David Thompson
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April 27, 2018

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[+]

Another open thread. :-)

It’s inconceivable that college administrators are unaware that they are admitting students who are ill-prepared and cannot perform at the college level.”

Related... 'Cry Closet' installed at University of Utah.

https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/44374/

David

Another open thread. :-)

Goddammit.

David

Outstanding US student debt still at $1 trillion.

And if you missed it in the previous thread, No Safe Spaces.

The Phantom

As with anything else, if you make a huge pile of money, people with sticky fingers will start hanging around it. Education is exactly that. A huge pile of money, paid out to anyone who shows up with a smooth line of bullshit.

That's why 38% of Black high school students are "college ready" in the first place. Trade unionists stealing money from the public school system.

Jen

"On April 4, documents obtained by a group suing Harvard University demonstrated that the university’s admissions process has been discriminating against Asian applicants for decades. As discussed in a complaint filed by 64 Asian-American organizations in 2015, affirmative action requires the SAT scores of Asian applicants to be hundreds of points higher than applicants from other ethnic backgrounds. It has reached a point where mixed-raced Asian applicants will choose to hide their Asian heritage when they apply to Ivy League schools."

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-discrimination-in-the-name-of-campus-diversity-is-not-acceptable/

But 'diversity' is all about fairness, they say...

John D

A member of the pro-abortion club at the University of Minnesota-Duluth compared pro-life students to white supremacists during an open mic event last week.

Margaret Sanger could not be reached for comment. Don't they teach history at UMD?

David

Margaret Sanger could not be reached for comment.

Well, indeed. But Mr Manzer, our woke poet, somehow manages to frame opposition to the killing of unborn babies - a hugely disproportionate number of which are black babies - as a sign of “white supremacy.”

Pogonip

Hey, if you shelled $X0,000.00 for college and came out illiterate, you’d need a cry closet too!

Hal

Outstanding US student debt still at $1 trillion.

There's a quantity of that sort of thing going around.

David Lightman

Priorities: NPR: "Study: Colleges That Ditch the SAT and ACT Can Enhance Diversity"

ComputerLabRat

Priorities: NPR: "Study: Colleges That Ditch the SAT and ACT Can Enhance Diversity"

Well of course. Take away any semblance of standard for ability and only admit based on color, and viola! Diversity! Academic standards and standards of discipline have already been lowered or removed at the high school level - can't expect the poor dears to pass college entrance exams, now can we.

That study is actually quite racist when you think on it. They are in effect saying black people are too stupid to pass tests. And Charles Murray is the evil one. Go figure.

Darleen

Why we can't post nice things.

R. Sherman

Regarding the Lee and Williams links, it was inevitable that entrance and graduation standards would be lowered, inasmuch as there too many colleges and post secondary educational institutions which were either formed or expanded to accommodate the demand created by the baby boom. Now, there are too many such institutions chasing too few students. In a normal world, the supply would adjust to diminished demand, but in our reality the government decided to guarantee loans to anyone to attend, thereby creating an artificial demand, with the not-salutary effect of raising the cost of attendance into the stratosphere. The end result is people with M.A.s in Grievance Studies schlepping coffee.

Related.

Darleen

Now, there are too many such institutions chasing too few students.

Oh look... NPR catches up what Mike Rowe has been saying for about 10 years.

Daniel Ream

My alma mater demonstrates why I don't give them any money.

R. Sherman

Also regarding the diversity hustle in higher education, we need to remember that diversity admissions tend to take up the majority of "scholarship/grant" resources leaving middle class students--who probably are prepared for post secondary education) and their parents to finance their education with the aforementioned loans. What this means is that the students who are not prepared wind up being subsidized by the rest at ever increasing amounts of money which go into the pockets of the "elite" left wing intelligentsia and the middle class gets bankrupted. So it's a "win-win-win" for the left. Minorities remain on the plantation, the petite bourgeoisie are destroyed and the Progressive Leftist Elite grows fat and more insulated in the process.

PiperPaul

Sorry.

Hopp Singg

The end result is people with M.A.s in Grievance Studies schlepping coffee.

The system works!

Chester Draws

There's a few context details that need to be entered into this discussion. I'm not arguing that the US system of schooling is great, but it doesn't deserve some of the slurs.

There's a strong strand in US politics to denigrate public schooling. Not to fix it, but to destroy it via Charter schools.

Now I am not opposed to all such ideas (academies in the UK seem to work) but the US system is hugely flawed. The charters are more progressive in many ways, which isn't helpful, but most importantly they are for profit. That means they cut corners. Cheaper staff = less trained. Larger classes. Excluding difficult kids etc. They have raised standards either, because raising standards is irrelevant to profit.

I don't mind private schools, and I've worked in a couple of good ones, but for-profit schooling doesn't work. Good schools have their eyes on student attainment, not the bottom line.

Part of denigrating public schooling is to take a crazy literacy test, done on the cheap like all US testing, and use that as a basis for "college ready". Such a test would get close to flying in most countries. It doesn't measure college readiness at all. Quite apart from it not really testing literacy, what bearing does literacy have on getting a CompSci or Music degree? It's a stick to beat opponents with.

In practice lots of students who get very good degrees in hard subjects failed that "college ready" test.

If you want to actually look at US performance then PISA is a far better judge. (It's still not great, of course, but it doesn't paint the same desperate picture.)

I'm opposed to so many people going to college to do useless degrees, but let's not use the terrible basis of pathetically bad "college ready" testing to make that judgement.

Also, the blame is more on employers than colleges. If they made it clear that they won't pay extra for degrees then no-one would get one.

Also politicians for making it difficult to employ a person as a trainee, because once employed they can't be sacked if useless. Allowing workplaces to have trainee programs, where you are paid a low wage but earn a useful skill would be a massive start. The crazy thing is that they permit internships, which only the wealthy can afford, which are worse.

Chester Draws

Sorry, charters *haven't* raised standards.

If they had there would be no need to beat the "public school is failing" drum. You could simply point out that Charters were getting better results with denigrating public schools.

Charters haven't raised standards in NZ either. But since they are all horrendously progressive here, that's no surprise.

Chester Draws

My previous post seems to have disappeared David.

David

My previous post seems to have disappeared David.

Liberated from spam filter.

David

Racially “alienating” shampoo discovered.

Richard Cranium
Also, the blame is more on employers than colleges. If they made it clear that they won't pay extra for degrees then no-one would get one.

Many moons ago, employers would have used an IQ test instead of a degree to screen people.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

There's a strong strand in US politics to denigrate public [sic] schooling. Not to fix it, but to destroy it via Charter schools.

Why shouldn't they? We should people accept the idea that government-sector (not public sector) monopolies are somehow virtuous and sacrosanct?

David

If anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, email me and I’ll rattle the spam filter.

Darleen

but most importantly they are for profit. That means they cut corners

With all due respect, private-for-profit cannot come close to cutting corners and wasting money like gubmint skools.

champ

Oh, my...

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/699175/masturbation-classes-german-university-female-students-bielefeld

R. Sherman

...but most importantly they are for profit. That means they cut corners...

I'm not sure what that means. Reducing costs does not necessarily mean a reduction in quality. And while profit has a relationship to costs, it also has a relationship to quality. A for-profit concern has as much, if not more, incentive to maintain or increase the quality of its product in comparison to its competitors than it has incentive to cut costs. This is especially true where the for-profit entity does not have a basket of captive consumers of its product, which exists because of a government which imposes a legal requirement that parents educate their children and then provides the education through coercive taxation.

Further, your assertion presupposes that 100% of the "income" of public schools is spent on value to the students and that there is no waste or other inefficiencies in the system, not to mention graft and featherbedding. As Darleen suggests above, the examples of same in any government sponsored and funded endeavor are legion.

WTP

Reducing costs does not necessarily mean a reduction in quality

Except in education, who’s the customer? Who truly cares about the quality? The student? The parent? The government? Industry? All have, or should have, concerns but unless the student owns it, not gonna happen. And very often the student doesn’t care, mostly because he’s too immature to make a quality judgement. I say this as a one-time fifth grader whose teacher did next to nothing all day but drink his coffee and read his newspaper. There was no quality control until it was too late.

champ

More insanity from US Colleges...

https://pjmedia.com/trending/university-of-texas-to-treat-masculinity-as-a-mental-health-issue/

R. Sherman

Clearly, the parents are the customer. They pay for the product either by moving to a specific school district and paying its taxes or by sending their kids to a private school or by homeschooling. I admit, I assume most parents want some value for their educational dollar, but certainly many do not care. The identity of the "market" for any service business--and that's what education ultimately is--is irrelevant to my arguments above however.

Now, there may be different markets within the educational industry, just as there are different markets for Ferraris and Fords. But that doesn't invalidate my points either. Consumers will be seeking the highest quality for the lowest cost within a given set of price points.

Darleen

All have, or should have, concerns but unless the student owns it and parents have the right to vote with their feet & wallet, not gonna happen.

FTFY

WTP

But the parents aren’t there every day. Yes, many don’t care but many who do won’t know that there’s a problem until it’s too late. My parents never knew I was wasting time in 5th grade, and they cared. A great deal. The problem didn’t manifest itself until a year or so later.

R.Sherman

But the parents aren’t there every day.

So stipulated. So what? What the kid does with the opportunity or how attentive the parents are is, again, irrelevant to the argument that a reduction in costs in pursuit of profit does not necessarily translate into "cutting corners" (Chester's term) which is ambiguous, but which I interpreted as reducing quality of the product. Providers of shoddy products will ultimately lose because word will get out and consumers will seek a different provider.

WTP

It’s irrelevant to the argument, it’s not irrelevant to the economics. You’re thinking logically, like a lawyer. Not realistically like..well I was gonna say an economist, but given what most economists think how stupid would that be? Like reality. Look, I don’t like making arguments based on...well for lack of a better wird right now... emotions and such but that’s the real world. Limited resources, limited time, emotions will drive and people will make decisions that are significantly suboptimal. Not necessarily because they are stupid but because that’s the dregs of decision making. Thus you end up with an economic reality that is in significant conflict with rational thought.

I realize the above is way off the track of much of this and I reserve the opportunity to clarify later...possibly when I’m a bit more sober, but the gist is the economics is blurred by the claasical perspective of a customer/supplier relationship that does not apply as cleanly as we would like to education. There’s a similar problem in regard to healthcare. Not that healthcare and education themselves are similar but in that they both diverge significantly from the standard economics.

Spiny Norman

[ hoping this thread hasn't died yet ]

I saw something disturbing and heart-wrenching on Twitter today:

https://twitter.com/RealJamesWoods/status/990251746977923072

This reply places a fairly famous news photo in an entirely different realm:

https://twitter.com/dmully74/status/990258272941871105

Yeah, as another tweet suggested, the "Free Hugs" kid wasn't giving them, he was getting them.

They still haven't found his body.

Spiny Norman

This photo:

postimg.org

R. Sherman

There’s a similar problem in regard to healthcare. Not that healthcare and education themselves are similar but in that they both diverge significantly from the standard economics.

That is only because people with guns, i.e. the government, have artificially created conditions, without which the normal machinations of "economics," i.e. human nature applied to one's wallet, are not allowed to operate. This is precisely why people dislike public education and seek alternatives to it: because there perverse incentives, economic and otherwise, to providing a quality product, i.e. a well-educated student.

Chester's assertion was that allowing a normal market economy--in which profit is the motive for providing a good or service--to take over education would lead to poor quality outcomes, i.e. "cutting corners." That assertion was made without evidence and without acknowledging that reducing the costs of production may stem from a multitude of considerations (eliminating waste and inefficiencies) and not just from a desire to increase profit. The argument further implies without stating it directly, that there's something "dirty" about profit. And that's the same implication Leftists make in the health care debate.

In any event, your assertion regarding the identity of the "customer" still has no bearing on whether for-profit entities necessarily "cut corners" whatever that means, thereby sacrificing quality of the educational product, which was the issue in Chester's comment that I contested.

Chester Draws

People are very welcome to argue that for-profit schooling will be better. They do however have to come up with some evidence that the practice matches the theory. Most of their fans use the "private is always better than state", but avoid looking at the specific problems of education.

Remember I have no moral beef with US Charters. My issue is only that they don't work.

It's perfectly legal in many countries to set up a profit making school outside the state school system. Yet people don't, in general, because they tend to fail.

Despite all the assertions of "waste" in public schooling this is a lie. Schools may direct funds in a poor manner, but no system is so flush that it can waste them. I've seen the reverse, in fact -- the private schools spend more outside the classroom because they think that attracts parents. More money was wasted at the private schools than at the state schools I have been at. (An awful lot of effort is put into keeping parents happy at private schools, and it tends to become a focus for management. That takes away from educating. Fortunately because they have good staff, the teaching goes on anyway.)

In fact to make a profit on investment we know that some corners have to be cut somewhere. Since staff wages are so much of a school's budget, most of the cuts come from there. You don't get better teachers by paying less. Again, private schools tend to pay more to get better teachers.

To get a for profit to teach better it somehow has to magically pay the same staff salaries, have the same facilities and yet squeeze out a decent profit. That simply isn't possible.

I've no beef with non-state education.

But I want to see hard evidence where profit making schools outperform non-profit before I see any benefit in them at all.

The "for profits can sack bad teachers" line doesn't work. Schools know who the bad teachers are, and always want to sack them. Always. No school wants useless teachers.

They don't because of constraints of employment law and the difficulty of getting replacements. Private schools are not magically free of either of these constraints. Non-profits can ameliorate the second by paying more.

Non-state sometimes are less unionised, which can ameliorate the first to a small degree. But again non-profit will actually find it easier because they are perceived as less money driven.

R. Sherman

@Spiny

It's an horrific story on many different levels, though I'm not sure that the social justice angle is the most pertinent, though it may have some bearing on what occurred. My opinions are informed with being involved in these sorts of cases early in my career wherein I represented kids, birth parents, adoptive parents, foster parents and adoption agencies in various proceedings, the first two categories by court appointment normally.

These kids were all "special needs" having come from devastating backgrounds and having been in long term foster care. Several were siblings. All of these things make adoption extremely difficult as there are not enough adoptive parents willing to take on that challenge. (There are government subsidies for such parents, but the amounts seldom meet the monthly counseling and remedial education needs for these kids, not to mention the rest of the normal expenditures which come with child-rearing.) It's quite possible that the women involved here skated through the process, but my gut instinct tells me it was because they demonstrated a willingness to adopt these kids and not because of the SJW boxes they checked off.

Once they had the kids, they relocated frequently enough to avoid ever greater scrutiny and avoid having substantiated records of contacts with children services workers. Further, there is no central repository for records of such contacts in any event. That's what makes moving among multiple state jurisdictions an advisable strategy for those parents with something to hide. (It's also a tip-off to problems, but alas, that behavior is only discovered after-the-fact.)

Finally, the kids were of an age where they had the ability to help themselves. Sadly, it appears when they had that chance, they were equivocal in their communications with authorities. In hindsight, that's easy to understand. These kids were so damaged, they probably feared returning to the unknowns of long-term foster placement and preferred the nominal "stability" of their adoptive home. This would be especially true for those of the six that were siblings. Undoubtedly, they feared being separated.

As I said, it's an horrific case, but the warning signs, so evident now in hindsight when viewed together, were not so easily visible in real time spanning months and multiple jurisdictions.

Spiny Norman

These kids were all "special needs" having come from devastating backgrounds and having been in long term foster care.

Thanks for your insight. This makes it even more tragic, if that were possible.

R. Sherman

This makes it even more tragic, if that were possible.

Quite.

I should add, there are many good, decent and loving people who take on these sorts of challenges because they view it as a calling. I have a distant, now elderly, spinster cousin who did so with gusto. She was allowed to adopt seven such children over the course of two and a half decades. The children's stories would curl your hair. (It was her willingness to get involved which allowed her to adopt despite the fact that she was unmarried. This was when adoption was legally limited to married couples only.) She reared them all and sent them all to college. All of them are living happy, middle class lives because viewed it as her Christian duty. (Fun fact: In her forties, she learned a SE Asian language to enable her to adopt two of the six. She wound up using that skill to be a liaison between immigrants and various state agencies in helping with their assimilation.)

She lives in a nursing home now, visited by those six children and her grandkids. A living saint who will never receive the recognition she deserves.

David

Two from Samizdata, here and here.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

https://pjmedia.com/trending/university-of-texas-to-treat-masculinity-as-a-mental-health-issue/

Gay conversion therapy is wicked and must be made illegal. Masculine conversion therapy, on the other hand....

Spiny Norman

university of texas to treat masculinity as a mental health issue

Ah, here we go again. What a lovely way to start the day...

Last night, I got into a couple of absurdly long blog comment fights with idiots promoting a YouTube neo-Nazi propaganda video called "Hellstorm" (the Germans were the true victims of WWII - no, really) and another with a really dedicated social justice warrior insisting that "whiteness must be eliminated". Both of the fringe edges of the internet idiocy spectrum.

My head still hurts. I think I need to put some brandy in my coffee...

Spiny Norman

I think Mark Twain once said things about that:

“Don’t wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

And...

"Never argue with a fool. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience."

(>_<)

(Yes, I know the scolds at Wikipedia don't accept the sources of those quotes, or dismiss them because he may have been quoting or paraphrasing an old saying. He had a habit of reworking such old sayings to make them easier to roll off the tongue, and thus more memorable.)

Darleen

It's prom season - and the cultural fashion police are out in force.

(as if the cheongsam is sacrosanct Chinese culture)

R. Sherman

@Darleen

Which is why we see all those protesters outside of Italian Bistros in high dudgeon over the appropriation of pasta, thanks to Marco Polo.

David

the cultural fashion police are out in force.

The entire corpus of identity-politics ideology is just a new way to bully… with the additional twist of simultaneously claiming higher moral ground.

This. It’s Mean Girls psychology. The rest is pretence.

Darleen

R. Sherman

Heh ... as Peterson says - it's just a new way to bully and to feel morally superior while doing it.

William Schallert

Gay conversion therapy is wicked and must be made illegal. Masculine conversion therapy, on the other hand....

Feminists speak as if male babies are taken away from their mothers to be brought up in dormitories by drill sergeants, but this year's college students are the children, and in some cases the grandchildren, of a generation of boys who were shown films like William Wants a Doll in their classrooms (to be more precise, they're the children of the boys who saw that film and managed to reproduce).

If there was ever, as feminists claim, a huge silenced proportion of men who long to wear pink or work as nurses, that market segment has been fully exploited by now, thanks more to David Bowie and Mark Bolan than to feminist scolding. There's no shortage of sensitive young men in touch with their emotions who've been conditioned to respond to female disapproval as if to an electric shock.

The U of T campaign cloaks itself in "feminism frees men too", but it's really quite nasty. It guilt-trips the sensitive young men into feeling that if they take a second look at a co-ed's legs, they're part of a systemic continuum of rape culture. And whatever actual rapists there are on college campuses, men who are immune to female disapproval and whose empathy can't be appealed to, are flattered by such campaigns, which tell them that other men secretly aspire to what they're doing.

R. Sherman

Darleen,

It's part of the ubiquitous inversion of, what C.S. Lewis called, "The Cardinal Virtues" into their exact opposites. See also, the concept of "privilege" which condemns as immoral what used to be called successful navigation of the vicissitudes of life.

R. Sherman

There's no shortage of sensitive young men in touch with their emotions who've been conditioned to respond to female disapproval as if to an electric shock.

When each of my boys turned 16, I gave them a copy of Kipling's, "If." To that I appended the words, "Remember: No woman in the history of womanhood has ever fantasized about being ravished by a dude wearing footie pajamas."

Darleen

When each of my boys turned 16, I gave them a copy of Kipling's, "If."

Hmmm... the twins turn 16 this September. That and 12 Rules should be on the list of gifts.

(thank God their high school has a vibrant JROTC program)

Jen

It’s Mean Girls psychology. The rest is pretence.

Most SJWs are women. Coincidence?

David

Coincidence?

I doubt it. Taken as a group, women are, I think, more inclined to bitchery and passive-aggressive behaviour. The overlap with “social justice” posturing shouldn’t be too surprising. The psychology of “cultural appropriation” complaints, as seen above, doesn’t seem far removed from picking on someone for having an unfashionable bag or the wrong kind of shoes.

Heather

http://www.unz.com/isteve/when-society-encourages-mean-girls-to-bully-boys/

OK, let’s see if you have that. When there is a class discussion about gender issues, do you feel free to speak up and say what you are thinking? Or do you feel that you are walking on eggshells and you must heavily censor yourself? Just the girls in the class, raise your hand if you feel you can speak up? [about 70% said they feel free, vs about 10% who said eggshells ]. Now just the boys? [about 80% said eggshells, nobody said they feel free].

Tina Fey’s movie Mean Girls with Lindsey Lohan makes the point that girls have always been extremely adept on average at nonviolent bullying: girls tend to be quick and sharp at interpersonal thinking with a talent for knowing precisely where to slip in the psychological stiletto.

Of course, most of that talent has been deployed over the millennia against their rivals in the sexual marketplace, other females (although little brothers and henpecked husbands have been victims too). But now our society encourages girls, at the point where their social skills are most advanced relative to boys of the same age, to use their Mean Girls techniques to bully and silence boys in the name of Fighting Patriarchy.

It would be interesting to study how big a price females pay down the road in lack of romantic satisfaction due to being encouraged to psychologically emasculate the boys around them. Like I’ve been saying for a long time, there’ll be no final victor in the War Between the Sexes.

Darleen

girls tend to be quick and sharp at interpersonal thinking with a talent for knowing precisely where to slip in the psychological stiletto.

oh lord, this...

It is why I hated jr. high. I had been a rather independent child and spent the better part of my free time reading or playing outside (I was a tomboy in a neighborhood of boys). I wasn't fully prepared for the social cliques and social policing that came from other girls. That onslaught of puberty between grade school & jr high was akin to walking from one's comfy living room down the dark cellar stairs in a horror film.

jabrwok

A themesong for the idiots in Austin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycy15NUDZHM

Like I’ve been saying for a long time, there’ll be no final victor in the War Between the Sexes.

Sure there are, and most of them are named Mohammed.

Darleen

Another episode in Why We Can't Do/Have Nice Things

David

Another episode in Why We Can’t Do/Have Nice Things

Blimey. He’s a charmer. I was particularly swayed by his “typical non-vegan trash” line. One of you ladies should snap him up before it’s too late.

pst314

Another episode in Why We Can't Do/Have Nice Things

The Terrible Sea Lion:
http://wondermark.com/1k62/

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