what it is–hence it’s objective–it’s objective the moment u admit it exists, ho ho ho. The fact that u talk about it makes and proves it is objective–u’re just struggling like the fool u are to be conscious of that objective reality. U just can’t figure out u must assume that objectivity–which u refuse to do insisting it’s subjective unless proven otherwise–which proof itself necessarily implies objectivity, HENCE THE ASSUMPTION OF OBJECTIVITY.

    Logic must begin in assumption, necessarily, according to any possible objective conception, otherwise u suffer the fallacies of infinite regress and circular reasoning. U want to admit to logic, demanding proof, etc., but then deny the objectivity it necessarily depends upon, u idiot.

    What u want to do is, like Plato, Descartes, and Kant, among others, is to say that since we perceive through our consciousness (ur “experience”), automatically, it makes things subjective. No–it only makes (ur) consciousness subjective unless we can see how to make it (or understand it) capable of perceiving an objective reality–which must be objective if it exists, and even a dummy like u admits consciousness is real–which then u say PROVES the reality it strives to perceive and understand is subjective–u’re ur own worst enemy, moron.

    Look here, fool: if u want to insist upon fooling urself, that’s ur problem, get it? Ho ho ho, and psychosis is ur inexorable fate unless u figure out ur consciousness is DESIGNED to work ONLY for an objective reality which exists the moment u even begin to talking about it, the moment u admit consciousness itself exists. Hint for morons like u, Bill: consciousness, which u admit, couldn’t exist unless there was something to be conscious of–an objective reality, fool.

    Bill said:
    April 21, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    First, can you answer the Scare quotes question?

    Next, for the past 14:17 mins I’ve had an AI bot running, learning. It knows it exists so you have to say it’s conscious. What objective reality does it exist in? The one I made with computer code running on my computer? I designed the consciousness to work on a subjective reality, the one it thinks exists b/c it can’t know any objective reality, neither can I so I can’t tip it off. Maybe we’re going about this all wrong – maybe instead of arguing, i should hire you. You teach my CuckooBot to be objectively aware of the world, and we’ll get rich.

    Objectivity exists, we can’t know it and neither can my AI bot unless you’ve got some mad programming skills that I doubt you have (no offense, but after coding for so long, you just get a certain gut feeling from people based on their writing, pretty sure coding isn’t one of your skills)

    apollonian said:
    April 21, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Bill: at this pt., u’ve passed fm sublime to ridiculous, eh?–and anyone who now reads ur stuff would know. I rest my case to let the jury of readership to decide for themselves. U say objectivity exists, but u (speak for urself) can’t know it?–well, buddy, who’s problem is that, eh? U say ur AI bot “knows”?–are u sure about that?–how would u know? ho ho ho ho ho.

    Bill said:
    April 21, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Asserted with the wave of a hand and nothing to back it up, precisely the indictment you originally leveled against another commenter. You’re right though, i do think there is some objective reality but none of us can know it, not at least with our current set of perceptions. You can say you know it but you don’t. I realize increasingly that the problem here isn’t philosophical at all, it’s reading comprehension. My bot has self awareness, at least in the sense it thinks it has a name, it thinks it knows the time, it thinks it knows all sorts of things. It thinks that you just commented on this post, but for all it knows, you may not have – i could just have injected it into its world and it would never be the wiser. I ‘know’ that it knows to the extent I can ask it and it can tell me. However that response could be a figment of my imagination. If I were asked to Prove it, the best I could do is run tests that me and the questioner agreed to be valid and wait for the response. We both could be deluding ourselves. Optical illusions abound.

    As I posited which you either could not or would not counter, by the time I or my bot or you or anyone else perceives something, the event has long ago already happened. We don’t experience anything in real time. Events are filtered through our senses and measurements. You claim there’s objective reality but can’t show me an example of it. Even if you could I’d counter with the Observer effect, we may know something exists but can’t know what it is with any certainty b/c you guessed it, our certainty is SUBJECTIVE.

    And No, I’m not ‘sure’ in the sense that I can objectively prove it. But I don’t need certainty in my life, I just need an extreme high degree of probability. If I’m totally deluded that showing up to work, billing clients and getting paychecks makes my life better, I could be wrong about all of it, I could have cause and effect completely backward. I could have hundreds of coincidences all adding up to make be believe there sum is objectively true. It’s doubtful but more than possible. Everythign I experience already happened so sure, my filters could be way off.

    You may be all that much wiser and I may be the fool, but you’re style of arguing looks a lot more like one of an arrogant chicken than some truly informed Guru. Tell me then, OBJECTIVELy, how do you know I exist and that I responded to something you wrote. Objectively – I mean, prove it conclusively without any subjective notions whatsoever.

    Also, just out of curiosity, are you one that believes in Free Will? May I ask what’s with the Ho Ho Ho stuff? Additionally, is it really that rude or inappropriate for me to ask why you kept using scare quotes around my name? I too am content in letting the readers decide – perhaps I’m a fool, at least I’m one that’s willing to put forth something other than dismissive quips saying I’m right b/c I say so, exactly the charge you leveled against me earlier. Seems to b ea lot of that going on. I wonder why?

    apollonian said:
    April 21, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Bill: I consider u’ve lost, and I’ve done all I need do for this discussion. But never fear, lots of Jews and homos would agree w. u, and still might write-in to say what brilliant guy u are. Ho ho hoh o ho

    apollonian said:
    April 21, 2014 at 9:52 pm
    Bill said:
    April 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Dammit Apollonian – you keep throwing thsese oddballs at me. If you look at the distribution of your writing, it was easy to detect a mile awe, then there’s several that i really have to wonder if they’re you or a bot. Seriously, please, I’m asking humbly, can you respond to any of the questions I’ve posited. I’ll grant you won, it’s the semantic patterns you use I’m much more interested in – Sampling what it is, the more the better. You have a bunch of these one sentence and link things which are dead giveaways, but it would stroke my ego greatly if I could detect you, whether or not you signed your name, putting confidence intervals around each additional word. I need 5 of your traditional comments. Please?

    magus71 responded:
    April 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Click on the link at the top of my blog links on the right: “A Philosopher’s Blog”, for a better sample.

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