28 May 2010

Tech Ed

The O'Reilly publishers web site has some interesting discussions. I visited recently and found this one dealing with bettering education through "entrepreneurship". My BS radar went off, and I was moved to comment. Here it is:

Be careful here. For profit "educational" companies are regularly taken to court for over-hyping and under-delivering, although not nearly often enough. I worked for one, thankfully it was closed down. Education is inherently philanthropic, and for profit outfits are inherently evil. Mixing them yields the expected results.

As to the assertion that "tech" is what makes education more "efficient", keep track of the reviews of "charter schools"; most do no better than the "union dominated" public schools they displaced.

It isn't the "unions" that choose books and establish the curricula, it's the managers, often political hacks.

The alternative schools that do better are those which require the parents to engage. Fact is, if your parents are poor, stupid, and don't care; odds are you'll grow up the same. It is no fluke that Mississippi and the other members of the Southern Flank have been at the bottom of achievement; the Southern Flank is all about being poor and stupid and NASCAR and fishin' and huntin'.

I can recommend the thread. The author does have something provocative to say, even agreed with my comment (of course, who wouldn't?), and some of the comments are thoughtful.

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