13 May 2010

education is music

And that's why it sucks

Schools in Massachusetts and Minnesota (public schools even), for example, score about as well as Finland. Well, not quite, but at least in the top 5, much better than the rest of the country. I'm not sure why. I'll have to look up why. Remind me.

Factory models that try to have a wide audience don't seem to work in a flat economy with a wider audience. They can work when there are lots of ways to get in or out of a market (choice), which is why Wal-Mart works (and partly why GM hasn't). I think this is also why our colleges tend to be well-regarded. This model won't work so well when there is a captured market, which is why our lower schools are terrible. See the scores on reading or math for 8th grade public NYC teachers for merely getting one year's growth for students (ie: the job they were supposedly doing all year). 12%? What the hell is going on in the other 88% of classrooms? Choice for parents is already a partial option. And it's typically the one we see held up by "school choice advocates" (I consider this a misnomer for the American variety, they're usually more interested in subsidizing their own choices and not others, with the possible exception of poor people trapped in crappy urban public schools, ie minorities). Choice for students hasn't been held up very often as the ideal. It should be. (Been a while since I've had cause to go back to that.)

Speaking of music.
Pandora is highly recommended. Except I don't tend, anymore anyway, to look at the supposed musical characteristics of my likes and dislikes. I just accede to getting a boatload of older jazz music and even older classical music alongside other things. I suspect, unlike those radio surveys where people lie to say they are listening to "culture", I'm actually listening to more classical or jazz music because of this.
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