Education

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Education

While physicist Michio Kaku is correct when he suggests that immigration has been an incredible boon for U.S. science, he’s dead wrong when he claims that U.S. students are bad at science: The information revolution has a weakness, and the weakness is precisely the educational system. The United States has the worst educational system known…

Erstwhile progressive and fan of educational reform, Matthew Yglesias, sets up this strawman: It’s useful to have these two points juxtaposed together, because it helps isolate what the controversy is actually about. When people look at the idea that for-profit colleges shouldn’t get taxpayer subsidies unless they can deliver demonstrable quality, a lot of folks…

Mike Petrilli makes an excellent point about reasonable expectations when educating poor children: This fall, about 1 million poor children will enroll in Kindergarten in the U.S. The vast majority of them live in single-parent families headed by women in the late teens or early twenties. Most of their mothers dropped out of high school;…

It would be nice if educational ‘reformers’ took a break from busting teachers unions to deal with the infiltration of pseudo-scientific falsehoods into the science curriculum: …the most brazen example is buried in the middle of the story: a coal-industry produced propaganda film for kids selling the lie that the atmosphere needs more greenhouse gas:…

Last week, James Q. Wilson, writing in The Wall Street Journal, described several of the factors that have led to a sustained decrease in crime. One reason is increased incarceration: One obvious answer is that many more people are in prison than in the past. Experts differ on the size of the effect, but I…

If you haven’t heard (wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t), in the Alabama State House, a legislator switched parties–from the Republican Party to the Democrats, which, given the trend, especially in the South, over the last few decades is surprising. What’s even more surprising is why he switched–teacher bashing: Chalk up another Democratic win this…

Before one worries about how teachers are performing, it would seem that getting children to attend school regularly would be an important first step, which is a reason one Floridian teacher opposed teacher student testing: When Florida proposed strict accountability measures, teachers, parents and administrators pushed back. They argued that the proposed system — basing…

I find reading economist Brad DeLong interesting since, even though I don’t always agree with him on economics, he approaches his subject with the humility that scientific disciplines brutally instill in their faithful practitioners. This was an interesting notion regarding the future of economics education: It is the scale of the catastrophe that astonishes me.…

A couple of years ago, regarding the typical charter school model, I argued that the model of overworked, undercompensated, and under-’resourced’ teachers was not sustainable: One of the things that I’ve long suspected about charter schools is that they’re an unsustainable model: they rely on incredibly motivated teachers (who I think are a pretty motivated…

Recently, I described how unreliable value-added testing is when used to determine teacher performance. Whenever I write about that subject, inevitably someone raises the suggestion, either in comments or email, of developing a better method of evaluating teachers, such as more frequent tests. But I think that’s missing the point–or, more accurately, the flawed assumption…