Tag Archives: education

on the non-unequivocal goodness of questioning authority

Look, friends. I’m far from a fan of authority, per se. On any given day there’s like a 30% chance that I will assent to full-on anarchism. But I need to discuss how annoying (and possibly pernicious) this “question authority” catchphrase truly is. The concept of authority is pretty closely tied up with that of […]

I don’t care about the original intent of value-added models

I’m taking a break from end-of-semester madness to offer this mini-rant, inspired by a passage in this WP article, “Leading mathematician debunks value-added“: When value-added models were first conceived, even their most ardent supporters cautioned about their use [Sanders 1995, abstract]. They were a new tool that allowed us to make sense of mountains of […]

have your college and eat it too: consuming education

Today, I want to make what, to my economics-ish friends, are probably some painfully obvious points. However, I had never explicitly considered this angle on college/education before taking economics of education last semester, and I suspect that it’s something many others of even my rather intelligent friends and colleagues have also failed to consider in […]

garbage can model of ed policy: random, unpredictable, or both?

Ok, so yesterday I tweeted this: Annoying: when people conflate the difference between random and merely unpredictable processes. It received a fair bit of attention. This is my attempt to explain the context. Please bear in mind that I am neither a statistician nor a scientist of any kind. These are just my reflections on […]

a state guaranteed education?

The first comments that struck me while reading Harry Brighouse‘s interesting article, “What’s Wrong With Privatising Education?,” were the following, made in response to some arguments made by James Tooley in favor of privatizing schools: “Tooley himself sometimes endorses a principle that we might call the ‘Adequacy Principle’, that everyone has a right to a sufficiently […]

tax credits for homeschooling: initial thoughts

As I wrote recently, I’m currently in an ed policy class and doing my first real series of policy docs. After much deliberation, I have decided to analyze the prospect of NYC providing tax credits (or some other form of compensation) to families who homeschool their children. Although, to my knowledge, there is no serious […]

semester roundup, fall 2010

Well, things sure have been busy the past couple of months. I’ve gotten off to a solid start in my new PhD program. Here’s a roundup of this semester’s activities, for posterity and just in case anyone is interested (hello, fellowship committee!): Economics of Education: This was a fantastic class. We learned about human capital […]

book review: Ivan Illich’s “Deschooling Society”

Ivan Illich‘s “Deschooling Society” is a classic in the alternative education scene, so I had been meaning to read it for ages and finally did. The book has seven shortish chapters, and is a pretty quick read. The first chapter, “Why We Must Disestablish School,” is very clearly the strongest one. Illich argues that institutionalized […]

book review: James Tooley’s “The Beautiful Tree”

I just finished James Tooley‘s “The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves,” which I had been meaning to read ever since it received some publicity from The Cato Institute upon their publishing it last year. Tooley is a lovely writer and an obviously thoughtful man, whose research in India, […]

on the non-normativity of value-added analysis

As you are likely to have heard by now, the Los Angeles Times recently conducted and published a value-added analysis of some of the city’s elementary school teachers, using data that had been collected by the school district but never previously analyzed in this way. There was a nice summary of the value-added analysis and […]