politics

Tag archives for politics

In which we compare a couple of different systems for evaluating teachers, looking at what’s involved in doing a fair assessment of a teacher’s performance. ——– Another casualty of the great blog upgrade, in the sense of a post that was delayed until the inspiration for it has been forgotten by most of the people…

Education Reform Is Slow

Kevin Drum notes a growing backlash against education reform, citing Diane Ravitch, Emily Yoffe and this Newsweek (which is really this private foundation report in disguise) as examples. The last of these, about the failed attempts of several billionaires to improve education through foundation grants, is really kind of maddening. It makes the billionaires in…

Kevin Drum re-posts a chart on wind power made by Stuart Staniford showing that the number of new wind power plants installed in 2010 was way lower than in 2009 or 2008: This is meant as a starting point for discussion about the big economic issues that might’ve caused this. One of the many, many…

The Status of Simulations

Most of what would ordinarily be blogging time this morning got used up writing a response to a question at the Physics Stack Exchange. But having put all that effort in over there, I might as well put it to use here, too… The question comes from a person who did a poster on terminology…

The Problem With Innate Differences

In yesterday’s post about the experience of science, I mentioned that I had both a specific complaint about the article by Alexandra Jellicoe (which I explained in the post) and a general complaint about the class in which the article falls. I want to attempt to explain the latter problem, partly because I think it…

The New York Times has an article about the opening of a teacher-run school in The City. It sounds like an interesting experiment: Shortly after landing at Malcolm X Shabazz High School as a Teach for America recruit, Dominique D. Lee grew disgusted with a system that produced ninth graders who could not name the…

Via Thoreau, a story at Free Range Kids about “zero tolerance” policy run amok, this time from someone who moved to the US as a kid and ran up against the modern school culture in a bad way: Once again, I came from a culture where you were made fun of if you forgot your…

There’s been a lot of energy expended blogging and writing about the LA Times’s investigation of teacher performance in Los Angeles, using “Value Added Modeling,” which basically looks at how much a student’s scores improved during a year with a given teacher. Slate rounds up a lot of reactions, in a slightly snarky form, and…

Media Skills for Scientists

Everybody’s favorite science-and-politics blogger has posted a video clip showing part of what’s wrong in science communication. It’s a clip from the BBC from last December, featuring one of those head-to-head quasi-debates about “Climategate” between Prof. Andrew Watson of the University of East Anglia and political consultant Marc Morano, who has made himself a nice…

There’s a great post at NeuroDojo on the Heffernan business this weekend, and what the take-away ought to be: Yeah, let’s criticize that she didn’t get past the first impression of science blogs. We should expect Heffernan to look before leaping – she writes for the Times, after all, which still has a certain reputation…