Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Links for 8/18/10

Jay P. Greene
It’s no longer possible to hide the fact that there are some awful teachers who continue receiving paychecks and depriving kids of an education. School officials have had these data for years and never used them, never tried to identify who were the best and worst teachers, and never tried to remove bad teachers from the profession. It took a newspaper and a big FOI request…

It’s also worth emphasizing that this new reality is a huge accomplishment of No Child Left Behind. The accountability and choice provisions of NCLB could never work because school systems could never be asked to sanction themselves. But the one big thing that NCLB accomplished is getting every public school to measure student achievement in grades 3-8 and report results. NCLB made it so that these data exist so that the LA Times could FOI the results and push schools to act upon it. NCLB could never get schools to take real action, but the existence of the data could get others to force schools to act.
Philip Babcock
Declining study times mean that the return to college has risen more than previously thought. This could simply mean, for example, that the effect of skill-biased technical change is larger than previously thought, so that even more modest increases in human capital now generate significant wage gains.

In fact, it’s actually rather difficult to extract from a “wasteful signaling” argument any clear explanation for the rising return to college. Tough questions arise. If it is now much easier to acquire this signal, then why is it rewarded more?...
Bryan Caplan
If studying sharply declines, and the labor market doesn't care, this raises the probability that something other than straightforward human capital acquisition is at work.
Joanne Jacobs
Lewis was laid off by her own mother

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