Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Links for 10/20/09

In other words, freed from the dead hand of bureaucracy, schools can actually educate children. Even in a city that is poor, violent and recently submerged.
Thom Hartmann on the invention of grades.
While grades didn't help students a bit - and, in fact, had the now well-known effect of "dumbing down" entire nations - they vastly simplified the work of teachers and schools. So they spread across Europe and to America with startling speed, arriving here in the early 1800s.

Without grades, the assembly-line-classroom would not be possible.
Tim Harford
As long as patients have no way to demand better value instead of simply better quality, cost inflation seems inescapable.

[AG: he was speaking in terms of health care, but this seems equally applicable to education.]
Tim Ranzetta has a list of information that career colleges should have to provide (and students sign after receiving):
• Completion rates
• Placement rates
• Average starting wages upon completion (with high and low ranges, too)
• Average student debt at completion
• Accreditation of school and explanation of differences between national and regional
• Student loan default rates
• Student satisfaction levels based on one question: Would you recommend this institution's program to a friend?
• Job retention (did the student still have job 6-12 months after completion)

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