Friday, June 19, 2020

Are the News Media Trying to Compete with Comedians?

I ain't just fox news that is a reality TV show.

A black woman "journalist", Dorothy Tucker on, on the PBS NewsHour said:

But, on the other side of the brain, I'm thinking of my 28-year-old son, who was traveling from Atlanta to Chicago driving, and praying the entire time that he arrives home safely, that he doesn't get stopped by a police officer, that something doesn't happen to him when he stops at a rest stop.

And Judy Woodruff, doing the interview, did not push back at all. Maybe Woodruff didn't want to be mean but Dorothy Tucker is supposed to be a journalist. John McWhorter seems to believe people like Dorothy Tucker are lying, I'm not so sure but as a journalist you shouldn't be either lying or so far off in knowing the relavent statistics.

As Glenn Loury quipped, and I paraphrase, she better not let her son go outside he might get struck by lightning.

The PBS NewsHour is Government funded reality TV show.

We live in hilarious times. We don't even need comedians.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Diane Ravitch on Schooling

Econ talk had an interesting discussion on charter schools here.
My response.
I used to believe that vouchers could improve test scores but the data came in and it seems like Diane Ravitch is correct that vouchers and charter schools do not raise test scores. I do though think it's possible that tutoring or direct instruction could improve test scores but for the most part I think it is an intractable problem. We should admit that
But I disagree with Diane Ravitch on:
  1. It is NOT true that 1 in 5 US children LIVE is poverty.  1 in 5 US children live in families whose market income before taxes and transfers is below the federal poverty level. NIMBY is a problem in some places though.
  2. A Rational Argument Could Made that the USA has Best Education in the World and Florida has the Best Education in the USA
  3. What we in the developed world call poverty is almost irrelevant to how well children do in school. It looks like it is relevant because parents' ability in school correlates with income but the children of very low income parents who did well in school do fine. For example, the children of poor grad students do great at school, as do the children of very low income Hasidic Jews. Taking a vow of poverty will not make your children do bad in school.
So IMO we should:
  1. Since we seem unable to teach children more, put more effort into finding out what are the most valuable things we should teach and teach more of that and less of other things.
  2. Cut the overhead to save money and let principles and teachers run the schools.
  3. Force more direct instruction on the schools and teachers
  4. Experiment with older student and volunteers tutoring younger students and teach doing more tutoring.
Realize that a school system the spends less for the same results is doing better.
Realize that there are only an insignificant number of bad schools in the developed countries (that does not mean they can't still get better). What we call bad schools are schools that have bad average students.