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.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Why I will not vote for Clinton

We tend especially in the this election to see the other side as all bad or at least to paint them that way to others, but everyone is a mix of good and evil and Hillary Clinton has done some good things in her life. For example, she did some good pro bono legal work especially early in her career and she has contributed to charity.

She may be a kind person on a personal level, I have no way to know, but we differ on the following political issues.

She and the Democratic party are very pro-abortion to the point of wanting to force taxpayers to pay for abortions.  Here is democratic convention abortion speech that illustrates the current Democrat party position on abortion. They used to say "Safe legal and rare" now they seem to think of abortion as just another birth control method that should be funded by tax dollars.

She is very hawkish. She voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. She now claims that that vote was a mistake, yet having seen the chaos caused by that mistake, she evidently supported bombing Libya and sending arms to Syrian rebels! Now you might say, surely she now has learned a valuable lesson and will do nothing like that ever again but she says she wants to enforce a no-fly zone in Syria NOW!

She strongly supports the war on drugs and putting young men, temped by profits to sell drugs, into prison. What makes it worse is that she is an occasional partaker in a drug at least as bad as the worst, that is alcohol and has been known to even get drunk and be ill-tempered when in that state.

She is for further taxpayer subsidization college. Which seems like a simple attempt to buy the votes young people. The Federal Government only run the Military academies and they are already free to those who attend. The state schools are run by the states, so they are a state issue. The problem with college is that the universities are spending way more than they need to and are accepting many students that they know have low chance of succeeding in getting a degree. They are taking way to many students in the the humanities. Further you are subsidizing the people most capable of earning money. The college students will pay directly or through taxes for their schooling. I think directly is better because it motivates the student to economise more. I would like to see the Federal Government stop guaranteeing student loans.  That has made many problems worse.

She is promising to prevent people from buying and selling to and from they want in the that see attacks free trade.

Her position on immigration is absurd. It is that we should have laws that ban people from entering the US but it you manage to sneak in and remain undetected for 2 years you should be allowed to stay. Here is my post on immigration.

Her stated position on equal pay for the sexes ignores the facts that men and women are not exactly the same. Men and to work more, at rougher more dangerous jobs and also more competitive jobs. there are many other reasons that men earn more.

Healthcare is regulated at the state level and so paying for it at the federal level make for bad incentives for state lawmakers. Already the federal Government subsidies demand for healthcare even while the states limit supply. She wants to subsidise people and limit the amount that people pay for healthcare to some percent of their income, a very bad idea.

She supports forcing people to partake in wedding ceremonies that are against their religious beliefs.

I will just throw this in, she also seems to be somewhat of a compulsive liar, even more than most politicians, for example in the wikileaks dump it was shown that she told an audience in Brazil that she was for open boarders but in the debate she claimed that she was talking about energy and seemed to be that she just thought that up on the fly. A little thought would have told her that that would not fly.

I could go on but won't.