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October 2020

"Meta-analysis of faculty's teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related"

Absolutely unsurprising:

Student evaluation of teaching (SET) ratings are used to evaluate faculty's teaching effectiveness based on a widespread belief that students learn more from highly rated professors. The key evidence cited in support of this belief are meta-analyses of multisection studies showing small-to-moderate correlations between SET ratings and student achievement (e.g., Cohen, 1980Cohen, 1981; Feldman, 1989). We re-analyzed previously published meta-analyses of the multisection studies and found that their findings were an artifact of small sample sized studies and publication bias. Whereas the small sample sized studies showed large and moderate correlation, the large sample sized studies showed no or only minimal correlation between SET ratings and learning. Our up-to-date meta-analysis of all multisection studies revealed no significant correlations between the SET ratings and learning. These findings suggest that institutions focused on student learning and career success may want to abandon SET ratings as a measure of faculty's teaching effectiveness.

"The Prescience of Shelby Steele"

Arrived at decades ago this forecast sure seems to hit the bullseye:

Once a group of formerly oppressed people finally win concessions from the larger society, it can be experienced as a shock, trauma, or shame that throws its members back on their own inadequacies. The energies spent in pursuit of freedom are useless once it is obtained. There arises instead a powerful impulse to use identity as a means to power. If a newly liberated group convinces itself that it is still oppressed, the demands of freedom can be evaded with a clear conscience. This is why revolutionary sentiment is not necessarily correlated with the degree of oppression a group of people experience but with the diminishing legitimacy and power of the larger society. Ironically, “anger in the oppressed is a response to perceived opportunity, not to injustice. And expressions of anger escalate not with more injustice but with less injustice.”9 Why else would the black power movement have expanded only after the victories of the civil rights movement? And why else would Black Lives Matter arise only after the election of the first black president? Progress is often met with an expanded notion of what real progress would mean.

"Trump: Yes"

Andrew McCarthy does an outstanding job making the case for Trump. I don't think that Trump's loose talk is as harmful as Mr. McCarthy assesses it, but that's a nitpick. This is a piece that zeroes in on the fundamental, essential point:

The most compelling case for Trump has never been Trump. It has always been, and remains, Trump . . . as opposed to what?

Also, I recommend spending a minute with this young woman: "If you’re liberal, can’t stand Trump and fathom why people will vote for him - this is why".