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July 10, 2014

"What universities have in common with record labels"

"If you spent the 1990s plucking songs from a stack of cassettes to make the perfect mixtape, you probably welcomed innovations of the next decade that served your favorite albums up as individual songs, often for free. The internet’s power to unbundle content sparked a rapid transformation of the music industry, which today generates just over half of the $14 billion it did in 2000—and it’s doing the same thing to higher education."

"LA Schools Realize Giving Every Kid an iPad Was a Costly Disaster, Will Give Every Kid a Laptop Instead"

Once again, you can't make stuff like this up.

July 08, 2014

"New York’s Common Core-Aligned Standardized Tests Are PAINFULLY Stupid And Awful"

The article links to this year June's Algebra I test, so you can judge for yourself.

"Explain your answer,” demands Question 29, just after perfectly reasonably asking students to graph a simple equation. “Justify your answer” insists Question 30. “Explain how you arrived at your answer” commands Question 35 (which has students graphing out Caitlin’s movie rental card expenditures). “Use your equation to justify your answer” orders Question 36 — a multipart question involving an equation about an animal shelter. . . .

For all of these questions, the obvious answer to “Explain your answer” and “Justify your answer” is very easy for any honest kid: “I used math.”

July 07, 2014

"Open Culture: The best free cultural & educational media on the web"

Links to literally hundreds of free online courses, free movies, free e-books, free audio textbooks and other free educational stuff. A good place to start: "A Master List of 1,000 Free Courses From Top Universities: 30,000 Hours of Audio/Video Lectures".

It's a good thing they didn't have all this available when I was a teenager. I never would have graduated high school, let alone college. 

July 03, 2014

"19 Websites That Will Make You Smarter"

As my mom used to say about chicken soup: these may not help you, but they couldn't hurt

July 01, 2014

"Does Leisure Outstrip Learning at Dartmouth?"

At NC State I had a small--small--problem with Friday afternoon and early Monday morning classes.

But we weren't Ivy League


June 23, 2014

"Focus on science, tech pays off in soaring graduation rate"

Unsurprising--unless you're one of the militant humanities professors we hear more from these days: you show kids what they're learning in school is useful and makes them directly more employable, and guess what? They do better. In the case of this one Washington State high school, apparently, much better

June 18, 2014

"Harvard 2014 by the numbers"

Still a lot of Harvard grads--at least of the ones responding to the survey--going to work in finance and consulting.

June 17, 2014

If you're reading this blog . . .

. . . and you're not reading Glenn Reynolds's Instapundit blog, you are missing an enormous treat. Some samples from just the last few days:


Lots of hungry lawyers out there, and lots of university administrators who think the law doesn’t apply to them. A recipe for riches!

"SEX, DOLLAR BILLS, and the Venezuelan black market":

Socialism always starts with the same promises, and ends with the same failures. And yet it’s always presented as something shiny and new!

"RON FOURNIER: I’ve Had Enough:’ When Democrats Quit on Obama: Bergdahl swap is latest last straw for top Democrats frustrated with president’s leadership. Who knew so many Dems would turn racist in 2014?"


"HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Morbid Fascination With The Death Of The Humanities."

So too with the academic humanities, which have largely squandered the moral and intellectual capital they once possessed by adopting the roles of adversaries to, rather than preservers of, the larger culture. This, too, turns out not to be sustainable.

"Putting Teacher Tenure In Context"

Economist Adam Ozimek presents a smart article. Sample:

Another important policy related to the tenure issue is increasing the number of charter schools. When administrators are capricious and ineffective, as surely there are some times, it’s important that teachers have alternative employment opportunities nearby. After all, the economic justification for teachers unions in the first place is to counter the monopsony power of the local school district. But in many places, especially dense urban areas, this can be done by increasing the number of teacher employers as well. If a public school fires a great teacher for a bad reason, having a smart charter school nearby to hire them will be good for teachers and students alike.

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