Friday, October 30, 2009

Links for 10/30/09

Paul Basken
For as long as most people can remember, at least as far back as the Sputnik launch in 1957, Americans have feared that their nation's schools and colleges weren't giving companies enough good scientists and engineers.

But in fact the number of talented college graduates in the sciences is "quite in excess of the demand," said Harold Salzman, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University. In a new paper, he and a colleague argue that the real problem is at the employment end of the pipeline.
Fewer than half of all college graduates in science and engineering actually take jobs in those fields, with the percentage who do actually dropping in more-recent years among the top-scoring students. The United States could largely resolve any industry shortfalls by simply convincing more of those elite graduates just to stay in their field, they say.
George Soros
papers that don’t conform to the prevailing dogma are not accepted by the periodicals which are used to give tenure. So there is a self-perpetuating quality about … I think reality will push its way in, in the form of the students who will not want to study a dogma whose time has passed. It’s like a little bit like Marxist dogma. The collapse of the Soviet Union did not bring an end to Marxism. There are still Marxists at universities, maybe more in Europe than in America, and eventually they’ll die out, but until then, they will be there. But they may not have any students listening to them.
Andy Smarick
Looking back on the history of school turnaround efforts, the first and most important lesson is the “Law of Incessant Inertia.” Once persistently low performing, the majority of schools will remain low performing despite being acted upon in innumerable ways…

The second important lesson is the “Law of Ongoing Ignorance.” Despite years of experience and great expenditures of time, money, and energy, we still lack basic information about which tactics will make a struggling school excellent…
Zubin Jelveh on Hoxby's new paper:
the change in selectivity is driven largely by smarter students choosing to go to universities with similarly smart students.
Ninety-four percent of college professors believe they are above average teachers

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