Archive for the 'Lower Education' Category

Some kid wants to wear his My Little Pony back pack to school

And we learn from the Education Realist that some people say the school is blaming the victim when it was suggested the kid not where the back pack to school:

So when a boy with a little girl’s backpack faces derision and taunting, the school might see both the taunting and the backpack as problems. But no, the mother takes the story public, and a wide range of idiots go out of their way to denounce the school for not letting a 9 year old boy have a my little pony backpack.

The Education Realist has links to other commenters on this story. If my son wanted to wear such a thing, I would let him, but I’d also tell him he’d better prepare for trouble. I remember what school was like.

The one thing I’ve not read in any of these stories or blog posts about this kid is any mention of his father. It’s got to be really hard on a boy to go through life without a father.

Heh…

In discussing a New York Times article on this report from the DOE’s Office of Civil Rights, Steve Sailer says:

If they looked at 97,000 schools, surely some of them must have the opposite pattern where, at a statistically significant level, Asian females get in trouble more than black males. Right? So, all they have to do is figure out What These Schools Are Doing Right and then repeat it nationally.

Gap Closed!

The guy makes me laugh out loud on a daily basis.

What Has Been Read Lately

When I started this blogging effort, I was much more serious than I have been recently. When I started I did a bunch of stuff on education. I also dabbled in financial regulation. I soon gave up on anything related to kitchen design as that stuff moves at a snail’s pace and you could be current with one blog post a year. Lately I’ve been putting up stuff that, for the most part is kind of silly. There’s 10′s of millions of guys like me with a blog. There are hundreds of millions more using the Hello Kitty blogging tool. I’m not really carving out a niche here.

Anyway, here is what I’ve been reading ’round the web

There has been a bunch of stuff going ’round the web about Kashawn Campbell. I do recommend reading the original LA Times story before going on to the other posts. Education Realist is very good. Steve Sailer is his usual provocative self: Forrest Gump goes to Berkeley. As usual, many of the comments at both places are good too.

Also on the education front, there is this ridiculous piece at Slate: If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person. It is so bad that I think it might be satire:

I went K–12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one book. There wasn’t even soccer. This is not a humblebrag! I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either. You know all those important novels that everyone’s read? I haven’t. I know nothing about poetry, very little about art, and please don’t quiz me on the dates of the Civil War. I’m not proud of my ignorance. But guess what the horrible result is? I’m doing fine. I’m not saying it’s a good thing that I got a lame education. I’m saying that I survived it, and so will your child, who must endure having no AP calculus so that in 25 years there will be AP calculus for all.

That paragraph right there is what makes me think the piece is satire. She, the author, is obviously aware that without AP calculus and other topics, there would be no internet that would allow such wide circulation of such nonsense. If it is not satire, it is the most vile piece of statist crap I’ve read in a while. Sending my kids to the Dallas schools would be child abuse. The author, naturally, does not acknowledge where our president sends his kids to school. Anyway, Sailer and his commenters have some thoughts. (Update: Just as an example: check out this interesting comment on dog whistles.)James Taranto, as usual, criticizes the logic behind the author’s argument. Angus does a down and dirty look at the numbers, to show how bad the argument is practically. But the guy who really lets the Slate author have it is Ken at Popehat. (Cute kids Ken!)

It’s Friday, so everyone should stop by and look at Friday Ephemera at David Thompson’s site. A sample:

YouTube Preview Image

You should watch that video, it’s short and funny. Those Japanese are pretty whacky!

I’m off now to find a job. I’m still looking after five months. Pretty soon I’m going to have something to say about the job market and the skills matching problem.

North Carolina Ends Tenure, Pay Increases For Higher Degrees

North Carolina Ends Tenure, Pay Increases For Higher Degrees.

This is another step the big change that is going happening in public education. You may think that this will be driven by cold heartless Republicans that hate your children. I happen to think it will really accelerate when municipalities figure out how much tax revenue will be available to them once the public schools are hollowed out.

Do I need to provide with more details on my thoughts?

The Essay

Paul Graham. Almost ten years old, but still very good.

I also pointed the Deuce to this one on high school. He actually took a quote from that essay and put it on his Facebook page. I might be getting somewhere.

This is huge

Computer graded essays and short answers.

I’ve not seen the program. I’m sure it has a number of shortcomings. But, since it is EdX, it will only get better. This will help those who have a different idea on how to run a school, or what type of curriculum to offer. It will help separate teaching from evaluation. I also have no doubt that the use of the software will create new Shakespeares, but it will help students learn to write clearly for commercial purposes. Maybe not now, but some day soon. For ninety nine percent of us, commercial clarity is sufficient.

This is the sort of technological advance that will allow for a lot of creative people to start smaller schools serving niche groupings of students. Leading, I’m certain anyway, to much better educational outcomes. Better is defined as the students learning what they want to learn, not what the governor and others think they should learn.

Again, accreditation will likely remain a significant roadblock for some time. Accrediting bodies will likely require human grading as opposed to allowing software like this in schools they accredit. This will, for a while anyway, keep educational changes at bay.

HT: Arnold Kling

I’m amused that Arnold and I both like The Diamond Age so much. I probably did start reading the book because of his references to Thetes and Vickies on EconLog

The Age of the Essay

Paul Graham on writing essays.

He takes a dim view of how writing is taught in high school:

The most obvious difference between real essays and the things one has to write in school is that real essays are not exclusively about English literature. Certainly schools should teach students how to write. But due to a series of historical accidents the teaching of writing has gotten mixed together with the study of literature. And so all over the country students are writing not about how a baseball team with a small budget might compete with the Yankees, or the role of color in fashion, or what constitutes a good dessert, but about symbolism in Dickens.

With the result that writing is made to seem boring and pointless. Who cares about symbolism in Dickens? Dickens himself would be more interested in an essay about color or baseball.

It just gets better from there.

One can spend hours going through Paul Graham’s web site.

The Boys at the Back – NYTimes.com

The Boys at the Back – NYTimes.com.

From the article:

Boys score as well as or better than girls on most standardized tests, yet they are far less likely to get good grades, take advanced classes or attend college.

As the father of both a girl and a boy, all I have to say is: No Shit.

Do go read the whole thing.

A planned safety drill

Fucking idiots

Patrick from Popehat has the story. As only Patrick can. From the post:

And for extra credit:  Assume for the purpose of this question that the murder rate in Chicago is approximately equal to that of smaller cities such as Aleppo, Fallujah, and Mogadishu. Explain, in symbolic logic, the utility to the city of using police officers to conduct murder drills in one of the few areas of the city where actual murders are not occurring, rather than deploying said officers to areas where genuine murders are taking place.

Go read the whole post.

Four Resolutions from Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Four Resolutions from Pedagogy of the Oppressed « Cooperative Catalyst.

I can’t believe people that believe this sort of thing are allowed anywhere near children.

From the article, written by a student teacher (?):

I resolve to make my classroom one that challenges the status quo, that takes sides on issues of social justice, that encourages students to create their own visions of reality. I resolve to take student opinions seriously, to continue passing out surveys, to more deeply discuss their input in classroom and school culture. And finally, I resolve to take a more active role in the struggle for education justice – to end poverty, inequality, and oppression – and to support allied struggles in the U.S. and around the world.

I’m glad my children won’t run into her.