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  #1  
Old 06-29-2011, 07:54 PM
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Default Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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  #2  
Old 06-29-2011, 07:56 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

Get ready for tons of whining or tumbleweeds.
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2011, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Get ready for tons of whining or tumbleweeds.
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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
1. There is no libertarian principle to require legislators to justify laws. Legislators can pass whatever they want provided they have enough votes.

2. You probably misunderstood what I said about government entities having to justify their existence. That's my opinion on what should happen, but probably won't happen. That's not libertarian, per se. That's just me.

3. Muslims have freedom of religion, period. They have that freedom no more and no less than any other religious followers in our country. If you are alleging some kind of hypocrisy on my part, I'd suggest you try again. I've already mentioned it in another post that bans on Sharia law are likely a pretext to justify Islamophobia. However, I tend to keep my mouth shut about things that I don't know about. But in case I wasn't fucking clear, Muslims who are U.S. citizens deserve all the rights and protections that citizenship affords them. No exceptions.

I'm going to decrease my responses to these troll attempts. There's no reason to have an exchange with unreasonable people. I've demonstrated quite clearly that I'm able to have civil discussions with people on all sides of our political spectrum. If there are some of you have been unable to do so with me, well, at least we know it has nothing to do with ideology. And if you're sure that it's because I'm an insufferable prick, I'm pretty okay with that.

Now, I have shit to do.
...
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2011, 09:29 PM
Hume's Bastard Hume's Bastard is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Get ready for tons of whining or tumbleweeds.
No. But, I do have some questions.
1. Speaking of the diavlog as a whole, is this site now devoting itself fully to book promotion and woolly thinking? I realize requiring every interlocutor actually to be a user of social media might marginalize nearly all of academia and anyone over a certain age, but, come on, it's in the URL - blogging.
Speaking of queer marriage:

2. Why is the use of "great" as in "great moment" (is it a prerequisite to be a market fundi to sound like a prig?) any more legit than "great" in "great man"? I don't think it's a victory for me. I don't think "rights" are necessarily furthered or advanced at all. I think it's a victory for certain interest groups that were cobbled together into a legislative majority. Those groups include religious organizations that feared litigation and Republicans whom everyone now knows have gay children. It's a victory for people who want to be normal citizens who happen to be gay, and who want similar legal "rights" to others. It's a very conservative accomplishment.

So, I don't understand how these two market fundis can call it great and then trash the notion of state-sanctioned marriage. How big or small does the state have to be before the non-fundamentalist and non-cult members among us can understand what the optimal state should be? And, how much will that normative appeal to "rights" conflict with and oppress any actual queer lifestyle?

Terrible. Terrible. TERRIBLE! If no blog, then no talk, no plugging!

Last edited by Hume's Bastard; 06-29-2011 at 09:50 PM..
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:00 PM
jimM47 jimM47 is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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I realize requiring every interlocutor actually to be a user of social media might marginalize nearly all of academia and anyone over a certain age, but, come on, it's in the URL - blogging . . . .If no blog, then no talk, no plugging!
Hit & Run Blog : Matt Welch; Nick Gillespie.
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:02 PM
Hume's Bastard Hume's Bastard is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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I said "blog", not a magazine column!
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  #7  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:05 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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I said "blog", not a magazine column!
um, what part of "hit and run blog" did you miss? i'm guessing it was the "blog" part.
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  #8  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:12 PM
Hume's Bastard Hume's Bastard is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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um, what part of "hit and run blog" did you miss? i'm guessing it was the "blog" part.
I think you missed the magazine part. Once, back in the ol'days, I maintained a website sustained by code alone. I didn't shill for donors or have the services of drones to refresh the site. If you think pasting "blog" to a magazine column is all one needs to be a "blogger", then perhaps you should just stick to hiding behind paywalls. It's not as if the Internet" were ever free, but I would never mistake a business for a medium.
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  #9  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:07 PM
jimM47 jimM47 is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

Two posts a day is a magazine column?
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  #10  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:14 PM
Hume's Bastard Hume's Bastard is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Two posts a day is a magazine column?
How much does "someone" get paid for verbiage at that business front?
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  #11  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:31 PM
jimM47 jimM47 is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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How much does "someone" get paid for verbiage at that business front?
No idea. Something greater than zero, I imagine. Does that have something to do with whether a series of short, discreet, frequent, reverse-chronologically arranged writings constitutes a blog?
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  #12  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:40 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Originally Posted by Hume's Bastard View Post
I said "blog", not a magazine column!
Son of David,

It's not really fair to measure old metrics against the realities of today. Where's Ezra Klein? Where's Will Wilkinson? You have to admit that blogging isn't what it used to be; bloggers have been co-opted by the MSM or Lame-stream Media, depending on whichever team you're on.

So, it's more that "bloggingheads" is the outdated name amidst a reality that has evolved. I mean you can complain all day about people using "literally" when they mean "figuratively," but, does anyone really care besides pedantic grammarians? Or you can keep on complaining. At least, you'll have that futility of effort thing in common with libertarians.
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  #13  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Son of David,

It's not really fair to measure old metrics against the realities of today. Where's Ezra Klein? Where's Will Wilkinson? You have to admit that blogging isn't what it used to be; bloggers have been co-opted by the MSM or Lame-stream Media, depending on whichever team you're on.

So, it's more that "bloggingheads" is the outdated name amidst a reality that has evolved. I mean you can complain all day about people using "literally" when they mean "figuratively," but, does anyone really care besides pedantic grammarians? Or you can keep on complaining. At least, you'll have that futility of effort thing in common with libertarians.
Great points. I hadn't watched MSNBC in ages; when I watched Matthews today, McArdle was on. She did pretty good.
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  #14  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:48 PM
Hume's Bastard Hume's Bastard is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Son of David,

It's not really fair to measure old metrics against the realities of today. Where's Ezra Klein? Where's Will Wilkinson? You have to admit that blogging isn't what it used to be; bloggers have been co-opted by the MSM or Lame-stream Media, depending on whichever team you're on.

So, it's more that "bloggingheads" is the outdated name amidst a reality that has evolved. I mean you can complain all day about people using "literally" when they mean "figuratively," but, does anyone really care besides pedantic grammarians? Or you can keep on complaining. At least, you'll have that futility of effort thing in common with libertarians.
Well, I'm glad you know, like "words", and how to use them. But, I will stick up for "bloggers" struggling for a medium, like Reason, that will allow them to pay the bills and express themselves. I don't call that a blog, and I resent any business that uses the term. It's unnecessary. We all know the writer is an employee. And, I'm not callous - props to Wilkinson et al for doing good work. I've also swapped emails with Phil Korsnes about getting prime-quality East Asian expat bloggers on diavlogs - to no apparent profit for anyone. Our current crop of shills haven't obliged, that's for sure, and that's with the advantage of getting paid for their day jobs and presumably having time to moonlight. These shills keep quality commentators with new and interesting perspectives from their 60 minutes of fame - repeatedly!
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  #15  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:34 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Jim! Good to see you back in the forum. Don't tell me you have an actual job or something that's been keeping you away lately.
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  #16  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:38 PM
jimM47 jimM47 is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Jim! Good to see you back in the forum. Don't tell me you have an actual job or something that's been keeping you away lately.
A fake job, actually, but it mostly keeps me away.
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  #17  
Old 06-29-2011, 09:37 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

Libertarian victory on same-sex marriage? Are these the same people that tend to form political alliances with conservatives, including social conservatives in some false belief that they will spend less and make government smaller? Like the present Canadian government headed by a "libertarian" in league with the religious right, which would probably like to roll back the legalization of same-sex marriage if they could figure out some sneaky way of doing it? Good Grief!

A number of countries have recognized same sex marriage and I think that's mostly thanks to liberal/left tendencies, not libertarians. See Wikipedia on same-sex marriage in various countries.
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  #18  
Old 06-29-2011, 09:49 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

The Internet and Starbucks work better than ensuring a level of health care, education and old age security for the entire population, so that proves government is bad and all we need to do is get rid of it. Sure.
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  #19  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:03 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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The Internet and Starbucks work better than ensuring a level of health care, education and old age security for the entire population, so that proves government is bad and all we need to do is get rid of it. Sure.
That's why they call it GLIB-ertarianism.
Don't fret though, the fix is in with all the Koch money flowing like soda pop over a root beer float. Free markets, free minds, for the enrichment of the overlords.
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  #20  
Old 06-30-2011, 05:51 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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The Internet and Starbucks work better than ensuring a level of health care, education and old age security for the entire population, so that proves government is bad and all we need to do is get rid of it. Sure.
Your irony is appropriate. I clicked off at this point in the diavlog (perhaps I will click on again later to see if it improves). The Internet has certainly changed the way of life of millions for better (and for worse), and Starbucks has certainly improved the quality of American coffee, but to suggest that because such innovations are the creations of the market the state should hand over education, health care and social security to the market......well, if ever there was a non-sequitur, there it is.
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  #21  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Your irony is appropriate. I clicked off at this point in the diavlog (perhaps I will click on again later to see if it improves). The Internet has certainly changed the way of life of millions for better (and for worse), and Starbucks has certainly improved the quality of American coffee, but to suggest that because such innovations are the creations of the market the state should hand over education, health care and social security to the market......well, if ever there was a non-sequitur, there it is.
Privatized retirement works fine in Chile, and what's so different about education? The point is that markets work. Trying to differentiate some markets from other markets just makes no sense.
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  #22  
Old 06-30-2011, 03:40 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Privatized retirement works fine in Chile, and what's so different about education? The point is that markets work. Trying to differentiate some markets from other markets just makes no sense.
Privatized retirement accounts exist in all countries....for the well-off. I am not familiar with Chile's program. Why do you think it is superior to the state-run pension systems that exist in Europe and America?

I really do not see how primary and secondary education can be made into a profit making business, which is what you are proposing. I have nothing against private education, which flourishes in the US, but it can only flourish because rich alumnae donate money to their alma maters, which support endowments, which subsidize teachers and provide scholarships to students. In other words, private education is not profitable.

Last edited by Florian; 06-30-2011 at 03:50 PM..
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  #23  
Old 06-30-2011, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Privatized retirement accounts exist in all countries....for the well-off. I am not familiar with Chile's program. Why do you think it is superior to the state-run pension systems that exist in Europe and America?
Because it's sustainable. It's not that Chile's system will make everyone fabulously wealthy in their old age--it won't. But it's a viable, sustainable retirement system that enables Chile to run budget surpluses (Constitutionally mandated) when other countries continue to rack up massive deficits.

Quote:
I really do not see how primary and secondary education can be made into a profit making business, which is what you are proposing. I have nothing against private education, which flourishes in the US, but it can only flourish because rich alumnae donate money to their alma maters, which support endowments, which subsidize teachers and provide scholarships to students. In other words, private education is not profitable.
There are a few different models that we could follow. One would be a public/private hybrid in which public schools would continue to function, but parents would be able to receive a stipend from the state to pay for their kids to attend a different school. I think that's the most palatable to non-libertarians, and an acceptable solution for libertarians. So we wouldn't rely fully on private industry--state schools would simply be entered into a system in which they had to actually perform in order to maintain their existence.

I think that profit-generating schools are viable. It is true that many private schools rely on endowments from ex students, but this is in part because of our current system, which sets them at a disadvantage.

A school doesn't really need all that much money. Some of the things that have been pursued, such as lower class sizes, don't really matter. There's no reason why you can't have classes of 30 or 40 kids. You don't need pricey textbooks, either. A lot of overhead can be cut down. It costs the state an average of around $10,000 per year (pretty significant variation across states) to educate a child. I absolutely believe that an efficient private school can do better for half as much money.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:23 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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A school doesn't really need all that much money. Some of the things that have been pursued, such as lower class sizes, don't really matter. There's no reason why you can't have classes of 30 or 40 kids. You don't need pricey textbooks, either. A lot of overhead can be cut down. It costs the state an average of around $10,000 per year (pretty significant variation across states) to educate a child. I absolutely believe that an efficient private school can do better for half as much money.
Is the goal to provide a better education for the child? Or to generate profits for the school? In other words, when you say "efficient," do you mean that the cost-cutting measures would benefit the child or that they would benefit (profit) the school? Does the school exist for the sake of the education of children or for the sake of generating a profit for the owners of the school?

I have no doubt that there is a lot of wastefulness in public schools, but the kind of cost-cutting measures you are proposing have little to do with improving the quality of education. They are mainly about improving the bottom line. If you want to improve the quality of American secondary education, you will have to start with improving the quality of teachers and American "schools of education" which place too much emphasis on pedagogy and too little emphasis on the mastery of fields of knowledge.

But that is a vast subject.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:53 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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If you want to improve the quality of American secondary education, you will have to start with improving the quality of teachers and American "schools of education" which place too much emphasis on pedagogy and too little emphasis on the mastery of fields of knowledge.

But that is a vast subject.
OMG, We can agree on this point. The best thing we could do is to hire teachers who have real-world experience from other fields, instead of degrees in "education".
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:23 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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OMG, We can agree on this point. The best thing we could do is to hire teachers who have real-world experience from other fields, instead of degrees in "education".
But this is where market forces and/or money rears its head. What kind of incentive would someone with enough practical/useful knowledge in other fields to make a decent living have to take a secondary teaching job?

If someone with a degree in (say) biology and relevant practical knowledge in biology wants to teach high school biology, my first question is going to be, what's wrong with the person that they can't hold a job (paying much better) in their own industry.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:31 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

But just because someone has real-world experience and expertise does not mean they can teach.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:32 PM
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But this is where market forces and/or money rears its head. What kind of incentive would someone with enough practical/useful knowledge in other fields to make a decent living have to take a secondary teaching job?

If someone with a degree in (say) biology and relevant practical knowledge in biology wants to teach high school biology, my first question is going to be, what's wrong with the person that they can't hold a job (paying much better) in their own industry.
It's not a monetary incentive. I think if you want the answer to your question, listen to a Sal Khan talk (there goes another Khan mention). He gave up an extremely profitable job managing a hedge fund to concentrate on his project.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:48 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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It's not a monetary incentive. I think if you want the answer to your question, listen to a Sal Khan talk (there goes another Khan mention). He gave up an extremely profitable job managing a hedge fund to concentrate on his project.
He;s an exceptional person. I am not sure we can have our policy based on the assumption that an adequate number of people will give up lucrative careers out of the goodness of their hearts.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:30 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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Is the goal to provide a better education for the child? Or to generate profits for the school? In other words, when you say "efficient," do you mean that the cost-cutting measures would benefit the child or that they would benefit (profit) the school? Does the school exist for the sake of the education of children or for the sake of generating a profit for the owners of the school?
I would say that they're inextricable goals--you could argue that by introducing profit into the equation, the education of children will suffer, but I don't think that's the case--they would still have to provide a decent product, as otherwise they would go out of business. A reasonable enough code of laws to demand disclosure of objective education quality ought to be a good enough step to prevent unethical companies from misleading parents.

Quote:
I have no doubt that there is a lot of wastefulness in public schools, but the kind of cost-cutting measures you are proposing have little to do with improving the quality of education. They are mainly about improving the bottom line. If you want to improve the quality of American secondary education, you will have to start with improving the quality of teachers and American "schools of education" which place too much emphasis on pedagogy and too little emphasis on the mastery of fields of knowledge.

But that is a vast subject.
It's definitely a vast subject but I think that the format of the classroom and the metrics used to measure performance will evolve substantially in the next few years. We're essentially using the same system we were using 300 years ago. Sal Khan (who I'm now mentioning more frequently than Hayek, I believe) has the right idea, and I think that education entrepreneurs will implement his vision in the years ahead. It uses dynamic measurement metrics and a reformulated classroom that emphasizes collaborative learning.

And, it also emphasizes subject mastery as opposed to learning enough to get a passing grade. You're right that we have the wrong emphasis right now; it's particularly bad for mathematics, where subject mastery is necessary as one moves up the hierarchy of material.

Culture will limit the efficacy, but I think there's a bit of interplay between school performance and culture--a bad culture contributes to bad schools which in turn further diminishes the culture further, in terms of the value placed on education. So, improve schools and you will improve the culture. I think that the success of many charter schools in New York City and elsewhere show that you can take kids who otherwise would become statistics in drop out factories and turn them into successes--there is untapped potential out there that ends up being wasted. There's some level of selection bias involved, as less apt kids and kids with severe behavioral issues don't end up trying to get into the schools, but there are some kids who simply will not be helped no matter the system.

As for the measures that I listed, you're right that they are cost-cutting moves--they don't add value to the education of the kids. But expenses should only be accepted if they can be shown to materially improve the education experience of children, and smaller class sizes don't, so they're not a worthwhile expense.
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  #31  
Old 07-01-2011, 05:51 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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I would say that they're inextricable goals--you could argue that by introducing profit into the equation, the education of children will suffer, but I don't think that's the case--they would still have to provide a decent product, as otherwise they would go out of business. A reasonable enough code of laws to demand disclosure of objective education quality ought to be a good enough step to prevent unethical companies from misleading parents..
I have never thought of education as the manufacture of a decent product, but as the formation of a rational, cultured citizen. If you mean that high school graduates should know certain things--about science, mathematics, history, language, literature, who could disagree? But imo the US already puts too much emphasis on standardized, multiple-choice tests to measure the performance and aptitudes of students.


Quote:
It's definitely a vast subject but I think that the format of the classroom and the metrics used to measure performance will evolve substantially in the next few years. We're essentially using the same system we were using 300 years ago. Sal Khan (who I'm now mentioning more frequently than Hayek, I believe) has the right idea, and I think that education entrepreneurs will implement his vision in the years ahead. It uses dynamic measurement metrics and a reformulated classroom that emphasizes collaborative learning.

That is a grotesque exaggeration. Modern education theory and practice begin in the second half of the 19th century. Some would say that they began with Rousseau and Pestalozzi. I will have to look up Sal Khan. What do you recommend?

Quote:
Culture will limit the efficacy, but I think there's a bit of interplay between school performance and culture--a bad culture contributes to bad schools which in turn further diminishes the culture further, in terms of the value placed on education. So, improve schools and you will improve the culture..
That has always been the fond hope of teachers.

Quote:
As for the measures that I listed, you're right that they are cost-cutting moves--they don't add value to the education of the kids. But expenses should only be accepted if they can be shown to materially improve the education experience of children, and smaller class sizes don't, so they're not a worthwhile expense.
Smaller classes are probably not terribly important for young children, but from my observations and experience as students mature, especially the brighters ones, they could benefit from smaller classes, if only because otherwise they will be bored to death.

Last edited by Florian; 07-01-2011 at 05:53 AM..
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  #32  
Old 07-01-2011, 09:59 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

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I have never thought of education as the manufacture of a decent product, but as the formation of a rational, cultured citizen. If you mean that high school graduates should know certain things--about science, mathematics, history, language, literature, who could disagree? But imo the US already puts too much emphasis on standardized, multiple-choice tests to measure the performance and aptitudes of students.
I'd think of it that way too. But I think of that as being achieved in a market context.


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That is a grotesque exaggeration. Modern education theory and practice begin in the second half of the 19th century. Some would say that they began with Rousseau and Pestalozzi. I will have to look up Sal Khan. What do you recommend?
We have plenty of theory, sure. But we still mostly have a very old structure: a teacher delivers a lecture on a given subject. After a few lectures, the students take a quiz. Some kids get As, some get Bs, some get Cs etc. Based on that assessment, students are labeled--some as more able, some as less.

But that's a highly inefficient model. It's one size fits all: the students all hear the lecture delivered at the same speed. So, thinking about it as a bell curve, hopefully the highest number of students follow pretty much all of the lecture. A smaller percentage will be bored by it, because it will be moving too slow for them, and another subset will lost, as it is moving too fast.

Many kids then just work hard enough to where they can get a B. So, they're not actually mastering the material--the lecture delivered enough to where they can answer most of the questions on most of the topics, but they will just let some go since they're not necessary to pass. Then, when future concepts build on those past concepts that they never mastered, they hit a wall.

Now, we have it in our scope to have a far more individualized, data-driven learning evaluation system that deemphasizes arbitrary testing points in favor of real subject mastery. It enables students to work at their own speed instead of being squeezed into a one-size-fits-all model.

This is a bit long but he lays out much of his vision in the first twenty-five minutes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C7FH...feature=relmfu




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Smaller classes are probably not terribly important for young children, but from my observations and experience as students mature, especially the brighters ones, they could benefit from smaller classes, if only because otherwise they will be bored to death.
In the conventional setting, sure. For that matter, there probably are some classes where you would still want smaller class sizes--the same as how we have seminars with low class sizes for undergraduates. But it makes sense for that to be more targeted--by their junior or senior year of high school, students likely have a good idea of what they are actually interested in. So it doesn't make much sense to have someone who is going to be a literature major in a small, discussion-based physics class, or an aspiring computer scientist to be in a similar course on British literature.

But if you can get the aspiring computer scientist into a more targeted classroom setting with like-minded students who can collectively discuss and pursue their interests, absolutely. We want to have a rounded education, yes--we don't want to completely ignore subjects the students are less interested in--but we also want to let students focus on that which interests them.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:29 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Is the goal to provide a better education for the child? Or to generate profits for the school? In other words, when you say "efficient," do you mean that the cost-cutting measures would benefit the child or that they would benefit (profit) the school? Does the school exist for the sake of the education of children or for the sake of generating a profit for the owners of the school?

I have no doubt that there is a lot of wastefulness in public schools, but the kind of cost-cutting measures you are proposing have little to do with improving the quality of education. They are mainly about improving the bottom line. If you want to improve the quality of American secondary education, you will have to start with improving the quality of teachers and American "schools of education" which place too much emphasis on pedagogy and too little emphasis on the mastery of fields of knowledge.

But that is a vast subject.
Truly vast. I'll just pop in a plug for those who argue that neither pedagogy nor content mastery will ever have more than a marginal effect on the achievement gap - which, by the way will certainly not be solved by vouchers.

My simple argument is for differentiated, need-based instructional models. These would scale largely according to poverty, but specifically the needs of each family. Basically, an intact middle or upper class child would have a larger classroom, with fewer resources from the state. A child of a poor single mother would have a much smaller classroom, with access to aides, tutoring, counseling, etc. In many ways this would mirror the special education model. Instead of a physical disability, the issue would be a social disability.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:12 AM
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Truly vast. I'll just pop in a plug for those who argue that neither pedagogy nor content mastery will ever have more than a marginal effect on the achievement gap - which, by the way will certainly not be solved by vouchers.

My simple argument is for differentiated, need-based instructional models. These would scale largely according to poverty, but specifically the needs of each family. Basically, an intact middle or upper class child would have a larger classroom, with fewer resources from the state. A child of a poor single mother would have a much smaller classroom, with access to aides, tutoring, counseling, etc. In many ways this would mirror the special education model. Instead of a physical disability, the issue would be a social disability.
That would just be showing gross favoritism to people based on the SES. Doesn't seem like a just system. You're not basing it on aptitude, you're basing it on economic resources. It is true that a poorer student is more likely to be at an educational disadvantage than a non-poor student, but this is hardly an absolute rule. So you'd be diverting resources away from some middle class kids who learn at a slower rate to give them to some poorer children who learn at a faster rate. That seems to be a nonsensical setup.

Check out the Sal Khan video that I posted in response to Florian. He covers some of the things that you have specifically mentione
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:12 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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That would just be showing gross favoritism to people based on the SES.
Are we doing any different now? I'm simply trying to more effectively target resources towards need. And I specifically said poverty was a generality - a proper system would go much deeper.

There is always a reason kids struggle. We already do special ed - although not enough imo. We also need to look at emotional behavioral and social need. If a kid doesn't do his homework because he lives in his car and his family abuses meth (true story), he needs way more extra support than what he gets now, which is likely whatever the teacher can provide (apart from her 35 other students). If he doesn't have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan, mandated by special education law for students with cognitive disabilities), he's screwed.

Poor communities are full of stories like his - although usually not so bad! Where I'm coming from with this is entirely aptitude based. Aptitude is a product of human and social capital, period. A public education system that doesn't recognize this and intervene appropriately, will never see the achievement gap close. It is real reform.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:59 AM
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Are we doing any different now? I'm simply trying to more effectively target resources towards need. And I specifically said poverty was a generality - a proper system would go much deeper.

There is always a reason kids struggle. We already do special ed - although not enough imo. We also need to look at emotional behavioral and social need. If a kid doesn't do his homework because he lives in his car and his family abuses meth (true story), he needs way more extra support than what he gets now, which is likely whatever the teacher can provide (apart from her 35 other students). If he doesn't have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan, mandated by special education law for students with cognitive disabilities), he's screwed.

Poor communities are full of stories like his - although usually not so bad! Where I'm coming from with this is entirely aptitude based. Aptitude is a product of human and social capital, period. A public education system that doesn't recognize this and intervene appropriately, will never see the achievement gap close. It is real reform.
I don't see any reason to spend a grossly disproportionate amount of resources on individuals who have a much lower ceiling and for whom success is much less assured. That just doesn't seem like a wise investment. We should be investing in individuals who actually have the potential to meaningfully contribute to society--and we're definitely not getting anywhere close to the most we can out of many people.
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:54 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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I don't see any reason to spend a grossly disproportionate amount of resources on individuals who have a much lower ceiling and for whom success is much less assured. That just doesn't seem like a wise investment. We should be investing in individuals who actually have the potential to meaningfully contribute to society--and we're definitely not getting anywhere close to the most we can out of many people.
I completely disagree. But, fair enough. I do acknowledge that trying to have the state intervene and help bring up the human/social capital of children will in many cases be an enormously difficult task, with many failures along the way. But I don't think we shouldn't try.

I wonder how much our own ideological assumptions figure into our widely divergent "feelings" on this. For instance, I think those disadvantaged kids deserve extra help as much as advantaged kids deserve the help they've already received. In other words, wealthier families don't actually deserve their wealth, while poorer families don't deserve their lack wealth.

By "deserve", I mean that wealth is ultimately determined by factors beyond the control of individuals. Because while an individual may have the capacity to generate enormous success for himself, he inherited that capacity through a combination of genes and environment. I think the notion that it is mostly the later is an empirical proven fact.

I think education - or the variety of programs and services we can direct towards disadvantaged children/families - is the single best way of attacking this social inequality. I realize it is a complex and expensive problem, but one that, in terms of morality, on the assumption that human development drives wealth generation, we will never have true liberty or justice while ignoring.
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Old 07-02-2011, 01:15 PM
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I completely disagree. But, fair enough. I do acknowledge that trying to have the state intervene and help bring up the human/social capital of children will in many cases be an enormously difficult task, with many failures along the way. But I don't think we shouldn't try.

I wonder how much our own ideological assumptions figure into our widely divergent "feelings" on this. For instance, I think those disadvantaged kids deserve extra help as much as advantaged kids deserve the help they've already received. In other words, wealthier families don't actually deserve their wealth, while poorer families don't deserve their lack wealth.

By "deserve", I mean that wealth is ultimately determined by factors beyond the control of individuals. Because while an individual may have the capacity to generate enormous success for himself, he inherited that capacity through a combination of genes and environment. I think the notion that it is mostly the later is an empirical proven fact.

I think education - or the variety of programs and services we can direct towards disadvantaged children/families - is the single best way of attacking this social inequality. I realize it is a complex and expensive problem, but one that, in terms of morality, on the assumption that human development drives wealth generation, we will never have true liberty or justice while ignoring.
Probably quite a lot, thinking of my contrasting feelings to the part in your response that I italicized. Essentially, you seem to be saying that education is the most efficacious way of achieving social justice, if I understand it correctly.

But there is another issue at hand: the question of what education actually exists for. If we interpret education as an investment in society's future, then it makes sense to be wise with that investment. I think that means encouraging earlier specialization.

So, take an 'average' inner city school/dropout factory. The success of many charter schools shows that there are children with college-level potential who are not receiving a proper education in the public schools.

There are other kids who simply lack the intellectual prowess to attain a four year degree and have professional success. Wouldn't it make more sense to steer these kids into a career path that they can actually handle--eg skilled labor? The same goes for special ed kids--why not prepare them for a career path that is actually within their grasp?

It's not realistically possible to specialize in the government monopoly, top-down management style that we currently employ. If we shifted to a different model, we''d have more schools aimed at preparing kids for jobs that they're realistically going to attain. I trust our evaluation metrics to be able to fairly accurately ascertain the rough potential of a child after a while.

Realistically, I don't see where you're doing a child a service by throwing tons of money at them to get them to conform to a model that they're just not going to conform to.

In fact, I think it'd do as much injustice to children as our current affirmative action laws do. All they do is discriminate against better performing minorities and reward mediocrity. It creates dependency and entitlement complexes, both of which are quite harmful.

So, let's think of it in terms of incentives. If you're a poorer performing student and you're having funds and attention lavished on you, why would you even want to perform better? If you see better performing students not receiving near the attention or resources, why would you want to become them? You have a pretty sweet deal.

That's why you want to give people the same opportunity and reward success, not failure.

PS in regards to Khan, we don't need 100,000 Sal Khans--thank goodness, because I don't think there are 100,000 people in the country with his intellectual capacity (probably not even 10,000). You don't need to be a brilliant thinker to implement his vision, though. While he's able to digest topics fairly quickly, enabling him to be the sole faculty member of the Khan academy, in the actual widespread implementation of his vision, you would maintain specialization. I have not seen any better proposal for maximizing the collective potential of students: remember that in the Khan model, not only is there a teacher to assist students who are struggling, but students would also be able to explain things to each other. Each student works at their own speed, so kids don't get bored or left behind. And the metrics for evaluation are far superior to what they are now.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:58 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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So, take an 'average' inner city school/dropout factory. The success of many charter schools shows that there are children with college-level potential who are not receiving a proper education in the public schools.
Agreed.

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There are other kids who simply lack the intellectual prowess to attain a four year degree and have professional success. Wouldn't it make more sense to steer these kids into a career path that they can actually handle--eg skilled labor? The same goes for special ed kids--why not prepare them for a career path that is actually within their grasp?
I think on a practical level, in the short-term, you're right. As it stands, a lot of kids are being set up for failure when they can't possibly conform to expectations without intensive remediation that they aren't getting. A realistic goal would be to work towards remediation, while implementing a tracking system that we would eventually hope to phase out but would in the meantime give realistic options to underperforming kids.


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It's not realistically possible to specialize in the government monopoly, top-down management style that we currently employ. If we shifted to a different model, we''d have more schools aimed at preparing kids for jobs that they're realistically going to attain. I trust our evaluation metrics to be able to fairly accurately ascertain the rough potential of a child after a while.

Realistically, I don't see where you're doing a child a service by throwing tons of money at them to get them to conform to a model that they're just not going to conform to.
I just disagree with this. I think an important way of looking at it is as a spectrum. There are many levels of intervention that improve student success. And even the kids who will never be at the top of their class, we can at least move them a considerable distance ahead.

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In fact, I think it'd do as much injustice to children as our current affirmative action laws do. All they do is discriminate against better performing minorities and reward mediocrity. It creates dependency and entitlement complexes, both of which are quite harmful.

So, let's think of it in terms of incentives. If you're a poorer performing student and you're having funds and attention lavished on you, why would you even want to perform better? If you see better performing students not receiving near the attention or resources, why would you want to become them? You have a pretty sweet deal.

That's why you want to give people the same opportunity and reward success, not failure.
I think this is pretty profoundly off base. First off, its rare to see a kid who views educational intervention as a "reward"! I think you're making a really big mistake when you apply the conservative trope about social programs "rewarding failure" when applied to education. Not only is there no evidence for it, as a theoretical concept it doesn't even make sense. Are well-stocked libraries rewarding failure? Or longer hours afterschool, home-visits, etc.?


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I have not seen any better proposal for maximizing the collective potential of students: remember that in the Khan model, not only is there a teacher to assist students who are struggling, but students would also be able to explain things to each other. Each student works at their own speed, so kids don't get bored or left behind. And the metrics for evaluation are far superior to what they are now.
I think Khan is doing great work. And technology is making that type of thing more and more possible.

However, again I go back to the achievement gap not being a pedagogical issue. It is a social problem. All the Khans and software in the world won't mean anything as long as kids don't want to use it, as they don't see the value of education, as their parents and community have not instilled the values of discipline and hard work.

That said, these tools are happening right now in public school - I just got back from an iPad training and the possibilities are mind-blowing. But at a certain point there are still a number of social ills that are really holding students back.

Anyway, I'd much rather agree on more of what the problems are, than on what we should do about them, as opposed to the reverse!
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:56 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Independents Day (Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie)

Speaking of wingnuts and others disconnected from reality, this is hilarious:

World Net Daily Writers Sue Esquire For $120 Million Over Birther Parody

At least we can laugh while they wreck our world.
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