Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Some Links

with 2 comments

* There’s lots of chatter about the Affordable Care Act on my innertubes today, ranging from arguments towards its (obvious) constitutionality and against its supposed unprecedentedness to another at TPM that notes the end of an asserted national consensus about the desirability of universal health care as such to still another that rallies ’round the Affordable Care Act the Ezra Klein Way.

* Dissent tackles the education-industrial complex. Via Open Left.

Every day, dozens of reporters and bloggers cover the Big Three’s reform campaign, but critical in-depth investigations have been scarce (for reasons I’ll explain further on). Meanwhile, evidence is mounting that the reforms are not working. Stanford University’s 2009 study of charter schools—the most comprehensive ever done—concluded that 83 percent of them perform either worse or no better than traditional public schools; a 2010 Vanderbilt University study showed definitively that merit pay for teachers does not produce higher test scores for students; a National Research Council report confirmed multiple studies that show standardized test scores do not measure student learning adequately. Gates and Broad helped to shape and fund two of the nation’s most extensive and aggressive school reform programs—in Chicago and New York City—but neither has produced credible improvement in student performance after years of experimentation.

To justify their campaign, ed reformers repeat, mantra-like, that U.S. students are trailing far behind their peers in other nations, that U.S. public schools are failing. The claims are specious. Two of the three major international tests—the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study and the Trends in International Math and Science Study—break down student scores according to the poverty rate in each school. The tests are given every five years. The most recent results (2006) showed the following: students in U.S. schools where the poverty rate was less than 10 percent ranked first in reading, first in science, and third in math. When the poverty rate was 10 percent to 25 percent, U.S. students still ranked first in reading and science. But as the poverty rate rose still higher, students ranked lower and lower. Twenty percent of all U.S. schools have poverty rates over 75 percent. The average ranking of American students reflects this. The problem is not public schools; it is poverty. And as dozens of studies have shown, the gap in cognitive, physical, and social development between children in poverty and middle-class children is set by age three.

* The headline reads, “Scientists warn California could be struck by winter ‘superstorm.’”

* “It reaches into virtually every corner of our media and digital landscapes and will affect every citizen in the land,” he said. “It is new media as well as old; it is news and information as well as sports and entertainment; it is distribution as well as content. And it confers too much power in one company’s hands.” The FCC has approved the Comcast/NBC Universal merger.

* And a quick TAPPED post points out something commentators on the changing demographics of the United States frequently forget:

Hispanics — like Italians and Irish before them — are on the path to becoming “white,” and as intermarriage rates increase — and the racial divide moves from white/black to non-black/black — odds are good that the children of these unions will be perceived as white. In 2050, the United States won’t be majority-minority as much as it will be a place where a nice portion of the majority has Latino heritage…

2 Responses

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  1. “The FCC has approved the Comcast/NBC Universal merger”

    Well, the Internet was fun while it lasted.

    Alex

    January 18, 2011 at 7:21 pm

  2. […] As predicted, Hispanics are becoming white. Share this:EmailFacebookDiggRedditStumbleUponMoreTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


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