Thursday, June 25, 2015


Friday Fragments

The kids’ school year finally ended this week.  They’re leaving Agawam in style; The Boy won “Most Likely to be President of the United States,” as well as top student in science.  The Girl won “Outstanding Achievement in Reading,” as well as another recognition of her science fair project.

We aren’t completely sure yet which NJ school district will get them, but if they were free agents in baseball, I’d expect a bidding war.  The school that gets them will be lucky to have them.  And yes, I’m biased, but they’re handling the move with uncommon grace.  Here’s hoping that remains true...


Apparently, Americans rate the quality of education at two-year colleges as comparable to that at four-year colleges.

Sounds to me like an argument for seamless transfer…


According to a study published at Project Muse, Algebra II does not independently affect college degree attainment.  It’s a proxy for self-selection.


Say what you will about Taylor Swift, but the argument she made to Apple was correct.  

I’m consistently impressed at just how good she is at being a pop star.  She plays the game like she invented it.  Well done, Taylor.


My browser is spying on me?  Creeeeeepy.  

You’d think this would be a bigger story.  


You know that feeling when you read something that makes the argument you’ve been carrying around in your head, but fills in the gaps and takes it farther than you have?

I’m reading Rise of the Robots, by Martin Ford, and it’s creeping me out.  It’s about the increasingly rapid advance of labor-saving technology, and its increasing effects on middle-class employment.  Bluntly, Ford argues that as technology gets more sophisticated, the jobs it will displace will be progressively higher on the skill ladder.  Worse, the jobs created are far fewer than the jobs lost.  As more labor is displaced by machinery, the economic rewards will flow disproportionately to the owners of the machines.

I’ll take a crack at a full review when I’m finished, but I’ve already had several readerly moments of “deja vu” in which Ford completes thoughts I’ve been unwilling to complete.  

You know you’ve crossed a certain threshold of “policy nerd” when a dense, nonfiction piece of political economy is your version of a summer page-turner.  Alas...

Some professional photographers take exception to the contracts they have to sign to take photographs of Taylor Swift. Appears her management (if not TS herself) is just as guilty of exploiting other artists.
I found it interesting that those who were most likely to have exposure to a community college and/or a bad 4-year experience, those with "some college", liked them the best. People with a post-grad degree are probably least likely to know what goes on in a CC, so no surprise there.

The marketing problem is that those with the least education see them as inferior. There is a story that is not being told.

And you should be creeped out by "Rise of the Robots". Read "Player Piano" from the point of view of someone who used to be doing legal research.
Web browsing has been tracking searches for a long time. I don't recall when I first learned about this linke about interests for ads, which resolves to a per-computer personalized site.
I'm skim reading "Visible Learning" by John Hattie (who synthesized about 800 meta-analyses on k-12 education). Looking at mobility (page 81) he quoted a study that said that whenever there is a transition in schooling, a key factor for success was the child making a friend in the first month of school.
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