Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Elite schools only admit “leaders”

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I enjoyed reading this essay at the New York Times, despite the subtle bashing of Donald Trump.

I am almost certain that the girl in the essay who’s a cellist and biomedical engineering major is Asian. It does seem to me that the demand for “leadership” is one of the ways that elite schools manage to discriminate against Asians.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 26, 2017 at 8:21 pm

Posted in Education

Lion says Trump is right, WaPo wrong

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The Washington Post thinks they caught Trump speaking an untruth again. Trump said that most people don’t know Lincoln was a Republican. The Post responds ha ha you are wrong a poll shows that 55% of people knew that.

But since the poll seems to only have had three choice (Republican, Democrat, don’t know), we can be sure that some of the people merely guessed that Lincoln was a Republican and they didn’t get the correct answer because they actually knew the correct answer. Surely less than 50% actually knew that Lincoln was a Republican. So Trump is right, the Washington Post is wrong.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Posted in Education

Intranational brain drain

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J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy writes in a NY Times op-ed:

As one of my college professors recently told me about higher education, “The sociological role we play is to suck talent out of small towns and redistribute it to big cities.” There have always been regional and class inequalities in our society, but the data tells us that we’re living through a unique period of segregation.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 17, 2017 at 6:23 pm

Posted in Education

Rare interview of Frank McCourt at Stuyvesant in 1987

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This was posted on YouTube with the following explanation:

In 1987 a documentary was made about my pal Moishe on the occasion of his going to grad school – since he was a graduate of NYC’s famed Stuyvesant HS, we went down to tape some teachers recollections of Moishe….we happened upon future pulitzer prize winning author of Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt (and one of Moishe’s teachers) and this never before footage was shot of Mr. McCourt musing about his former student – this was incidentally just before he retired from teaching to embark upon his second career as a famed writer….he was also my teacher as well and I have very fond memories of him….rest in peace, Frank.

This is the real Frank McCourt I remember as a high school teacher and not the older Frank McCourt who everyone respected as a famous author.

What was it like having him as a teacher? Well every day you got a dose of that dry acerbic wit. I found it very entertaining.

You will notice the following about this interview:

1. He remembers two things about Moishe: (a) that he was a “character” who wasn’t serious and found everything hilarious, and (b) that he was a “Queens type” and not a Manhattan type. Can you detect the subtle condescension of the outer boroughs?

2. When he learns that Moishe attended Queens College, I think I also detect more condescension about his choice of college.

3. The spiel at the end about how he wants to be at Moishe’s wedding is an example of McCourt saying stuff that you assume is a joke and not to be taken seriously, yet it’s not so outlandish that it’s impossible to discount that he might actually want to attend Moishe’s wedding. That was typical McCourt. I never knew when he was being serious and when he was BSing (although in this case it seems 95% likely that it’s BS). And that’s why I am sure that a lot of the stuff in his memoir is made up and he was secretly laughing over how everyone believed it.

4. He also manages to complain about his low salary as a teacher.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 6, 2017 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Books, Education

Vouchers bad for students

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This was in the NY Times last week, somehow I missed it.

Upshot column reports on MULTIPLE studies, children do worse on math and reading tests when they use a voucher to attend private school.

This is what I always predicted would happen. Math and reading tests are heavily g-based, and going to private school doesn’t change children’s genetically predetermined intelligence.

Since No Child Left Behind, the public schools have been doing an amazing job of training students to do well on these tests through endless drilling. It’s my opinion that such endless drilling is actually not beneficial because it sucks all joy out of education while it only temporarily boosts test scores and doesn’t actually make children smarter or even make them more educated in any practical manner.

Until the truth of HBD can become part of the conversation, it’s not only a waste of time, it’s extremely counterproductive for conservatives to try to improve education with conservative ideas like vouchers and charter schools and other nonsense. Give it up.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 28, 2017 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Education

Betsy DeVos and higher education

As I’ve said several times in the past, one of the few things that Obama administration did that was really good was cracking down on for-profit school.

A New York Times article speculates that the crackdown will end, and the for-profit schools will be able to go back to ripping off their students and the taxpayers.

Conservatives support for-profit schools because they have been brainwashed into uncritically believing that 100% of the time for-profit=good. But with for-profit schools, all of the profits come from student loans which then go into default and are picked up by the taxpayer. These “schools” unconscionably target students who are too stupid to understand they are being ripped off as well as being too stupid to be college material. The worse sort of value transference.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 21, 2017 at 9:56 am

Posted in Education

Vouchers are the educational equivalent of Section 8 housing

Vouchers are the educational equivalent of Section 8 housing.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 17, 2017 at 10:44 pm

Posted in Education

Students who use vouchers to go to private schools get lower test scores

From an article, this week, in The Alantic:

… early evidence on student achievement also points to negative outcomes for families that took advantage of the vouchers. According to a report on LSP conducted by the Brookings Institution last May, students who relocated to private schools via the vouchers recorded lower scores on standardized math and reading assessments: After one year in private school, a child who scored in the 50th percentile for math in his public school declined to the 34th percentile. Declines in reading scores were less significant—students dropped from the 50th percentile to the 46th percentile after a year in private school—but still apparent.

Now who could have predicted this startling outcome?

I will tell you who predicted it. Me. I did! Back in November I wrote:

Those who try to measure the “success” of the vouchers and charter schools will try to determine if test scores have improved for poor, minority and “disadvantaged” kids, and I guarantee you that scores on the highly g-loaded reading and math tests will not improve. If anything, the public schools, with their emphasis on endless drilling for the tests, have maxed out any possible score increases for these kids, and higher quality instruction would probably result in lower scores.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 17, 2017 at 6:25 pm

Posted in Education

DeVos is a horrible pick for Department of Education

Back in November, I wrote a blog post with the title Betsy DeVos, the cuckservative’s choice for Secretary of Education.

Today it came to my attention that the biggest cuckservative of them all, Jeb! Bush, wrote an op-ed a little more than two weeks ago in which he endorsed DeVos.

Yes, that’s the same Jeb! Bush who wrote an op-ed in July in which he urged Republicans not to vote for Donald Trump. Remember the first Republican debate when Jeb! held up his hand and agreed to support the eventual nominee? What a liar and a traitor. If Jeb! had his way, Hillary Clinton would be president today instead of Trump, and she would have appointed an extreme liberal to the Supreme Court instead of Neil Gorsuch who is a solid originalist in the mold of Scalia. Yes, Jeb! would have thrown away the Supreme Court to the liberals just so a few people in the biased mainstream media wouldn’t think he was a racist for supporting Trump.

So that this slimebag traitor goes out of his way to write an editorial supporting DeVos (but none of Trump’s other nominees except for Pruitt) should give you a warning that maybe DeVos is totally the wrong person for the job.

I am so unimpressed by her background. What did she accomplish in life beside being born rich and marrying rich? The only reason why anyone has taken her seriously her whole life is because she has huge amounts of her parents’ and husband’s money to give away.

One of the few good things Obama did as president was to crack down on for-profit colleges, the ones that rip off poor people who aren’t college material and convince them to sign up for more student loans than they can ever afford to pay back, resulting in them being permanent debtors with the taxpayer picking up the bill for their debt. Everyone loses except the executives at the crappy for-profit schools who make fortunes through their value transference scheme. And they get clueless Republicans to support them because they support anything that’s labeled “free enterprise” even though it’s a total scam business that would never exist without taxpayer-funded student loans. Betsy DeVos is one of those clueless Republicans who support anything “free enterprise.”

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 3, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Education

Betsy DeVos

Of all of Trump’s appointments, DeVos is the one I care least about and wouldn’t be disappointed at all if she fails to get confirmed by the Senate. That could actually be a good thing, because the liberals would feel like they scored some sort of “victory” while Trump’s more important appointments get through, and I’m sure Trump can find someone better to run the Department of Education.

As I previously wrote:

Bad choice here by Trump. I suspect this was a position that he didn’t care much about, and he let his TruCon advisers pick her. And at the same time he could check a gender diversity box!

Although the issues of vouchers and charter schools arouse people’s passions, what the Department of Education mostly does is manage the student loan program. A technocrat manager who could make that work more efficiently and help prevent students from being ripped off by lenders would have been a much better choice.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 2, 2017 at 10:30 am

Posted in Education

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