Thursday Highlights

Good morning.

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  1. Boonton says:

    If you can’t get data … just use insults.

    Well she called Sarah Palin an airhead, fortunately there’s plenty of data to support that…even if it wasn’t cited at the moment.

    As for homeschoolers being demented…. I’m well aware of the various stats about homeschoolers having better test scores. I wonder, though, how much of that is due to selective metric shopping. A Spelling Bee, for example, is a competition which kids train for. It shouldn’t be surprising that homeschoolers turn up more often among its champions than their portion of the population. Since no one, to my knowledge, has created a school whose focus is on competitive spelling, the easiest place to design such a program would be a homeschooled environment. Super spelling skill, though, is not in itself a mark of anything besides good spelling.

    On an ancedotal level, a few month my wife tracked down her birth parents and they make an interesting pair. The mother is an old hippie type while the father has become a born again Christian who homeschooled his sons through high school. After meeting the half-brothers on her father side I was deeply unimpressed (both went different ways but had two sons each). They seemed rude, detached and rather superficial. While they may have done well on tests I don’t really see any great advantage they got from homeschooling career wise, socially or morally.

    I don’t have any beef with homeschooling. I think it is a great option for some (and emphasis on some). I am skeptical, however, of the ‘greatest thing since sliced bread’ marketing claims made about it, though. I think homeschooling is a bit like self-schooling. For a select few it holds great potential. But for many it is a receipe for starting out with high hopes and lofty goals and ending up in front of a TV or internet all day long.

  2. Mark says:

    Your response would be a lot better than “they are demented”, no?

  3. Abortion and the Jew.

    I’ve been telling you that for years. The idea that fetuses are people was made up by Christians (and others, I’m sure.) Abortion is unequivocally NOT murder according to all branches of Judaism, and it never has been. It’s not allowed under Orthodoxy, although it’s not a serious transgression, except when the health of the mother is at stake, in which case it is not only allowed, but required.

    It’s also worth noting that if you’re a constitutional originalist, it’s only fair to note that the original understanding of “thou shalt not kill” did not include abortion.