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DJ Ed Real

In the iSteve comments, Education Realist on why you never hear much about Education Reform anymore:

The utter collapse of ed reform in 2016 really hasn’t received much notice in the mainstream media, although the conservative branch of the old movement certainly talks about it.

Basically, there was a maelstrom of events that decimated the block of moderate right and progressive but neoliberal left that wanted to use charters and accountability to prove public schools were worthless (moderate right) or pressure public schools to improve (neo left). They got everything they wanted:

1) 16 years of two supportive presidents (on education reform, Bush and Obama were basically as one)

2) No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

3) teacher Value Added Model basically enforced by Obama Ed Secretary Arne Duncan

4) favorable rulings on tenure and union dues

5) Teach For America (TFA), Michelle Rhee, Mark Zuckerberg, Newark, New Orleans after Katrina–all sexy, media covered, opportunities for charters and accountability to take hold.

6) Common Core, a national curriculum that they could pretend wasn’t national and optional.

7) Most states added graduation tests and committed to increase grad rates.

And it all disappeared. Better yet, it all disappeared because the public *hated* it. NCLB was an obvious failure, since it’s impossible to get 100% above average. That led to NCLB waivers, which Duncan used to enforce school plans that committed to value added testing. Moreover schools that “adopted” Common Core were more likely to get waivers.

But suburban parents were pissed that their suburban schools were getting put on restrictions because one or two categories were not improving, and all the money that was spent on bumping up scores on very easy tests. Then they didn’t realize their states had adopted Common Core, because their states hadn’t told them, because the states didn’t think it’d be a big deal, until it suddenly was because all the textbooks changed in elementary school and worse, the tests were ridiculously hard (again, for elementary school. High school was largely unchanged by Common Core). That led to a testing backlash. I think for a while 1 in 5 NY kids (or maybe just NYC) opted out of testing.

Value Added Modeling was a disaster. A lot of times it was unfair, in that teachers were paid by results of kids they didn’t teach. Better yet, even when states scrupulously enforced fairness, the results were the same: 95% of teachers rated effective.

Meanwhile, California’s tenure ruling was overturned, and Campbell Brown’s anti-tenure lawsuits just fired their one full-time employee because they are running out of money. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus hasn’t really hurt unions at all–and even if it were, states with weak union protections are seeing teacher rebellions and walkouts that they’re helpless to stop.

All their success stories turned to shit. TFA is off the radar. Michelle Rhee has, last I checked, completely left education. Zuck’s billion went to teacher salaries, which is hilarious, and the whole effort abandoned while the woman in charge of it had her career (sadly) ruined. New Orleans is probably the closest they have to a success story, but the move to all charters is, as I predicted, leading to more and more constraints. They can’t just expel kids anymore, the teachers are unionizing, and they have a huge problem with dropouts that is exacerbated by kids who really aren’t “owned” by a district.

And if all that weren’t enough, the progressive side of ed reform went and lost its damn mind in the age of Trump and the conservative side of ed reform was, to a person, Never Trump. So both sides are completely out of power, and education isn’t something Trump gives a damn about.

It’s been kind of fun to watch. …

TFA: I did try to follow up on that over the years. However, something interesting happened to TFA over the next 18 months: enrollment collapsed. Now, enrollment dived in ed schools generally, so no one’s known if TFA’s collapse was related or not. But it’s still a shadow of its old self.

Moreover, TFA went full-blown progressive in the ed reform breakup. And that really took away its allure to both the media and actual ed reformers (who TFA now attacks).

For these reasons (and probably others), reporters aren’t interested in TFA, and without their pressure, TFA is under no constraint to talk about its diversity–or its selectivity. It’s very hard even to find data on its corps after 2016. …

I had a point. What was it? Oh, TFA.

TFA’s decline is very much part of that story. They were on the wrong side of things, and so even though their politics are correct, it’s nowhere near as cool. And of course, they may just have exploded during the years of recession.

If I had to guess, I’d say that they are more “diverse” now, because the students they originally set out for aren’t as interested.

Thanks for the kind words on my article. …

A lot of education reform fads have been driven by whatever Bill and Melinda Gates were interested in at the moment.

For example, the reading excerpts in the SAT verbal section used to be fiction & poetry oriented. Now they read like extracts from Slate.com. Why? Well, because David Coleman is head of the College Board so he revamped the SAT. He was hired to head the College Board because he previously had invented the Common Core so the CB figured he’d know how to “align” their test with the new semi-national curriculum. Why was Coleman successful at getting many states to adopt his Common Core? Because he’d sold his idea to Bill Gates, whose money pays for a large fraction of education think tanks in this country. What did Coleman and Gates have in common that they hit it off so well? Coleman was a star debater in high school with his teammate Hanna Rozin, whose husband David Plotz was the third editor of Slate. Bill Gates put up the money in the 1990s to found Slate under Plotz’s mentor Michael Kinsley.

So maybe Bill and Melinda got bored and moved on to other interests?

 
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  1. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:

    Why doesn’t Melinda Gates get called out for being the shallow SJW loon she is? Never has an original thought.

  2. Once Diane Ratvitch went native I lost interest.

  3. SJW history/English poison-pilled Common Core. Of course it was blamed on STEM, but the STEM stuff was actually pretty good, if ridiculously overambitious for most actual student populations.

  4. @Anonymous

    Few women do. That’s what happens when you hit maturity at 13.

  5. Jack D says:

    Zuck’s billion went to teacher salaries, which is hilarious,

    Apparently what they did in Newark was replace all the worthless and jaded do nothing unionized black lady teachers with eager TFA type young white kids. But of course being unionized they couldn’t fire them so they used Zuck’s money to pay two sets of teachers – the black ladies were paid to just sit in a room (which was not that different than what they were doing before). But the folks in the neighborhood never really like the Zuck reformers who were not interested in giving out no-show jobs as “teacher’s aides” and such to the neighborhood people so as soon as Zuck’s money ran out, they booted all of them out and re-elected a “vibrant” school board that ran things in the old way. If Zuck had dug a hole in the ocean and poured a billion $ into it, it would have had the same degree of permanent effect. Of course he has lots more where that billion came from, so c’est la vie!

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • LOL: bomag
  6. Jack D says:

    We don’t need education reform, we need human reform. The elephant in the room is that the “problem” with education is really a problem with the students. What is the “problem”? The problem is that the students are increasingly non-white and from ethnic groups that have lower average IQs than white people. This is a thus far incurable condition whose permanent onset begins 9 months before birth. As America gets browner, America gets dumber and no amount of “education reform” can change this reality.

  7. anon[273] • Disclaimer says:

    What little I saw of common core elementary school teachings made me think it was no more than a program to break down everything into the simplest possible components so that underperforming demographics could catch up with whites and Asians. It’s amazing how that mentality has seeped into every aspect of American life now. Stupid superhero movies, for example, appeal to the broadest possible demographics, and hence make little sense to smart people – filled with plot loopholes, gratuitous CGI, poor casting, and inappropriate humor; they break a story down into its simplest elements and then take each constituent part and dial it up to 11 on the idiocracy meter, regardless of whether or not it makes sense. Politicians also now speak almost exclusively in soundbites; political discourse on Reddit is usually just a single sentence or two – usually something infantile. Comic books, once written for teenagers and adults, now read like celebrity Tweets. Most of the best selling books are infantalizing tales like Harry Potter. Most open-world video games now literally have arrows pointing to the next destination you’re supposed to go to when you pause the screen; dialogue choices also lack any kind of subtly and are usually just variations of “yes” or “no”. … and we are drowning in remakes because the public already knows the plots, so they don’t have to think too much.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    , @Anon
  8. countenance says: • Website

    Executive summary: Ed Reform is dead because everything has been tried and shown to be a flop.

    • Replies: @passive-aggressivist
  9. anon[338] • Disclaimer says:

    Education’s secret sauce is to change the rules and tests every few years, so the parents can never tell what is working or not working. Of course things like PISA show very little progress and the achievement gap never closes.

    Bill in Glendale

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  10. anon[775] • Disclaimer says:

    TFA’s enrollment was dropping before 2016, and shifting away from smart grads with useless degrees, to dumb minority grads with useless degrees. Suspect the Trump recovery also plays a role in this, with fewer people needing TFA to pad grad school admission packages for useless MBA’s, JD’s and Masters of Public Policy degrees.

    Your average TFA millennial, despite their flaws, has an Associates Degree in Race Realism. Boomers never graduated middle school. Boomers / Silent Generation folks honestly think Black inner city kids should receive the same education as White kids. Zealot believers in the gospel of Brown v. Education, I guess.

    Millennials, despite their talk about social justice, have seen enough videos of black kids accosting the White teacher. They’re good.

    • Replies: @lavoisier
  11. Grumpy says:

    The Gates Foundation has been trying to change the world, but its hometown is falling apart.

    The ABC affiliate in Seattle just broadcast a one-hour special called “Seattle is Dying.”

    Stratospheric housing prices and de facto drug legalization have combined to create a population of drug addicts living on the streets all over the city, and public places are turning into filthy slums.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    , @El Dato
    , @Altai
  12. dearieme says:

    Virtually all educational reform works in experiments, when it is executed by enthusiasts and applied to volunteers.

    Virtually none works when it is introduced widely.

    • Replies: @Paul Jolliffe
  13. @countenance

    Is there an order of magnitude estimate on how much this has cost us since LBJ?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  14. Twinkie says:

    More homeschooling though. That’s changed.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  15. J.Ross says: • Website
    @passive-aggressivist

    They started one and it devolved into bitter cartoons (with the pen poking through the pape) of LBJ being tortured forever in hell.

  16. CCZ says:

    “Education reform” has been partially replaced by “criminal justice reform” and marijuana decriminalization / expungement.

    “Legalizing marijuana won’t erase racism, but it’s a step along that path, says pastor Charles F. Boyer.”

    Legalizing cannabis in the state of New Jersey is an important step to dismantling decades of structural and institutional racism. It is a sad fact that New Jersey has the biggest racial disparity in the nation for incarcerated people. A black person is 12 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person, and even though they only make up approximately 15 percent of the state’s population, black people are 60 percent of the state’s prison population. No one should be O.K. with these statistics, and it will take significant efforts to do better.

    One such effort is the legalization of cannabis. Legalization will end a major aspect of the systematic discrimination illustrated by this simple but startling data point: Blacks and whites use cannabis at approximately the same rate, but blacks are arrested nearly four times more often. The results of the failed war on drugs are generations of families and communities torn apart. It is far past time we admit the failure of this program and start to rebuild a more just society for all.

    https://www.nj.com/opinion/2019/03/legalizing-marijuana-wont-erase-racism-but-its-a-step-along-that-path-pastor-says.html

    “Legalizing weed will put N.J. on the right side of civil rights history, Murphy says in plea for votes.”

    With Monday’s vote to legalize marijuana in New Jersey looming, Gov. Phil Murphy made an impassioned appeal to undecided state lawmakers on Thursday, saying that voting yes will deliver a civil rights victory to black and Latinos who have been unjustly targeted in the war on drugs.

    https://www.nj.com/politics/2019/03/legalizing-weed-will-put-nj-on-the-right-side-of-civil-rights-history-murphy-says.html

  17. @Twinkie

    Yep, homeschooling is about the only way out of the Big-Ed mess, for those not so privileged. It also scares the crap out of the whole Big-Ed industry and the Statists. Homeschooling is a Commie’s nightmare.

    Peak Stupidity on homeschooling:

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Hypnotoad666
  18. his teammate Hanna Rozin, whose husband David Plotz

    So maybe Bill and Melinda got bored and moved on to other interests?

    Don’t frighten us. Plotz wrote a whole book about the Repository of Germinal Choice:

  19. the conservative side of ed reform was, to a person, Never Trump.

    This is intriguing. Is there a strong logic behind the correlation between ed reform supporters/believers and Never Trumpers.

    One hypothesis might be tha boosters in education reform tend be to earnest do-gooders, the kind who can’t stand Trump’s vulgarity. Aesthetics, image, appearance is the driver.

    Another hypothesis might be that most or all conservative education reformers wants to jump on the government-funded gravy train, and therefore they oppose Trump because he has no interest in or sympathy for their cause and won’t be funding it. Avarice is their primary motive.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @TWS
    , @JMcG
  20. guest says:

    “other interests”

    How is the Search for the African Einstein going?

    By the way, I didn’t take the SAT, but the excerpt I was given to read on my big standardized test was about soap opera.

    • Replies: @Len
  21. gregor says:

    Webster’s 1828 definition of “Education.”

    The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

    Modern education reformers naively think they can produce large improvements in cognitive ability. The only proven way to do this is with eugenics. There’s no real social component at all except for shitlib indoctrination which is essentially anti-education that tells people they aren’t responsible for their actions and that bad outcomes are the consequence of oppression.

    The older, broader conception of education is principally concerned manners and morals and producing good citizens. Scholarly instruction is secondary. From this older perspective, I think there is substantial room for improvement, even among minorities and kids with low IQs. But we don’t have the fortitude to impose the sort of judgmental discipline that would be required. That sort of old-fashioned education would far more controversial than IQ realism, imo.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  22. @Jack D

    There are no mysteries here: Intelligence + effort = achievement.

    The problem is that kids are dumber and lazier than we wish they were.

  23. @Curious George

    Trump’s downmarket and spoke to downmarket people. On an instinctive level, do-gooding is a peacocks tail. That doesn’t make it wrong – we’d be better off if virtue-signalers were reforming schools instead of scratching checks to hate funds, but a MAGA hat kinda ruins the whole thing, depending on your crowd.

  24. Jacques Barzun used to mock all efforts at educational “reform.” He said somebody was always trying to. And always failing. He said that education is very simple. You go over it and over it and over it and over it until you learn it. That’s it. Most people don’t like the boringness of that formula, so they are always trying to circumvent it. And of course students are right with them, because, if there’s anything they hate, it’s going over it and over it and over it.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @lavoisier
  25. @Anonymous

    Why doesn’t Melinda Gates get called out for being the shallow SJW loon she is? Never has an original thought.

    Whaddya mean? You didn’t like Windows ME (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_ME)? You must be a hater!

  26. @Jack D

    Jack, please report immediately to Room 101 for Crime Think remediation.

  27. @gregor

    The older, broader conception of education is principally concerned manners and morals and producing good citizens.

    Blacks would get more jobs if they were properly socialized as above. People hire Mexicans because they are more deferential, and not as likely as blacks to go all Django Unchained. And sheeit.

  28. @Achmed E. Newman

    Here’s a modest proposal for education reform: If a family homeschools their children, they should be reimbursed the expense they are saving the state (if testing shows they have met all the relevant objective standards).

    In high-spending states like New York this would amount to about $20K per kid.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Jack Hanson
  29. @Jack D

    Also, the decrease in infant mortality. A lot of the increase in education costs is taking care of what would have been called regards 2 or 3 generations ago.

    • Replies: @South Texas Guy
  30. anon[335] • Disclaimer says:

    Karate training in the dojo is a model for any schooling:

    It is all volunteer.
    It is endless hard work.
    No one makes any money out of it.
    The teacher can beat you up.
    Everyone obeys the teacher.
    Comradery among the students is based on mutual suffering and respect for the craft.

  31. 1661er says:
    @Anonymous

    I think whenever Melinda Gates make a public appearance, someone should hold up a giant picture of late Rigoberto Ruelas, to show the danger and folly of her bad ideas.

  32. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Hypnotoad666

    Horrible! Horrible! This perfectly reverses the entire principle of taxation, which is that people who work for a living should transfer their wealth to academics and unelected bureaucrats who do not, with the ostensible purpose of transferring it to criminals.

  33. This just in, from The Onion: “Report: Chinese Third-Graders Falling Behind U.S. High School Students in Math, Science.”

    https://www.theonion.com/report-chinese-third-graders-falling-behind-u-s-high-1819574614

  34. @Anonymous

    Why doesn’t Melinda Gates get called out for being the shallow SJW loon she is? Never has an original thought.

    Hmm. Maybe because she married a jackass billionaire?

  35. @Jack D

    Maybe.

    But what if school discipline was as harsh as 1940s military training? And it was: work hard, or get kicked out. And if you were kicked out of school you were put to work splitting rocks? And if you slacked off splitting rocks, they waterboard you. And if the parents complained, the parents get waterboarded. And the ACLU membership gets waterboarded weekly, on principle.

    I’ll bet test scores would rise dramatically.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @roo_ster
  36. @Hypnotoad666

    You still haven’t grasped the plot. You think this is about tax dollars? The State wants your children to brainwash. What the hell is 20k to that?

  37. @Jack D

    For those who have not read it already, I strongly recommend Robert Weissberg’s “Bad Students, Not Bad Schools.” Weissberg is also an unz.com contributor.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  38. i’ve been thinking about extremely low infant mortality too.

    i’m pretty sure this is making humans weaker, dumber, and less fit. every human gets to live now, so how could it not?

    thus contrary to pinker and various scandinavian researchers, super low infant mortality is actually a bad thing, not a good thing.

    it’s certainly made human vision worse, for example, and eyes are big nerves. so you can see by extension how it’s very likely that brains are getting worse as well.

  39. Len says:
    @guest

    How is the Search for the African Einstein going?

    Glad you asked!

    • Replies: @Len
  40. Len says:
    @Len

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  41. @Redneck farmer

    That’s true. I was a teacher for a couple of years and a highly dispropotionate amount of per student spending was on ‘retards,’ or at the very least, kids with identified learning disabilities. Public schools have to take any kid, and try to educate them until they are 21 years old (at least in Texas according to the law).

    • Replies: @S. Anonyia
  42. El Dato says:
    @Jack D

    no amount of “education reform” can change this reality

    Of course it can. Same to having an increase in the chocolate ration from 150g per week to 100g per week.

    Hurrah!

    • Replies: @Jack D
  43. Anonymous[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @Len

    Africa’s Next Einstein just tried to burn down a bus full of kids in Italy.

    The attempt resulted in failure and the Nobel prize is now just an unreachable dream.

  44. Jack D says:
    @El Dato

    America must be stinking rich in 2019. In 1984, the chocolate ration was going to increase to 20 grammes per week, from 30. No wonder Americans are so fat nowadays.

  45. Jack D says:
    @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    The beatings will continue until morale improves.

    I don’t think you can beat intelligence into people.

  46. What the fuck is Common Core?

    • Replies: @El Dato
  47. Jack D says:
    @PV van der Byl

    Weissberg also makes the point that not only are we relying on imported Asian goods, we are relying on imported Asian humans to hold up STEM. If the Asian pipeline ever closes then we are in deep doo doo. Restoring our native production cannot be done overnight – it has taken decades to atrophy and it would take decades more to restore it.

  48. @Grumpy

    Have no fear. The Honorable Debora Juerez and her esteemed colleagues are on the case:

  49. El Dato says:
    @James Speaks

    http://www.corestandards.org/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Core_State_Standards_Initiative

    Various Einsteins are cited as deep thoughts eruct:

    Marion Brady, a teacher, and Patrick Murray, an elected member of the school governing board in Bradford, Maine, wrote that Common Core drains initiative from teachers and enforces a “one-size-fits-all” curriculum that ignores cultural differences among classrooms and students.

    Diane Ravitch, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and education historian, wrote in her book Reign of Error that the Common Core standards have never been field-tested and that no one knows whether they will improve education.

    Nicholas Tampio, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, said that the standards emphasize rote learning and uniformity over creativity, and fail to recognize differences in learning styles.

    Advancing one Catholic perspective, over one hundred college-level scholars signed a public letter criticizing the Common Core for diminishing the humanities in the educational curriculum: The “Common Core adopts a bottom-line, pragmatic approach to education and the heart of its philosophy is, as far as we can see, that it is a waste of resources to ‘over-educate’ people,” though the Common Core set only minimum—not maximum—standards.

    Mark Naison, Fordham University Professor, and co-founder of the Badass Teachers Association, raised a similar objection: “The liberal critique of Common Core is that this is a huge profit-making enterprise that costs school districts a tremendous amount of money, and pushes out the things kids love about school, like art and music”.

    I don’t know why anyone would thing CC would be particularly challenging. No foreign language skills, the math are pedestrian… it can be aced and then you can do your arts & stuff in the afternoons and on Saturdays.

    • Replies: @James Speaks
  50. El Dato says:
    @Cortes

    Did’t this get studied in ancient Greece in some detail?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  51. Bugg says:

    The conservative Great White Whale of charter schools to solve everything has shown itself to be mostly a fraud. In NYC, charter schools have mostly been a back door to racial or ethnic schools getting public funding, often at the expense of regular ed resources. In south non-gentrified Brooklyn, the Chosen People tried to get part of a junior high to have a “hebrew language” charter and were forced by the the dwindling white trash locals to settle for a smaller closed old Catholic school( as a former board member of a different nearby Catholic school, the diocese likes leasing empty buildings to NYC at a big markup). . There are no goyim going to said school, even though charters are supposed to be open to everyone. Same idea with a mess of charters in central Brooklyn for “African studies”. Said white middle and working class kids are NEVER going there.

    What we all know but no one wants to say is the parents and the children are what makes for a good education. If you have a child come home to dysfunction and parents that don’t make him or her study and do homework, the school no matter how well-resourced and staffed won’t change anything.

    And we still won’t give up the pretense that not everyone is made for an academic program. Mike Rowe has done yeoman work to publicize bringing back shop classes and vocational schools. Instead we get more dubious ethnic and gender studies.

  52. @El Dato

    Chuck Jones’ autobiography “Chuck Amuck” is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Jim Don Bob
  53. @Steve Sailer

    I’d never seen the sequel to “Duck Amuck:” “Rabbit Rampage”

  54. roo_ster says:
    @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    I would pay to see the waterboarding. Or help.

  55. El Dato says:
    @Grumpy

    Wow, that’s “A Scanner Darkly” that mated with a Neill Blomkamp movie.

    When people are voted in who genuinly suffer for all of us and want to bring out the good in everyone while they live in gated mansions and pull in big salaries … well, things are wont to go down the tubes a bit.

    Could private enterprise wreckage removal services could move in? In any case, dealers should be hanging from streetlamps every morning with body appendages removed beforehand to make doubly sure and to fill the night with their final cries of terror and pain. If this causes “race problems” so much the better.

  56. Altai says:
    @Grumpy

    Rich people will tolerate any increase inequality, appallingly badly planned urban development and general reduction in quality of life in their city except occasionally having to see a homeless person that is harmless. The crime, ethnic displacement, sense of ennui etc is somebody else’s problem, but they occasionally have to look at a homeless person in the shiny part of town, then the city is ‘dying’.

  57. @dearieme

    All school reforms follow the same pattern:

    1. The “new” (curricula, instruction method, teacher-evaluation system, attendance and/or grading and/or discipline policies, etc.) idea is introduced.

    2. A little real improvement is noted after a relatively short time period. The principle of the fruits of the low-hanging tree is real.

    3. Wildly improbable speculations about the future results are then stated as certainties, with the caveat “if only we – taxpayers – would prioritize spending” inevitably following. As we see from the last twenty years, often the money DOES flow, but the early “gains are not sustained.

    Why not?

    Because the reforms may fix the nurture side of the problem, but they can’t address the nature side. So, for example, we can improve the scores of very low test-takers a little (we can take kids in Stanine 2 to Stanine 3 – a 50% improvement! – but we could never get those same kids into Stanine 6, let alone 7, 8, or 9.)

    And reformers can’t admit that, else they’d be out of a job!

  58. Anon[236] • Disclaimer says:

    This Robert Cherry guy thinks that what will blow things open is … fatherhood classes. Teach the youths fatherhood in school, and they will wait to knock up the hoes, and marry them, and the young’uns will grow up smarter and bye bye wealth gap and achievement gap.

    Interesting to see how the left is starting to get comfortable with blaming the victim, er, criticizing black culture. Not that black culture couldn’t use a re-do, but that’s not the main problem.

    My white nephew came home from school one day with a robotic infant that he had to care for for a few days. Something about pushing a button when it fake poops or fake burping when it fake needs milk. It was so annoying that I think he probably did do some good.

  59. @Steve Sailer

    +1 on Chuck Jones’ autobiography. He and his crew had a lot of fun creating memorable characters and cartoons.

    Sadly, one of the latest DVD collections of his cartoons includes an “introduction” by Professional Negro Whoopi Goldberg (born Caryn Elaine Johnson) who explains that some of the content might be “hurtful”.

  60. With all due respect, ed reformers did not get all they wanted. Not even close.

    Yes, two presidents said a lot of supportive things. They were to ed reform what Trump is (so far) to immigration and “the wall”. A lot of sound and fury.

    The fact is, and I’m sure Ed realizes this, is that as soon as ed reform began to bite, the politicians and bureaucrats pulled back. Contrary to 3), Arne Duncan never “enforced” a teacher Value Added Model. Many of the first attempts were pretty bad but before the kinks could be worked out, VAMs were pretty much abandoned. Very few teachers ever saw a change in compensation because of them, and almost no one has a VA system today. Similarly, 7) turned out to be paper tiger. Quickly after states found out that lots and lots of kids failed the graduation tests, the tests were made easier and/or the passing score was lowered and/or the tests were quietly junked.

    Ed is absolutely right that ed reform became unpopular when it started telling people unpopular things. And is no longer talked about.

    • Replies: @education realist
  61. @South Texas Guy

    Yes, and the retards are put in regular classes and end up depressing everyone’s achievement. Also most of the retards are just low IQ like Forrest Gump not people with visible/obvious disabilities. They receive academic accomodations and are allowed to get away with a lot of disruptive behavior. Regular students notice this and how it is fundamentally unfair, and many don’t see the point of trying. If you removed special ed students from general Ed classes test scores even in rough school districts would increase.

    • Replies: @South Texas Guy
  62. KL says:

    That is “Hanna Rosin”, not “Rozin”.

  63. @El Dato

    I don’t know why anyone would thing CC would be particularly challenging.

    And yet, some did. I had a classroom riot one day when I wrote a simple equation on the board, we’ll use A = B * C as an example, and told the studnt asffletes they could find C by dividing both sides of the equation by B.

    (all together now)
    Oh Mr. Speaks. That too hard.

    At our next meeting, the lead teacher, a charming vibrancy, berated me for expecting these juniors and seniors to do something so difficult.

  64. Mike1 says:

    The real secret is how shockingly dumb the average person is. A 5 (highest level) on AP tests means you scored between 50-70% on the test. Most AP students score between 20-40% on tests.
    Parents that care about academics are very proud they live in a Better Schools district that is highly rated. A district rated 10 (highest) usually means kids score between 40-60% on tests – it depends on the state.

  65. TWS says:
    @Curious George

    Avarice is the grifters’ primary motivation.

  66. lavoisier says: • Website

    Is there any cause the Gates is involved in that has not been a total disaster for everyone involved?

    I understand now that they are finally getting into family planning in Africa after helping to make it possible for the African population to explode.

    Bono, as stupid as he is, would have been better for the world than Bill Gates.

  67. lavoisier says: • Website
    @anon

    Millennials, despite their talk about social justice, have seen enough videos of black kids accosting the White teacher. They’re good.

    Some black students are keen on learning and should be given every opportunity to learn.

    Instead of “No child left behind,” we should change our focus: “Leave the dumb ones behind.”

  68. lavoisier says: • Website
    @obwandiyag

    He said that education is very simple. You go over it and over it and over it and over it until you learn it. That’s it.

    The problem remains that there are wide differences between individuals and groups in how many times you have to go over it before it is learned.

    It is these differences that create problems in the classroom, particularly diverse classrooms.

  69. @Reg Cæsar

    Sorry, Reg, I got way sidetracked for a coupla days. Thank you for the nice informative maps. They even got the logos right on Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia(?)!

  70. @Roger Sweeny

    “With all due respect, ed reformers did not get all they wanted. Not even close.”

    That’s not true. They got exactly what they wanted. They got the policies, the charters, the money tied to accountability, the lawsuits against unions and tenure….they got it all.

    They made two terrible mistakes. First, they thought that getting the law was getting it done. As you point out, they had none of the outcomes they expected. But it wasn’t because they didn’t get what they wanted.

    Second, they fatally misjudged public opinion. They’d made no effort to convince the public–and of course, would have lost if they tried.

    “Ed is absolutely right that ed reform became unpopular when it started telling people unpopular things. ”

    Well, that’s not what I said at all. They didn’t become unpopular for what they said, but for what they did. The minute they got what they wanted, they learned that the public hated it.

    • Replies: @Roger Sweeny
  71. A couple other comments:

    Home school is completely unworkable and is nothing approaching a solution. It’s nice work for couples who want to pretend that the wife doing something valuable with her time, but little more. And no one in public education is even remotely afraid of home schooling. It’s just a fringe form of private school. It’s social services that traditionally made homeschooling difficult, not public schools.

    And mentally incapable kids are only “mainstreamed” in elementary school and pretty much everything said here about what happens and what conclusions the kids draw are wrong. But I do agree that mainstreaming severely retarded children in k-5 is idiotic.

  72. @S. Anonyia

    Also most of the retards are just low IQ like Forrest Gump not people with visible/obvious disabilities. They receive academic accomodations and are allowed to get away with a lot of disruptive behavior. Regular students notice this and how it is fundamentally unfair, and many don’t see the point of trying.

    Yep. At least in Texas, there is Special ed. and 504 students, the 504 meaning you fall under a part of the education code meaning the student’s academic performance and IQ (they don’t call it that, but that’s what it is) don’t match up.

    The screw up is, you can therefore have students not dumb enough to be special ed. but too smart to be 504. So some dumb 80 IQ kid falls through the cracks. BTW, it’s really, really hard to flunk a special ed. or 504 kid. The 80 IQ kid, not so much. No incentive for the 504 kids, and they do disrupt class, and none for the ID’d special ed. kids to behave, so the same.

    I always viewed home ed. as something for religious nuts before I taught in public school, but not anymore.

  73. @education realist

    And mentally incapable kids are only “mainstreamed” in elementary school and pretty much everything said here about what happens and what conclusions the kids draw are wrong. But I do agree that mainstreaming severely retarded children in k-5 is idiotic.

    Well, up to say, 10th grade*. I got stuck with many kids who couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t take tests. But because I was teaching at a grade level where my subject matter wasn’t tested, I go stuck with the left behinds (don’t mean to be mean, many of these kids were very pleasant and nice, but they had no biz in a mainstream classroom).

    * I picked 10th grade arbitrarily. It could be different in different states. Lots of teachers I knew teaching HS classes still had to blot out two of the four multiple choice questions on tests in regular classes for these kids.

  74. @education realist

    I’m not sure how much our disagreement is semantic. I hear you saying that ed reformers “got exactly what they wanted” and then “The minute they got what they wanted, they learned that the public hated it” and they lost it.

    But to me, that’s not getting it. Getting laws passed that require years to put into practice but then having them waived away or repealed is not “getting it.”

    There has never been a state where students who do not actually meet the state standards are denied graduation. The closest we have are graduation tests that don’t ask many hard questions and that have such low passing scores that you don’t need to know much to graduate. There has never been a state where teacher’s compensation or continuation depended on a well-designed multi-year value added system. Those were the two automatic feedback mechanisms that were going to do the heavy lifting; they would tell the cold, hard truth and act on it. When “high stakes tests” started to tell the very, very unpopular truth (that most students weren’t learning the wonderful things in the state standards), they were castrated.

  75. @education realist

    Not true. Slow kids (IQs below 80), kids with severe ADHD, kids with high-functioning autism (in their case they are disruptive but academically somewhat capable) ARE mainstreamed in middle and high school classrooms. They aren’t in advanced classes but they are in general ed. I’m not talking about down’s syndrome or microcephaly, I’m talking about students who are sped w/ IQs of 65-80 who are too dumb to do any real academic work but socially they may not seem that “off”….and mainstreaming those kids DOES have an effect on average students. The whole class slows down and is altered to accommodate the needs of the slow ones. I am a secondary school teacher.

  76. JMcG says:
    @Curious George

    The first of your surmises is correct.

    • Agree: education realist
  77. JMcG says:
    @Jack D

    How come the stereotypes about blacks are true, but the stereotypes about jews are not?

  78. @S. Anonyia

    Even when they’re not mainstreamed the sheer amount of resources expended on them has crowded out pretty much everything else people want, whether reform or better teacher pay or what have you.

  79. @S. Anonyia

    “I’m talking about students who are sped w/ IQs of 65-80 who are too dumb to do any real academic work but socially they may not seem that “off””

    Anything below 75 (70 if black) is mentally retarded, either organic or familial, and they would not be in high school in mainstream classes, full stop. They would absolutely seem “off” socially. What you are describing is pretty normal for a 90 IQ. It’s very, very rare for kids with IQs below 90 to be in public high school classes, save for inner city black schools, where the average IQ might be slightly below 90.

    So if I take you at your word you teach secondary school, then you aren’t a secondary school teacher who is familiar with IQ.

    If you take away the bullshit about 65-80 IQs, and just say that there are low ability kids in high school, sure. But that’s not mainstreaming. If you teach high school in a high poverty black school, then there aren’t very many “average” kids to be slowed down.

  80. Anon[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    The elephant in the room is that the “problem” with education is really a problem with the students. What is the “problem”? The problem is that the students are increasingly non-white and from ethnic groups that have lower average IQs than white people. This is a thus far incurable condition whose permanent onset begins 9 months before birth. As America gets browner, America gets dumber and no amount of “education reform” can change this reality.

    Educational reform has one, single goal: closing the black-white testing gap. Get that done, and other things could be done. But that cannot be done, other than by fudging the tests and statistics, as happened under Governor Bush in Texas, which can make the gap appear to narrow, but not disappear.

    By the way, the genome is fixed at age minus 9, but reading Kevin Mitchell’s recent genetics book Innate helped me realize that a lot happens from fertilized egg to newborn (and even after birth) in the form of development, the creation of the human body and brain by the carrying out of the genome’s instructions. That is why identical twins are not completely identical, physically or mentally.

    The genome is like a Google Maps driving instruction list, which is maybe has a few spots where coffee stains (new mutations that occur during development) make it unreadable, and the driver makes some mistakes along the way, in turning the wrong direction for instance (cells misreading microenvironmental cues when reproducing). The earlier a mistake occurs, the more profound the resulting problem. So it’s a good idea to prevent crack babies and lead-paint-eating infants and promote maternal health and nutrition. So development problems may account for 10 or 20 percent of the IQ deficit, but in no reasonable universe would it account for everything, or even more than 50 percent.

  81. Anon[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    What little I saw of common core elementary school teachings made me think it was no more than a program to break down everything into the simplest possible components so that underperforming demographics could catch up with whites and Asians.

    From reading Educational Realist’s blog and other anonymous teacher writings, my impression is that, for instance, for a high school math class, there will be the goal to pass as many vibrant students as possible. The way to do that is, for Algebra or Geometry for instance, to take a normal course textbook or curriculum and choose a subset of that, for each topic in that subset construct problems that follow a recognizable pattern, and then create and teach step-by-step recipes for solving the problems. Of course, even the ability to recognize a problem type and apply a recipe that you have remembered is a skill that is more present in higher IQ students. So tutoring has to be given to vibrant students up to the day before the test. This allows for results that can be fudged as being passing. They couldn’t pass a full-text course, nor could they pass the same simplified recipe course the following week.

    The vibrant students get a high school degree and show up at community colleges, are given screening tests, and are put into remedial math classes. “We already passed this class!” There’s a pretty hard math ceiling relative to IQ, so no amount of remediation will really change anything. So now in California the community college system honchos want to eliminate the requirement that incoming students have any sort of math competency, and this applies to English also. The idea is that they will major in some sort of grievance studies subject that doesn’t require anything but showing up occasionally and participating, or not, in a rap session.

    The whole goal is to get college degrees into the hands of the vibrant, because “studies show” that those with degrees are successful in life. The same studies show that homeownership also leads to success; thus the push for no-money-down unsecured home loans for the vibrant. The problem is causation. Successful people are successful, and do well in math, and do well in English, and manage to get college degrees and buy homes, because their brains are put together well. You cannot give someone an unearned degree and a home and expect things to turn out well.

  82. @Anon

    My impression is that Common Core was an attempt by two smart centrist men, David Coleman and Bill Gates, to get curriculum out of the hands of the woozy leftist women who run the ed schools, without ever mentioning that.

  83. @Anon

    my impression is that, for instance, for a high school math class, there will be the goal to pass as many vibrant students as possible. The way to do that is, for Algebra or Geometry for instance, to take a normal course textbook or curriculum and choose a subset of that, for each topic in that subset construct problems that follow a recognizable pattern, and then create and teach step-by-step recipes for solving the problems. Of course, even the ability to recognize a problem type and apply a recipe that you have remembered is a skill that is more present in higher IQ students. So tutoring has to be given to vibrant students up to the day before the test. This allows for results that can be fudged as being passing. They couldn’t pass a full-text course, nor could they pass the same simplified recipe course the following week.

    That is what it is like for most every student, vibrant or not (and with appropriate changes for every course: most every student’s knowledge is assessed on the basis of unit tests, given at the end of a unit, every three weeks or so. Before the test, one is drilled and reviewed, and after the test, the unit is rarely revisited). Why is this so?

    1) The curriculum contains WAY more than most students can master in the time allotted.

    2) Much of the curriculum is of little inherent interest to the students.

    Imagine that by the end of high school, everyone was supposed to be a good baseball, football, basketball, AND soccer player. A few people, who are both physically suited and athletically inclined, will be able to do it–partly because they will put in a lot of work, practicing long hours, putting in time doing things most kids would consider boring.

    Some students remember more than others. But almost no one could pass more than a few of their high school finals a year after graduation.

    • Agree: education realist
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