Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Links for 8/17/10

Dancing Crocodile
In The Netherlands general secondary education is dominated by the national exam with which students conclude their school career. I wouldn't have it otherwise.

The results for the exam are proof of the student's level per subject, regardless the school where he has studied. The results of all students per school give relevant information about the school's efficacy. And I have to accept that the results of my students at the national exam for my subject gauge the quality of my teaching…

our national exam definitely makes the teacher accountable for intellectual attainment measured with a yardstick that is not homespun.

I do not trust teachers, nor schools, for that matter, to devise their own goals and have them decide which level is sufficient. I would not entrust myself with such responsibility.

I have to deliver the goods and services that society needs. School is not a playground in which we are given leeway to implement our best intentions for the benefit of other people's children. Education at school is an essential part of the real world.
That it took them three years to finally oust him is telling.

All I can say is : it must have been egregious.

I say this because I know of data-faking scandals that have been successfully hushed up in top departments, and of professors who have had journal articles retracted only to go on to successfully win tenure. (Some departments refuse to ‘sell out’ their professors, no matter how slipshod their research practices). Which makes Harvard’s decision to turn its back on Hauser all the more — shocking? insane? revelatory? smacking of ethics, even?
Steven Pearlstein
The problem with this argument is that it's made by people who have resisted the introduction of objective metrics to gauge educational outcomes. Because there is so little use of nationalized tests of knowledge or skills, it is not possible to know what, if anything, is actually learned. For most schools, there is no place to find clear and comprehensive data about completion rates, the pay and debt load of graduates, and the sources and uses of funds...
Bryan Caplan with the best one sentence explanation of the signaling theory.
Which would do more for your career: A Princeton education, but no diploma, or a Princeton diploma, but no education?

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