Of all the Trump conundra, "for now, only one thing remains certain: the candidate whom the Republican establishment most disliked has the greatest potential in a generation to stop the progressive project and enact the agendas that the Republican establishment most wants. And that paradox has become a source of both great wonderment—and fear." Victor Davis Hanson
A “retired educator” Mr Rich Howell contributed ‘Failures of Education’ to the 11mar17 Union which the newspaper printed right below Mr Sauer’s piece (here) on the op-ed page. Howell loses no time in taking Sauer to task opining that "unwittingly, Mr. Sauer makes a different case for the failures of education than he intends. Had we, as educators, done better when Mr. Sauer was in school, he would have documented his "facts" and separated them from his biases.” Apparently Howell is responding to Sauer’s 7feb17 commentary ‘The Democrats are blocking the way to make education great’ (here).
I strongly recommend reading Mr Howell and keeping in mind his introductory admonition to consider his contribution as that from a former educator who still claims some considerable residue as a domain expert in the field. That the man is in fact a deficiently launched and sadly closeted intellect becomes clear as one penetrates the brambles of his prose while trying to apprehend his logic which is more elusive to pursue than Carroll’s ever-late White Rabbit. The man is apparently unaware that commentaries are formatted with an intermingling of ‘facts’ and opinions. They are not like news reports, and most certainly not like academic papers where indeed facts are cited, but in neither case are they separated from the authors opinions (“biases”).
As an example of Howell’s logic consider, “It is not poverty, per se, that makes inner city schools inferior. Anyone who has paid any attention at all to educational statistics for the past century knows that achievement scores follow socioeconomic lines.” It is amazing that he destroys the thesis of his first sentence with the one that immediately follows, and then blithely goes on to demonstrate that his professional labors took place in world that did nothing to contribute to our country’s deplorable placement on the world’s academic achievement scale. There is much more wonderment in the man’s contribution wherein he neither recognizes nor ‘separates’ his own biases from the very doubtful and unattributed ‘facts’ that are marbled into his screed. I’m sure Mr Sauer will have a thing or two to say in his own defense. In the meantime, please read and rejoice that Mr Howell is retired.
The eleventh sitting for the annual TechTest will take place 9am-1pm on 1 April 2017 in the NUHS Science Lecture Hall. I was informed this morning by the NUJHSD that someone in our community has started the nefarious rumor that TT2017 had been cancelled. To correct this misinformation NUJHSD's Ms Barbara Ross, TT Academic Chair, did a considerable amount of phoning and emailing to the county’s high schools to debunk the rumor and set the record straight. Over the years there has been a constant cry from our Left denigrating this merit scholarship exam as being ideologically incorrect, for no apparent reason other than that I am the test author and hold the annual seminars which precede the exam. For the record the first of these seminars took place this morning at the test venue, and the second one will be held there next Saturday (18 March) from 10am to noon. The ideological content of all past exams may be inspected at the SESF website (sesfoundation.org). It takes some pretty sick puppies out there to attempt to deny STEM oriented kids an opportunity to earn scholarships through demonstrating their academic acumen.
[12mar17 update] New York scraps teacher literacy test, the bar is again lowered to guarantee that the state’s children will be taught from the bottom of the barrel (more here). The NY Post pointedly asks (here) ‘Will New York open the door to teachers who can’t read?’. The obvious answer imposed by the teachers unions is a resounding YES. For the sake of diversity and to correct quota shortfalls, schools must now also employ the marginally literate, to be made up mostly of blacks and Hispanics. As most adults and almost all parents know, those government employee unions have been the bane of public education for the last two generations, and have now ensconced legions of classroom teachers whose main talents consist of reliable voting behavior and timely payment of union dues. However, such policy decisions are supported by their member minions (perversely called ‘educators’) across the country, including retired ones like our Mr Rich Howell above, who insure that the government at all levels remains the employer of last resort, demanding only that the successfully succored supplicants reliably vote for the Left’s agenda. In short, the kids be damned, because the public schools must first serve a higher political purpose.
[13mar17 update] Re the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
- Obamacare will collapse because its costs are soaring and its supplier base is diminishing due to the stifling market environment in which it must operate.
- 24M Americans will NOT “lose” healthcare by 2026. Some number like that may represent those who will not buy healthcare because they will no longer be forced to buy it.
- The price of healthcare under a more distributed market-driven law will go down just like that of any other product or service whose supply goes up while the costs of delivering it go down due to decreased regulations and increased competition. To argue otherwise is to ignore the economic history of the world.
- Given the abysmal record of both the OMB and the CBO, no one should allow their predictions to impact the making of public policy.
[14mar17 update] Socialism on parade. Here is a video that compares the attitude of double dummy Americans speaking about socialism with what life is really like under socialism in Venezuela. H/T to reader and correspondent.
And now we’re all up in arms about Rep James King’s tweet in praise of Holland’s Geert Wilders, “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” King was clearly talking about the threat to Europe’s cultures posed by hordes of unassimilating migrants, and as he repeatedly emphasized, not about rejecting assimilating immigrants of any race who come to share in our mores and values. (more here) His drawing attention to such tautological sentiments, as borne out many times in history, was immediately and understandably pounced on by our ‘America last’ socialist contingent. But what really illustrates our dissolution is the many chickenshit Republicans who leaped on the same bandwagon to denounce King. What kind of rock ape do you have to be to deny that a country’s culture and demographics are the central drivers of a country’s destiny?