Friday, September 17, 2010

Random Readings, September 17

2010 Elections

Mattie Fein, running for Congress in California against Jane Harman, has this wonderful guest post at The Other McCain on the lack of support many candidates are getting from the GOP establishment, Karl Rove, and the personal attacks faced by outsiders like herself and Christine O'Donnell.

Henry Miller, writing at the Daily Caller, with a few interesting anecdotes about dumb politicians.

Morton Kondracke doesn't understand the fact that the Tea Party movement, and advocacy of limited government and fiscal restraint, are well within the mainstream of America (outside of Washington, at least).


Paige Chapman in the Chronicle of Higher Education says that "most students think it's safe to hold unpopular views on their campus", downplaying the fact that nearly 20% say it's NOT safe. This choice of words reminded me about the "mostly peaceful" protests earlier this year. As in "mostly" being a grossly euphemistic adverb chosen to obscure the unpleasant reality of campus censorship/ violence among "pro-immigration" groups.

John Stossel has a great piece on the non-link between school funding and student performance.
Read the whole thing. 2 quick thoughts on this:
  1. Stossel cites Andrew Coulson of Cato, who says that "Over the past 40 years, public school employment has risen 10 times faster than enrollment. There are 9 percent more students today, but nearly twice as many public school employees." Coulson mentions elsewhere the specific composition of that employment growth, more than a third of which has been support staff (i.e., people not directly involved in classroom instruction). Additionally, and most importantly, students' reading, science, and math scores have been flat over that time.

  2. The idea that "insufficient funding" (however a district wants to define it) is an excuse for low student achievement is completely destroyed by many counter-examples of schools in the ghettos with high student achievement. In Stossel's piece, he mentions Ben Chavis and the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, CA - the only school in Oakland where ANY black and Hispanic students have passed AP Calculus this year.

    There are numerous other examples of similar schools, which suggest that the largest problem with American education is less about funding and more about personnel/educational philosophy.
blog comments powered by Disqus