Tag: Education

Member Post

 

There were quite a few times, over my grade-school years, when I was told to take a worksheet home and have my parents sign it.   But I doubt I ever presented them with anything as priceless as this one my niece delivered to my sister, this week: Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Will New Data Nudge Democrats to Change Their Minds on Universal Pre-K?

 

twenty20_2550bff8-ceb5-404b-b988-0db7b62e480e_Preschool-e1445890691432I sense Ezra Klein did not enjoy writing this piece about new pre-K research:

Perhaps preschool doesn’t help children as much as we thought — or hoped. A new study by Mark Lipsey, Dale Farran, and Kerry Hofer finds that children who were admitted to Tennessee’s pre-K program were worse off by the end of first grade than children who didn’t make the cut.

The study is beautifully designed — it takes advantage of areas in Tennessee where demand for the program outstripped supply, so entrance to the program was decided randomly. That means researchers could compare outcomes for kids who randomly got in with outcomes for those who randomly didn’t, and isolate the effects of the program. What they found should worry advocates of universal pre-K.

Is The Communist Manifesto Misunderstood?

 

In college, I was surprised when an honest and charitable philosophy professor I very much admired claimed that Karl Marx is misunderstood. Marx would not have supported communism as we have known it, he told me. What was seen at the hands of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, or even Gorbachev was not communism as Marx envisioned it.

Next week, Ubisoft will release the next grand episode in its popular series of historical playgrounds, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Because the overarching theme of the Assassin’s Creed series (about as philosophically consistent as Star Wars) is a conflict between the freedom-loving Assassins and conspiring Templar oppressors, the game’s setting in Victorian London will emphasize struggles for power among the classes of industrial British society.

Member Post

 

Here’s one I didn’t see coming, from Ashley Edwardson at Allen West’s site:  In what might be seen as purely coincidence, a program called Connect All Schools (which quotes Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech on its website) was creating a consortium of like-minded organizations with the goal of “connecting every school in the U.S. with the world by […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I found ricochet a few years ago and I have enjoyed it everyday. I’m embarrassed to say that I just tuned out Rob Long’s call for membership at the beginning of every flag ship podcast, but recently I would fast forward through that part. I was beginning to feel a real sense of guilt, because I […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Why Schools Never Change

 

shutterstock_136514909If you are perplexed as to why our schools, despite mountainous evidence of failure, go on unchanged, here’s a theory: if you look closely at high-level public officials – the people who determine education policy – you will recognize them as (overwhelmingly) the same collection of prigs and toadies you heartily hated in high school.

That is, the people who decide how your children are educated are those who liked the educational system when they were students and thrived under it. Your state senator was on the debate team, just as your state superintendent of public schools was treasurer of the student council. The college professor who educated your kids’ third-grade teacher sat in the front row and asked questions right up until the bell. The union official was a hall monitor. These people were having a good time in school. It suited their temperaments and they got positive ego strokes every day. Unsurprisingly, they think that, since it worked for them, there’s no reason it won’t work for everyone else.

That they have inflicted the same system on today’s kids works out well for those who are also well-suited to the school environment. For kids who are reasonably bright, highly motivated, and tolerant of being bossed around by low-level bureaucrats, school can be a pleasant place. It works for them. For kids who are not especially bright, not much interested in intellectual pursuits, or intolerant of persnickety assistant principals, it’s hell on earth. And there are a whole lot more kids in the second category than the first. If we are going to have an educational system that works for all kids, control must be wrested from the prigs and toadies.

Member Post

 

Like Claire, I also noticed yesterday on the Silent Members thread that we seem to have a large number of homeschoolers on Ricochet. I am always on the lookout for new curriculum and ideas to incorporate into our homeschooling routine. Anyway, this is our second year of our second round of homeschooling (taught the older […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Virtual Education

 

Imagine “walking” through the Louvre or Vatican City, exploring every nook and being able to examine every aspect in detail. The next day, you might explore the ruins of Vietnam or even the now-destroyed ancient monuments of Iraq and Syria. Or look all around you at the copious sea life of the Great Barrier Reef without need of SCUBA gear.

Since this video is produced by a video game publisher (and development software leader), it references games. But the future of Virtual Reality, if this truly does get off the ground at last, isn’t just gaming.

Killing History

 

Patrick HenryI have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. — Patrick Henry, 1775

Nearly twenty years ago, Australian historian Keith Windschuttle wrote a scathing indictment of contemporary historiography. He attacked the prevailing post-modern analysis as little more than “Parisian labels and designer concepts.” The book, Killing History, established the basic argument against history written in a way that was divorced from empirical evidence and a sense of universal standards.

This is how we’ve come to understand the history wars: the destruction of the past through the use of distorted evidence and the rendering of Western history as the bigoted story of small pox blankets and war-time internments. While framed as a fight against the biases of traditional history writing, the post-modern approach commits its own sins while attacking those of its enemies. The world of the po-mo historian is a world in which only white Europeans have agency, while the remainder of mankind is made up of hild-like victims of European greed and lust.

Member Post

 

In California it is possible to become a lawyer without going to law school. There is a program that is sometimes referred to as “reading the law” or “law office study program” (LOSP). Details are available on the State Bar of California website. While doing some online research about this program, I came across a […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Washington State Constitutional Crisis

 

imageA few months back, I wrote about the crazy battle between Washington State’s supreme court and state legislature over education funding. The short version of the story is that the state constitution imposes the “paramount” duty on the legislature “to make ample provision for the education of all children.” The state has been sued repeatedly over a supposed failure to live up to this duty, and the court has sided against the legislature, demanding it square itself away. Last September, the legislature was found in contempt of the court. Now that the legislative session has ended, the court has evaluated their work and found it wanting:

After the close of the session and following several special sessions, the State has offered no plan for achieving full constitutional compliance by the deadline the legislature itself adopted. Accordingly, this court must take immediate action to enforce its order. Effective today, the court imposes a $100,000 per day penalty on the State for each day it remains in violation of this court’s order…this penalty may be abated in part if a special session is called and results in full compliance.

The state education unions are, of course, pleased:

Member Post

 

Below I have outlined a vision for a year-long unit to use in one of my courses. Can you awesome, visionary idea people think of ways to make it better? Can you put them in the comments? Don’t worry about all the things I, the teacher, must worry about. I’ll take care of those myself. You […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Interesting point from Canada’s Institute of Marriage and Family: About 88 percent of Canadian teens say they expect to marry someday. This is a good thing since there is ample evidence that marriage remains the gold standard for family formation, offering benefits to adults and children alike. Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Hello, all, here’s the first of a long series of podcasts on poetry. You know me. My Virgil here is Mr. Ashok Karra–here’s where he writes–& we are talking about a poem today. Next, soon, will come a discussion of  the Pound piece, The study in aesthetics, which Midge was so gracious to send to me. […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

In School, C is the new D

 

d-minus-grade The debasement of American education system continues:

The solution, Simmons suggests, is to eliminate Ds altogether, because he believes many of those barely getting by will up their game to avoid failure. He pointed to a New Jersey charter school that’s already made the transition. […] “Ds are simply not useful in society,” Larrie Reynolds, superintendent at the Mount Olive, N.J. charter school Simmons referenced, told the New York Times in 2010. “It’s a throwaway grade. No one wants to hire a D-anything, so why would we have D-students and give them credit for it?”

If C is now the borderline between passing and failure — goes the thinking — then the slackers will work hard enough to get Cs, rather than the Ds they were earning before. A more likely outcome, however, is that public school teachers will be pressured to drop their standards in order to meet their performance metrics. As a signaling mechanism, it’s a lateral move. Employers and colleges will know that the C-minus student of today is as mediocre as the D-minus student of yesteryear. The end result is that Peppermint Patty gets into the C-minus Hall of Fame instead.

Member Post

 

Hello all,  I recently posted on my current lament over becoming a teacher and upon some reflection and reading, I believe that is due in large part to my not having a project or goal that really motivates me and that some of the content I have to teach has become stale.  To that end, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

According to an article in The Atlantic: Once financial concerns have been covered by their parents, children have more latitude to study less pragmatic things in school. Kim Weeden, a sociologist at Cornell, looked at National Center for Education Statistics data for me after I asked her about this phenomenon, and her analysis revealed that, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

As I begin to bask in the glow (and the boredom) that is summer vacation, I find myself once again at a crossroads.  I have little to no desire to go back the classroom this fall.  By all accounts, I am fairly good at my job both in terms of student reviews, administrator observations, and […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.