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Bloggingheads 07-07-2008 08:57 AM

The Audacity of Glenn
 

bjkeefe 07-07-2008 10:22 AM

Two Minutes of Marvelous
 
I have a dream, updated.

Pretty damned eloquent, Glenn. Obama could do a lot worse than to hire you as the conscience of his Administration.

bjkeefe 07-07-2008 10:37 AM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
Josh made a good point when he and Glenn were discussing allocation of funds to schools, and the question came up of whether schools in bad neighborhoods should get more: he's right to say that we need good data to show that this belief is well-founded, worth doing, and won't mean throwing money down the proverbial rathole.

My question, however, is this: Given the amount of people who seem to be studying things like this, how is it possible that we still don't know the answer to this question? Or even that we don't have a pretty good guess?

WilliamP 07-07-2008 11:05 AM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
And isn't it just so ironic that there is such a resistance to the idea of evaluating teachers based on some possibly flawed measure, and rewarding or penalizing accordingly? After all, that's what teachers have been doing to the rest of us for millenia!

bjkeefe 07-07-2008 11:12 AM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
WilliamP:

Good point. I would say, however, that it's a little kind to say "possibly flawed measure." It seems to me that the most familiar measure -- standardized tests -- is a very bad measure, primarily due to the inevitability of "teaching to the test."

What else do we have? Student evaluations? Near worthless, I'd say, speaking both as a former student and relative of several college professors. (I do, however, think evaluations from former students taken years down the road could be worthwhile, especially for singling out the good ones.)

Anything else?

All that said, I am in favor of trying to develop some kind of accountability, provided that it comes along with the possibility of reward for good teachers beyond just keeping their jobs. I raised a clenched fist salute when Josh and Glenn were talking about (good) teachers being able to earn $100K/year, and not just college profs, either.

gwlaw99 07-07-2008 12:33 PM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
I had a good laugh listening to Josh try for 6 minutes to get out something remotely resembling a coherent answer about what to do when Iran gets the bomb. The best he seemed to come up with was to point to Bush's success with North Korea as an example that it is possible to negotiate with a regime to give up nuclear weapons. Despite the fact that N. Korea still has it's nuclear weapons and that the two situations are completely different--ie. N. Korea's population is starving to death.

bjkeefe 07-07-2008 12:51 PM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gwlaw99 (Post 82541)
I had a good laugh listening to Josh try for 6 minutes to get out something remotely resembling a coherent answer about what to do when Iran gets the bomb.

I heard something different. I heard Josh trying to articulate the legitimate concerns that Iran has, why this motivates them to pursue nukes, and how we might think in those terms as a way to get them to stop their pursuit. I did not hear him talking in terms of what to do once they already have it.

policy wank 07-07-2008 01:30 PM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
One counterexample to the theory that solely increasing funding can close the achievement gap.

From a John McWhorter column:
http://www.theroot.com/id/46584/output/print
Quote:

In 1985 in Kansas City, $1.4 billion were devoted to building 12 new schools in the urban area to replace the shabby ones black students had had to put up with for decades. The new schools had planetariums, broadcast studios, video editing labs and Olympic-sized swimming pools, and offered fencing lessons. Average classroom size was halved to 22-27 students per class. Per-pupil spending was doubled.

It is known that education at early ages is key. In the elementary schools, each student had access to their own computer, and there were French and German language schools as well. There were soon 53 counselors for elementary school students where there had once been none.

The results? Dropout rates nearly doubled. The gap in achievement between black and white students stayed put. The schools required security guards to combat theft and violence. Meanwhile, white schools in the suburbs, operating with much less money and no planetariums, performed much better.

Say that the problem with Kansas City schools is still segregation and you are saying that black kids can't learn in one another's company even in perfect schools. Clearly, the problem was with bad teachers, incompetent administrators and children from homes unable to provide them with the resources to perform well in school. How about rapping about that?

gwlaw99 07-07-2008 01:47 PM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 82542)
I heard something different. I heard Josh trying to articulate the legitimate concerns that Iran has, why this motivates them to pursue nukes, and how we might think in those terms as a way to get them to stop their pursuit. I did not hear him talking in terms of what to do once they already have it.

Exactly. He completely avoided the question altogether of what to do if diplomacy fails and he argues what to do before diplomacy fails . After 5 and half minutes or so of that rambling non-sequetur, we get this fumbling sentence regarding North Korea and diplomacy. The very diplomacy that, by the very premise of the Glenn's question, had already failed.

bjkeefe 07-07-2008 02:05 PM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
pw:

Thanks for the link. A good read. The example you quoted and the others in McWhorter's article are certainly thought-provoking.

handle 07-07-2008 02:44 PM

Re: Two Minutes of Marvelous
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 82533)
I have a dream, updated.

Pretty damned eloquent, Glenn. Obama could do a lot worse than to hire you as the conscience of his Administration.

While I agree, I feel the need to point out, even though I'm sure you, of all people, are aware that my hero Glenn was on the Hill team (as a supporter I mean). And as much as I would like to bury the primary hatchet, judging from the back and forth I have seen in recent forums, looks like both sides need a little more time.

...OK time's up!....

Eastwest 07-07-2008 02:45 PM

Minor Correction for Josh on Israel Bombing Iran
 
If one were to take Sy Hersh's sources for a guide on this matter: No, the Israeli's do NOT have enough focused firepower to reliably take out the Iranian nuclear programs below-ground hard sites. Thus that sort of scenario would not only require US Special-Forces covert boots on the ground to take out anti-aircraft installations (so as to not lose too many pilots), but it would also require US planes and munitions above and beyond what the Israelis possess. (In any case, since this would require a US "sign-off," the US would get the blame anyway.)

EW

Eastwest 07-07-2008 02:55 PM

Obama Raise "War Crimes" topic? Dream On!!
 
Josh,

As for the idea that Obama would even whisper word one on the topic of the previous administration's "War Crimes," either during the campaign or after his possible election, there's not an icecube's chance in hell that will happen:

a) It's absolutely the case that Obama would be too gutless to do so;

b) Additionally, Obama would be too worried about the political consequences. From the day he enters the White House, he will be totally obsessed with avoiding anything potentially jeopardizing a 2012 re-election bid.

In short, the topics radioactive for Obama.

And McCain? You trying to make us all die laughing?

EW

Wonderment 07-07-2008 03:33 PM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
Quote:

Average classroom size was halved to 22-27 students per class.
I find it VERY hard to believe that cutting class size from 44-54 to 22-27 didn't result in a measurable improvement in performance.

I find the whole description to be implausible and would like to hear the other side of the story. If the numbers are accurate, something went absurdly wrong with that plan, and there has to be a better explanation than they didn't get rid of bad teachers and administrators.

Anyuser 07-07-2008 03:53 PM

Let's vote!
 
I happen to be perhaps the only person on earth who’s read Eric Alterman’s Who Speaks for America, and like Eric I believe that a perpetual problem with the conduct of US foreign policy is lack of democratic (note the small “d”) participation. If the electorate’s desires were enacted, we’d be out of Iraq tomorrow.

This diavlog raised a couple of foreign policy issues that deserve to be considered by the voters. Who out there (I assume the entire electorate watches BloggingHeads TV) wants to see Osama bin Laden’s head on a stick? Let’s see a show of hands.

Now, who out there wants to give up US nuclear weapons in hopes that the Iranians, a Muslim nation that believes as a matter of official policy that the US is literally the devil incarnate, will follow suit?

Well, that takes care of that.

Eastwest 07-07-2008 04:19 PM

Those Lovely Education Overhaul Ideas...
 
As for those lovely education overhaul ideas (more money for poverty-level tax-base schools, 6-figure salaries for fine public-school teachers):

Obama will barely raise anything close to this in the campaign and if he wins, he probably won't even bring them up then, either. Why?:

a) No money. (That's a given)

b) He'll be too chicken to chip enough tax money away from his hedge fund buddies or the rest of the aristocracy, this for fear of jeopardizing a 2012 re-election bid.

c) Even a heavily-Dem Congress will be too worried about re-election and their lobbyist support base to do more than wink at any of this.

So, how about "the audacity of realizing things will just continue to be the same"?

EW

uncle ebeneezer 07-07-2008 04:47 PM

Re: Two Minutes of Marvelous
 
Hats off to Glenn for beginning to embrace the candidate that wasn't his preferred choice, for the sake of the party, principles and the country. Others could learn alot from the display of grace that Glenn showed in handling Hillary's loss, you know, like an adult. I agree that Glenn would be a great addition to any Presidential administration.

As far as war crimes trials are concerned, as much as I believe they are warranted, and would be welcome in a perfect world, we are unfortunately dealing with a much more flawed, real world. The reality is that the American public would not support it. Obama would be crucified politically, would waste any political capital he had built up and would jeopardize the Democratic brand for years after the right-wing and MSM spun it all as more "partisan politics." Hesitance to prosecute Bush and Co., wouldn't be a show of cowardice, but just plain common political sense. McCain wouldn't do it either for much the same reasons. It would instantly re-open the rift between him and his party, which already doesn't care too much for him, at an even greater expanse than ever before. It would be potential political suicide for any president to consider.

uncle ebeneezer 07-07-2008 05:02 PM

Re: War Crimes cont'd
 
That said, I would love it if BHTV would have Bugliosi on to discuss the possibilities:

http://www.amazon.com/Prosecution-Ge...5464073&sr=8-1

Bob usually does best with interviewing new guests, but perhaps one of BHTV's many lawyers: Cohen, Brooks, Lindsey, Balkin, would be the way to go. Or, perhaps let Mickey show off his legal chops a little. Come on Bob, think ratings!! Bugliosi is a great draw.

--Uncle Eb ("Gang of 12" admin assistant)

Sgt Schultz 07-07-2008 05:29 PM

Re: Josh wants Bush administration officials prosecuted for torture
 
Imagine all these letters in a new font - "Cohen-esque Sanctimony."

Among those who were directly in the chain of command of our nation's Executive Officer, those who leaked intelligence in violation of their oaths must, simply must, I whimper, be tried for sedition. The most grievous offenders to face capital punishment.

Ahh, I feel so much better about myself now.

AemJeff 07-07-2008 06:04 PM

Re: Josh wants Bush administration officials prosecuted for torture
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sgt Schultz (Post 82560)
Imagine all these letters in a new font - "Cohen-esque Sanctimony."

Among those who were directly in the chain of command of our nation's Executive Officer, those who leaked intelligence in violation of their oaths must, simply must, I whimper, be tried for sedition. The most grievous offenders to face capital punishment.

Ahh, I feel so much better about myself now.

If you you want to find real sanctimony look to the Republican party. In honor of his passing, let me remind you of the time Jesse Helms implicitly threatened Bill Clinton. Who could possibly surpass Jesse in that crowning example of imperious sanctimony? The only reaction I heard from Republicans at the time was snickering and weak defense of the indefensible.

Here what we have is the suggestion that people allegedly responsible for breaking laws face a lawful prosecution. Since when do Republicans object to the orderly process of rule of law? How is the suggestion that we do so in any way sanctimonious? Or do you believe that Administrations (of your own party only, of course) have carte blanche and shouldn't even face questions about their actions even when they seem prima facie illegal?

Wonderment 07-07-2008 06:43 PM

The obstacle to prosecuting war criminals is you
 
Of course, Obama or McCain won't go after the war criminals in the Bush administration. But that's because the American people don't care enough.

The reason Chileans, Argentinians, Mexicans, Rwandans, etc. have organized to demand accountability is because the victims were natives of those countries. The survivors were sisters, brothers, children, parents, lovers and friends of citizen-victims.

If Cheney's torture victims were college students from Iowa rather than Pakistani taxi drivers, there would be a movement to arrest and try Yoo, Gonzalez, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush (to mention a few of the crime bosses).

But the victims are voiceless. They need a Cindy Sheehan.

The best hope is a universal jurisdiction arrest, as Josh suggests. There has already been an incident in Germany where a citizen tried to arrest John Bolton; Henry Kissinger has long been concerned about travel outside the USA for war crimes committed in the Nixon administration. Several Israeli generals are always looking over their shoulders when they travel to Europe.

Making the perps pariahs when they leave the sanctuary of the USA is in itself a kind of sanction. The more international shunning, the better.

Also helpful would be a "probable cause" list, prepared by HRW or another reputable NGO, composed of war crimes suspects. Such a list would have to be carefully articulated to assure presumption of innocence , but it could include individuals like Bush, Osama bin Laden and others against whom a considerable body of war crimes/crimes against humanity evidence exists.

It won't be easy to hold these guys accountable. It will take a sustained movement of committed activists. The perps write self-serving memoirs, get old and often die before any progress is made. But nothing could be more important than not letting war criminals skate. Impunity is an incentive to future leaders who contemplate similar misdeeds.

America cannot get amnesia in January of 09.

Anyuser 07-07-2008 07:00 PM

Re: The obstacle to prosecuting war criminals is you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 82566)
But the victims are voiceless. They need a Cindy Sheehan.

You can't make this stuff up. It's beyond parody.

razib 07-07-2008 08:25 PM

Perfect meritocracy = genetic determinism
 
Just a minor point, but one that I think is worth noting: in a perfect meritocratic society where one's attainment correlates exactly with one's output an enormous amount of the societal variation would be genetic. If you eliminate the "environmental noise" then logically what will remain will be what can not be eliminated through leveling the playing field. The only way one could further ameliorate inequality would be to genetically "handicap," so that those who don't have the intelligence & personality traits to succeed in a modern economy get some advantages vis-a-vis those who do (in a Rawlsian sense remember that genes you inherit are undeserved).

To make it clear, in a modern Western society about 80-90% of the variation in height can be attributable to genes. In a pre-modern society a far smaller proportion is due to genes because of the power of random nutritional constraints (e.g., a famine strikes your locality during your adolescence). Reducing the power of the 75% which is non-genetic will result in the proportion of variance which is genetic increasing naturally.

Something to think about if inequality qua inequality is what you are concerned about, as opposed to absolute standards of quality of life....

Eastwest 07-07-2008 09:13 PM

Re: The obstacle to prosecuting war criminals is you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 82566)
Of course, Obama or McCain won't go after the war criminals in the Bush administration. But that's because the American people don't care enough.
....
But the victims are voiceless. They need [somebody with the tirelessness of] a Cindy Sheehan, [but the eloquence, integrity, and name-recognition of a Bobby Kennedy.]

The best hope is a universal jurisdiction arrest, as Josh suggests.
....
Making the perps pariahs when they leave the sanctuary of the USA is in itself a kind of sanction. The more international shunning, the better.

Also helpful would be a "probable cause" list, prepared by HRW or another reputable NGO, composed of war crimes suspects.
....
It won't be easy to hold these guys accountable. It will take a sustained movement of committed activists. The perps write self-serving memoirs, get old and often die before any progress is made. But nothing could be more important than not letting war criminals skate. Impunity is an incentive to future leaders who contemplate similar misdeeds.

America cannot get amnesia in January of 09, [but you can be damn sure they will, whether it's McCain or whether it's Obama, this because they do not even have convictions on these sorts of matters, much less the courage of their convictions, and so it will only be outside the boundaries of the US that this will develop any traction. Obama's followers will fall in line like entourage of the pied piper, and so will just sniff, shrug, and will change the subject.]

Right on post. (See bracketed comments above.)

For related and chilling audio interviews on the Philip Gourevitch & Errol Morris film-and-book collaboration ("Standard Operating Procedure"), with Fred Burton ("Ghost--Confessions of a Counterrorism Agent"), and also some Orwellian fictional futurist take-offs, stream the RealAudio July 6th "Orwell and the War on Terror" from Wisconsin Public Radio's "To the Best of Our Knowledge." The show-description link (and also the audio link) are here:

http://www.wpr.org/book/080706a.html

EW

bjkeefe 07-08-2008 12:21 AM

Re: The obstacle to prosecuting war criminals is you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eastwest (Post 82572)
... The show-description link (and also the audio link) are here:

http://www.wpr.org/book/080706a.html

I just listened to the first segment and am into the second, and I wanted to thank you for the link before I forgot. Good stuff.

"The Unknown Terrorist" sounds like a must-read.

Eastwest 07-08-2008 03:10 AM

Re: The obstacle to prosecuting war criminals is you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 82593)
I wanted to thank you for the link before I forgot. Good stuff.

Nice to know I can give you something besides a steady diet of aggravation.

Cheers,
EW

bjkeefe 07-08-2008 03:51 AM

Re: Let's vote!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anyuser (Post 82554)
This diavlog raised a couple of foreign policy issues that deserve to be considered by the voters. Who out there (I assume the entire electorate watches BloggingHeads TV) wants to see Osama bin Laden’s head on a stick? Let’s see a show of hands.

I'd rather see him in jail.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anyuser (Post 82554)
Now, who out there wants to give up US nuclear weapons in hopes that the Iranians, a Muslim nation that believes as a matter of official policy that the US is literally the devil incarnate, will follow suit?

I do. Plus, I'd like to see the US give up its nukes for other reasons. Probably not all the way to zero, though.

I'd also like to be the official policy of the US that Iran is not the devil incarnate.

Dee Sharp 07-08-2008 12:04 PM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
I think the idea of relieving the pressure on Iran is a good one. If people stop hassling them about Hezbollah, and if Israel reduces its military power until it is no threat to Iran, peace will surely follow. Maybe. We hope. And if it doesn't, we can say we tried, and more importantly, feel that we are good.

harkin 07-09-2008 07:25 AM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe
Thanks for the link. A good read. The example you quoted and the others in McWhorter's article are certainly thought-provoking.

The real question here is whether McWorther's facts will sink in with you or anyone who at least makes the effort to listen. Hopefully enough people will begin to see that the problems will persist (or even grow worse) if people will continue to be blind (even willingly) to the real problems.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 82553)
I find the whole description to be implausible and would like to hear the other side of the story. If the numbers are accurate, something went absurdly wrong with that plan, and there has to be a better explanation than they didn't get rid of bad teachers and administrators.

And then there is those who will not even venture to think and instead only look for answers that fit their delusional philosophies. The problems must be a result of racism and lack of funds, therefore children and communities be damned, fuel the racism and throw more money at the fire.


McWhorter lays it all out very well. Will be buying the book for sure.

bjkeefe 07-09-2008 10:44 AM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 82772)
The real question here is whether McWorther's facts will sink in with you or anyone who at least makes the effort to listen. Hopefully enough people will begin to see that the problems will persist (or even grow worse) if people will continue to be blind (even willingly) to the real problems.

And then there is those who will not even venture to think and instead only look for answers that fit their delusional philosophies. The problems must be a result of racism and lack of funds, therefore children and communities be damned, fuel the racism and throw more money at the fire.

McWhorter lays it all out very well. Will be buying the book for sure.

I think you go a little far here, harkin. Let's start with your choice of the word "facts."

The studies that McWhorter cited come off as examples carefully selected to illustrate a point. They may be accurate in and of themselves; e.g., that one school district (in K.C., 1985, I think) may well have gotten more money and become worse over time, and without any extenuating circumstances. Even granting all that, though, it hardly proves the general claim that it never helps to give additional money to a school, to seek to reduce classroom sizes, improve facilities, or whatever else might have been the goals of the program.

I know he added a couple of others, but my point remains: they do not prove anything in general. You would not, I suspect, be immediately willing to accept the reverse argument, that more money solves everything, if all I did was present three examples of school systems in which more money was correlated with improved performance.

To McWhorter's statistics about per pupil spending, in which it appears that more money gets spent in some under-performing school districts, apparently to no avail: again, I feel as though the whole story isn't necessarily being told here. Perhaps those increased costs come about from much higher outlays for security guards and metal detectors. Perhaps they come about because some monopolistic union or contracted company has a stranglehold on the cafeteria and janitorial services. Perhaps it costs more money to attract teachers, even crummy ones, to these schools. Perhaps large inner city schools are more bogged down with administrative bloat. Perhaps the school buildings' physical plants in the bad neighborhoods are decrepit to the point that that heating, cooling, and lighting are significantly less efficient, and hence, more costly.

Who knows? No one, without taking a closer look. Just giving one number, like average cost per pupil, can hide a large part of any story. As the old saying goes, put Bill Gates in a room with 100 nuns and 1000 homeless people, and you know what? On average, everyone in that room is a millionaire.

I am not specifically taking McWhorter to task for these data shortcomings. This was an excerpt from a book of cultural criticism, and did not pretend to be an authoritative study of school funding policies. (Ideally, it would have been nice if he, or one of the site's editors, had linkified the online excerpt, or at least provided comprehensive citations for the studies, so that we could look into them further.) I understand McWhorter's use of these studies as illustrative examples offered in service of a larger, different thesis -- that hip hop music as the voice of the downtrodden has some serious shortcomings.

I will say that the examples he gave, in light of this thread's focus, were useful to this extent: they certainly suggest a disproof of a claim that school problems can always be solved by throwing money at them. Intuitively, this appeals -- one senses that in a neighborhood that is beset by a whole sheaf of problems, building a planetarium at the local high school has the feeling of putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. I think most of us would agree that a more comprehensive approach is often needed, that societal problems which complicate things may not be immediately addressable by a quick infusion of cash, and so on.

On the other hand, I would be amazed if one couldn't find reams of data supporting the idea that, say, a smaller student-to-teacher ratio is a good thing. or the idea that decaying facilities hamper student performance, or any of a number of areas that would imply that a shortage of funds is at least part of the problem. So, it is my sense that in your reaction to McWhorter's article, you're showing a tendency toward confirmation bias. This does not make you a bad person, of course. We all have to struggle to remain skeptical when presented with limited data that support our thinking, especially when our thinking feels smothered by conventional wisdom.

In hopes of forestalling a long discussion about whether increased school funding is or is not a worthwhile policy, I want to remind you of my original gripe that started this thread: How is it possible that we still don't have a good answer to this question? In other words, I want to remind you that I am not, here, staking out a position on either side. I am complaining that this is still an unresolved issue.

I think you and policy wank are right to point to McWhorter's counterexamples, and I'm glad McWhorter brought them up. I don't think you're right to conclude from them, though, that anyone who supports the idea of giving more money to schools is delusional.

Wonderment 07-09-2008 03:45 PM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
Quote:

And then there is those who will not even venture to think and instead only look for answers that fit their delusional philosophies. The problems must be a result of racism and lack of funds, therefore children and communities be damned, fuel the racism and throw more money at the fire.
I don't know why it is "delusional" to believe that if you reduce classroom size from 40 students to 20 students you will get some measurable benefit.

I especially don't know why it's delusional since tons of scientific literature, common sense, and everyday testimony of parents, teachers, students, administrators confirm it.

But if you're correct, we could save a lot of money by doubling classroom size to 80 or 100 students per teacher per hour.

I don't know why it's delusional to believe that you'll do better in a remodeled or new school where everything works well than in a dark, dingy place where the lights, heating and plumbing don't work.

I could go on, but it seems to me you have some bizarre ideological statement to make that defies the experience, science and intuitions of the rest of the world. In that case, it would seem that the burden of proving why 2 + 2 = 3 is on you.

harkin 07-10-2008 07:25 AM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 82832)
I don't know why it is "delusional" to believe that if you reduce classroom size from 40 students to 20 students you will get some measurable benefit.

Once again, you miss the entire point. I never said it was delusional to 'believe that if you reduce classroom size from 40 students to 20 students you will get some measurable benefit'. What I referred to was that it was delusional to think that bad teachers and bad administrators had minimal groundings in poor performance.

Oh yes, I also have no doubt that if Mickey Kaus had cited McWhorter's example, you would have branded it 'racist'......no doubt at all.

harkin 07-10-2008 07:33 AM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 82788)
I think you and policy wank are right to point to McWhorter's counterexamples, and I'm glad McWhorter brought them up. I don't think you're right to conclude from them, though, that anyone who supports the idea of giving more money to schools is delusional.


Thanks for a respectful, intelligent post, but once again you miss my point.

I never said increased funding was bad per se, I meant that unless you demand excellence from students then no amount of money or extravagant facilities/equipment will be put to good use (i.e. will be wasted).

Here's one more try: Telling poor urban kids that the only reason they're not doing as well as kids in suburban schools is because they don't have enough money or school facilities is to sell them short. Rural schools in UT with much less the spending per student than those of Washington DC and with far less in the way of facilities turn out much better-educated students because they demand that they work and they have a good learning environment at school as well as at home.....and those are two things that many people have never learned that money can't buy.

bjkeefe 07-10-2008 02:12 PM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
harkin:

Quote:

Thanks for a respectful, intelligent post, but once again you miss my point.

I never said increased funding was bad per se, I meant that unless you demand excellence from students then no amount of money or extravagant facilities/equipment will be put to good use (i.e. will be wasted).
You're right. I guess I did miss your point. I apologize.

Quote:

Here's one more try: Telling poor urban kids that the only reason they're not doing as well as kids in suburban schools is because they don't have enough money or school facilities is to sell them short. Rural schools in UT with much less the spending per student than those of Washington DC and with far less in the way of facilities turn out much better-educated students because they demand that they work and they have a good learning environment at school as well as at home.....and those are two things that many people have never learned that money can't buy.
You're right, although once again, I think you're going a little far in making your point. I certainly agree that kids need to be pushed to do well, that fostering an attitude of education as a good thing is key, and that there is nothing gained by encouraging a sense of victimization. I do think, though, that you are deemphasizing the reality that different localities may need different amounts of funding to address the things that money can buy.

Wonderment 07-10-2008 02:57 PM

Re: The Audacity of Glenn
 
Quote:

Once again, you miss the entire point.
Don't expect people to get the point when you write incomprehensible sentences like the following:

Quote:

What I referred to was that it was delusional to think that bad teachers and bad administrators had minimal groundings in poor performance.


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