Monday Highlights

Busy busy.

  1. A book is noted.
  2. Public works art is often regrettable.  Or should that be normally?
  3. Marriage” !?? … child abuse by any other name is … still.
  4. Doing the damning with faint praise to the max.
  5. Education and Poverty.
  6. Consequences of raising minimum productivity bounds.
  7. 5 years of blogging … gets results.
  8. Ah, memories of high school reading habits.
  9. Well, to be honest a lot of the knowledge brought West reportedly from Islam came from sacking Constantinople.
  10. Feeding the wrong wolf.

So … do you like puns?

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One comment

  1. Boonton says:

    Education and Poverty.

    A good piece but I think it falls into the ‘good teacher/school’ myth. The analogy to exercise here I think keeps getting better and better.

    Education, like exercise, is something that we naturally don’t want to do. Hence to get it done requires compulsion and schools, which have been around for centuries, have mastered this. They get the kids in the door every day on a regular basis, use peer pressure and the myth of authority and the psychological desire of children to find ways to please adults to ‘con’ kids into getting educated. A lot of proposed reforms seem to be in the mindset of pouring sugar on broccoli.

    Also, like exercise, the returns are greatest with quantity…only after that do you start seeing the benefit of quality. The best thing most people could do to get in better shape is 20 min. of exercise a few times a week. If they just did that on their own it would be just about as good as if they hired the best coach, spent thousands on high quality running shoes and other gear, etc. Granted for serious athletes who have already maxed out that basic stuff, equipment, coaches, etc. start to make a difference.

    What that means is you’re not going to get very far by ‘making schools/teachers better’. An average teacher spending an extra hour a week running through math drills will probably do more good than trying to populate a school of ‘inspiring’ Robin Williams like “captain my captain” teachers…not unlike trying to give obese kids an hour a week with Olympic quality track coaches is not going to help as much as simply making sure kids get gym and recess every day.

    A consequence to this is the whole ‘merit pay’ concept is deeply flawed. The problem is quantity needs to be purchased more than quality.