January 18th, 2007

HALO

This book is full of death and win.

Work, not so much, and that's a good thing.
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Today's been full of work, lots of cutting and pasting and e-mailing and replying to e-mails, but things have finally slacked off. Thank God. My trackball hand is starting to ache a little.
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The system is down.

The educational system, that is. The topic of the public schools (epic fail) and the dysfunctional mindset that pushes people to go to four-year schools and get a degree, any degree, is a familiar one here. However, since the damn horse is still staggering around, constantly demanding more feed so it can generate more piles of crap, consider these essays by Charles Murray:

Intelligence in the classroom. Some men you just can't reach; this is one criticism of NCLB that I agree with.

What's Wrong With Vocational School? Nothing, but a high-school guidance counselor won't tell you that.

Aztecs v. Greeks Murray argues for a return to classical education for the gifted. If nothing else, it'll teach them some badly-needed humility.

(h/t Spook86)

UPDATE: Joanne Jacobs isn't sold on the link between IQ and ability to learn, and she's right. I had a horrible time with algebra in junior and senior high, but these days it's easy for me; by the same token, Murray's argument that an average student (IQ 100) can't master Econ 101 is bushwah. They're probably not going to get their head around it as quickly as somebody with an IQ of 150, but the thing to remember is that the IQ test measures precisely the kind of skills suited to bureaucratic operations (reading, writing, analysis, math, logic) and is not an overall measure of how smart someone is. We all know people like this - they don't read much, but their mechanical and related problem-solving skills make the rest of us look like we have ten thumbs. Stupid, they're not.

Also, Mitch (Berg) on Mitch (Pearlstein) regarding the case for vouchers and the forces that are stacked up against them.