Monday, February 19, 2018

PBS Documentary about Cabrini Green

I found this documentary I saw on PBS very interesting.

It confirmed my belief that people outside a community often have a very distorted view of that community (BTW I normally hate the use of the word "community" these day but in this case it's the correct word to use).

If we want Government to help people we should just give them money, make a good environment for jobs to form and maybe provide adequate police protection and public goods. Other ideas often seem better than giving cash, like we should make sure that they buy food so we give food stamps,  but we don't know enough about other lives nor do we want to spend the time to find out for those to be better.

We see a place like Cabrini Green on the news when things go wrong there but we do not see the day to day living. the relationships etc.We end up with a distorted view of life there and we can do more harm than good.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Are US Schools Better than Schools in Europe

Counter to what the article says, I really do not believe that USA schools are better than schools in any other developed country, or worse for that matter, nor do I belive that PISA is a good measure of school quality but the linked article gives a little evidence of what I DO believe, that is as far as what they try to teach they are all about equally effective. Also there are very, very few bad schools in developed countries (an insignificant number).

Now I had some teachers incapable of controlling a class and some lazy teacher who it seemed where out of the class about 1/2 or the time but they seem to have little effect. (I had some very good teachers too.)

What makes a school look bad is a bad student body now why is a big question, but her is the article:

Tino Sanandaji
The amazing truth about PISA scores: USA beats Western Europe, ties with Asia.

I do believe that schools could get better but it would require more changing what they teach than the teaching quality and it would probably make PISA scores worse not better.

Do the USA bottom 10% Live Better that the German bottom 10%?

Tim Worstall on that subject:
Astonishing Numbers: America's Poor Still Live Better Than Most Of The Rest Of Humanity

Tim Worstall