Friday, November 18, 2016

A Focus Change in Schooling

I think that we should take Arnold Kling's null Hypothesis in education and twin studies seriously. That it is very quixotic to attempt to accelerate improvement in education. (Some improvement will come due to learning more about how people learn.)

But even given that, we cannot get more out of our schools.

The way that schools are measured today is by PISA test, but maybe the PISA tests do not measure anything important. Maybe the PISA test and other tests like the SAT are too close to IQ tests to tell us much about schools.

If were true and we cannot teach children more what would you propose?  I would propse the following:

  • If we cannot teach them more, we should focus on teaching the skills that will have the most impact on the student's lives. How to live a good life. How to be a good citizen. How fix you car and home. How to not get scammed. How to live on less. Etc. Over 90% of people do not need to know math beyond some basic algebra.

  • Some focus on improving the schools for parents. Like put the schools in more convent places. Make the hours more convent for parents.

  • Spend less money. The per student cost of school has gone up close to three fold since the mid 1960's with no improvement in those tests we use to measure. It seems like administration costs have swollen over the years, I think would could do it for less even with the expanded hours, I propose.

I am sure that others can come up with other ideas if they adopt the null hypotheses.

And lets stop beating up on US schools, they are as good as schools in any country.

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