Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stanford's 96%

"It sounded like a great idea: Stanford education professors would create a model school to show how to educate low-income Hispanic and black students. Or, as it's turned out, how not to. ... How did it happen? Stanford New Schools, run by the university's school of education, seems to stress social and emotional support over academics. ... With an extra $3,000 per student raised privately, students enjoy small class, mentoring, counseling and tutoring, technology access, field trips, summer enrichment, health van visits, community college classes on campus, and community service opportunities. The goal is to send graduates to college as critical thinkers, lifelong learners, and 'global citizens.' ... In comments on the news stories that have run, I see a common refrain: It's impossible to teach these kids. Not even Stanford can do it. ... The 96 percent college admissions rate is meaningless, since it includes community colleges, which take anyone, and California State University campuses, which admit students with a B average or better, regardless of test scores. ... EPA Academy students got into CSU on their grades, while much stronger students with lower grades were shut out, says [Michelle] Kerr, now a Stanford-trained high school teacher. ... The median scores for SAT takers are in the high 300s in each section, about the 15th percentile. ACT scores average 15, equally low. ... Will Stanford education professors learn from their mistakes? I fear they'll write off the elementary, claiming the program didn't get enough time, and continue to claim the high school as a success", Joanne Jacobs at Pajamas Media, 24 April 2010, link: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/a-model-school-flops/

"One of the most reflective responses of the left to any social problem is to blame under-funded education. What the left means by this, of course, is not really education, but indoctrination, which is the primary purpose of public education and college education in America today. The vast transfer of wealth from parents and taxpayers to the public schools and uiniversities is one of the most regressive sorts of social tariff in our society. ... State and local spending on public education is more than $15,000 per pupil. Federal spending on public education was almost nonexistent a few decades ago, but now it is growing fast. America, in fact, spends more per capita on public education than almost any nation in the world. Are we getting much for that investment? Not according to test scores. ... The cost per credit hour in the average university is about $300, or about $9,000 per college year. This expense has increased 1,000% over the last decade. Americans are 'investing' an enormous amount of money in the education of our children. Is this a wise policy?," Bruce Walker at the American Thinker, 26 April 2010, link: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/04/rethinking_education.html.

Small classes. Wow. My old grammar school, PS 191, had 1,400 students in the late 1950s. It's website says it now has 276. I bet every one of them enters Harvard after high school, except those who decline the "H-Bomb" for: Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Chicago, MIT and Amherst. Sure. Shades of the Africentric Toronto school, my 12 October 2009 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2009/10/lake-wobegon-does-toronto.html.

Now its war story time. In 1994 I was doing accounting research in Cal State Northridge's (CSUN) library. Three young ladies (YL) came up to me. One said, "Mistah, can you help us learn about whales"? "Yes, young ladies. Which Wales?". The YL look confused. I asked, "The country or the sea mammal"? "The sea mammal". I took the YL to the "WH" card catalog drawer. In 1994 CSUN had a real card catalog! The YL do nothing. I write out w-h-a-l-e-s on a piece of paper and hand it to the YL. The YL do nothing. It now dawns on me the YL do not know the alphabet. I open the card drawer to whales and tell the YL they can find all the books they need now. Will someone tell me why these YL were in college?

Walker, the answer is no.


Anonymous said...

One of the ongoing themes in this blog is that certain students have lower IQs.

And spending above average resources ($$$ relative to other nations) won't improve their performance.

I read somewhere last week of a state or school system that had recognized that some students would do better being taught vocational skills and preparation for good paying jobs... let's go back that way... and restore home ec... so young women and men learn to cook healthy meals for themselves.

Most of the changes we need to move America to a better place are pretty small bore... but require "change"... it's not scary.

darkcloud said...

IA -

Great War Story. There are a lot of "Olivia Oblivias" walking around out there.

Keep 'em coming.

- - DC

Anonymous said...

Schoolgirl sweetie with a classy kinda sassy
Little skirt's climbin' way up the knee
There was three young ladies in the school gym locker
When I noticed they was lookin' at me
I was a high school loser, never made it with a lady
Till the boys told me somethin' I missed
Then my next door neighbor with a daughter had a favor
So I gave her just a little kiss
Like this!

my brain didn't get past the "three young ladies" part of the post.

Ubu said...

I divide intelligent from non-intelligent people according to whether they are aware of what a scam our education system has become, at every level, from primary all the way up to Harvard. It is impossible to be both perceptive and thoughtful and not notice that the word "education" has almost no value whatsoever in contemporary currency.

Independent Accountant said...

While in college I read a short story by Herbert Gold (HG). HG was then a professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. One of HG's students was Clotilde Adams (CA). CA demanded HG give her a B in her English class even though HG felt she barely earned a C. HG said CA had "the arrogance of stupidity". So it goes.


darkcloud said...


The "arrogance of stupidity". Definitely P/F material!

Here's another cool - tangential but related - cliche I stumbled upon yesterday:

"The celebration of another's confusion". Works for the fed, bernanke, the banks, the happy talkers, market euphoria - - the list is endless!