Monday Reading

The Economist takes a look at schools. The analysis overlooks just how much the debate about internal comparisons is alive with correlation – causation fallacies and cherry-picking of data and evidence but it’s hard to argue with the point that the education debate is shifting to a more empirical footing – that’s a big story of the last decade.  Also, watch for Ontario to emerge as the new Finland soon.  The fishing is better in Canada, so I’m fine with this trend.

E.D. Hirsch has an important op-ed in The Times about reading.  I don’t think the one-year drop is that big of a deal but he’s right about the larger trend:

The most credible analyses have shown that the chief causes were not demographics or TV watching, but vast curricular changes, especially in the critical early grades. In the decades before the Great Verbal Decline, a content-rich elementary school experience evolved into a content-light, skills-based, test-centered approach.

One Reply to “Monday Reading”

  1. We have surrendered. But Brazilians and Chinese continue to flock to this country, to our public schools, where they excel in our math and science courses and then compete and beat our children out of seats at our elite campuses.

    Parents are right now in an uproar over the broken promise to award seats first in the UC system to state residents.

    Foreign students know a good deal and high quality when they see it. So what is our response?

    Hire loads of expert entirely divorced from math and science. Pay them loads of money to crank out study after study after study after study, ad inifintum, ad nauseum.

    Precisely, how does that help the math and physics teacher prepare the next generation of REAL VALUE ADDERS.

    It does nothing.

    What do most math and science teachers say. They say they are wading through MUD EACH AND EVERY DAY in order to teach the subject to international standards.

    Right now in New Jersey, the NEW evaluation system will apply only to core subject teachers. Forget the cheerleading coach, or the art teacher, or the guitar teacher, or the teen living teacher. They continue on the high pay scale , with zero accountability.

    But let’s hold the feet of the math and science people TO THE FIRE and FOR THE SAME PAY. Let’s publish THEIR names. Let’s condemn THEM.

    But the sad fact is this. The ENTIRE SUCCESS of this nation DEPENDS UPON THEM, if you listen to the experts on this blog.

    And their solution. These people need more of THEIR SUPERVISION.

    Our education system has failed since the 60’s. It failed for our present teachers. That is their problem. They are VICTIMS of the very same mindset of the edu-experts that exists today.

    It is as if we gave the captain of the Titanic, if he had lived, another ship to sail.

    And who pays the cost. Math and science teachers and their students.

    Let us take the oath: More butt wiggling, painting, and politics for students and less math and science.

    And then let’s hire an army of experts to figure out why.

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