Education

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Education

Recently, The New York Times published an op-ed calling for curricular changes in K-12 math education: Today, American high schools offer a sequence of algebra, geometry, more algebra, pre-calculus and calculus (or a “reform” version in which these topics are interwoven). This has been codified by the Common Core State Standards, recently adopted by more…

Admittedly, some boycotts have worked: Glenn Beck seems to have been seriously harmed by the boycotts against his advertisers. But what happens when the corporations you want to boycott have massive market share? The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a corporate-backed lobbying group that has essentially written many laws at the state level, including…

One of the key differences between those who favor educational ‘reform’–that is, those who view education primarily as a personnel issue–and those that oppose it is how each group thinks good schools come to be. Consider this by Matthew Yglesias, an education reform supporter (italics mine): School funding inequities are obviously unfair, and I think…

Education Reformer, Reform Thyself

It would seem that education ‘reformer’ and former D.C. schools chancellor is enamored of personal responsibility for everyone but herself. To give you some idea of the kind of person, Rhee is consider this heartwarming tale from her days as school chancellor: Early in her chancellorship, she was trailed for a story by the education…

If our mainstream political discourse is to be believed, the U.S. ‘doesn’t make anything anymore.’ We should all become ‘knowledge workers’, constantly reinvent our personal brand. Manufacturing–and the engineering it takes to support efficient manufacturing processes–are anachronisms. Hell, everything these days in made in China, right? But like most popular economic bromides, this is utter…

A vote to resolve the debt ceiling political crisis failed last night because House Republicans–who hold a majority in the House of Representatives–opposed the bill. Here’s a major reason why–Pell Grants, which are federal scholarships for low- and lower-middle income students: House conservatives who have stalled legislation to raise the national debt limit are angry…

By way of Dr. Isis, we come across this post by Catherine Rampell about the rise of grade inflation in colleges: Dr. Isis observes: It’s interesting that the real change in grading appears to have occurred in the period between 1962 and 1974, probably coinciding with the increase in conscription for the Vietnam War. After…

Because these are the idiots you’ve allied yourselves with: …many of these voucher advocates claim they simply want to expand school choice and improve the quality of education for all. Yet one group that has been influential in the school voucher push — the Independence Hall Tea Party, which has run a major PAC that…

It’s as if Republican House Whip Eric Cantor wants to be a cartoon villain: …as the Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz reports, one group that Cantor is apparently fine with making pay more is American college students. Cantor, at the White House for budget negotiations, apparently proposed that students who take out student loans should immediately…

I know that sounds like I’m channeling my inner Yogi Berra, but bear with me. A recent article by David Leonhart refuting claims that college is a waste of money has led to a further round of related posts (as you’ll see, I agree). But the reason the ‘college is a waste’ arguments have any…