David Thompson
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August 14, 2019

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Alice

teachers should... “dispense almost completely with judgements of quality when producing course grades.” And so “critical information literacy” – a term deployed with an air of satisfaction – actually entails not being critical, or indeed literate.

*face-palming intensifies*

H

perilously inflated self-esteem

That.

xas7wcrg9e - twitter login broken again

"...students should be graded based on the “labour” they put into their work, not the “quality” of the finished product."

The concept of the total labour multiple people must put in, in order to attempt to decipher the scribblings of said students doesn't factor into this I suppose?

Sorry. Silly question.

David

That.

It seems to me that encouraging the cultivation of pretentious victimhood and a kind of racial paranoia, along with an inflated but unearned self-regard, is pernicious – and cruel. It’s a worldview that’s all but destined to result in perpetual resentment and endless self-inflicted failures, from which nothing is ever learned. Because the fault is always, conveniently, elsewhere.

PiperPaul

I found out what that button does!

David

I found out what that button does!

Bless you, sir. My phone doth ping. May you never have trouble finding a SIM tray ejector tool.

decnine

...may leave university sounding uneducated and unable to write in an adult manner, yet with an entitled and resentful attitude...

Why would anyone sane pay to take a course whose aim is not to educate them in any way?

David

Why would anyone sane pay to take a course whose aim is not to educate them in any way?

As if being steeped in pretentious grievance were not only a valuable life skill but also a credential to entice employers. But hey. Vanity is a powerful drug.

Honk, as they say.

Adam

By definition, a teacher evaluates quality of result, not just effort expended. Generally, if quality is not improving, effort is lacking.

Could it be that Ed schools are turning out graduates who themselves are unable to write, or to judge writing? Perhaps that explains the need for a new philosophy of non-education?

David

a new philosophy of non-education?

It seems we may be getting one, like it or not.

Rob

And by the time the real-world consequences of this “social justice” posturing become difficult to avoid, Dr Inoue will have been paid - and be merrily exploiting the next batch of suckers.

And another bunch of resentful, inarticulate people created, ideal for manipulation.

David

And another bunch of resentful, inarticulate people created, ideal for manipulation.

Resentment, even clearly unearned resentment, is exploitable.

Ten

...resulting in some kind of righteous emancipation.

Which is unquestionably axiomatic. And wait till these fools get to art. And architecture.

Wait.

Wait till these fools get to engineering. And medicine.

David

Wait till these fools get to engineering.

Already there, it seems.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...teachers should “calculate course grades by labour completed...

A metric which is entirely impossible to quantify in any reasonable fashion. "OK, assignment was a 1500 word paper, you both wrote 1500 words. Zotz, yours makes sense, but it took one hour, Lunchbox, yours is just random words, but it took three days - you get an A, sorry Zotz, not enough labor, just a C."

"Is our children learning ?"

Could it be that Ed schools are turning out graduates who themselves are unable to write, or to judge writing?

I think these pages have made that painfully evident.

Damian

Roger Scruton has cancer.

Marc

Just dispense with schooling altogether for the left,they are obviously born to be stupid.

David

Could it be that Ed schools are turning out graduates who themselves are unable to write, or to judge writing?

Education and Angry Studies attract students with some of the lowest SAT scores. And these same students are likely to find themselves being graded very generously, more so than in any other field of study, with an uncanny number of ‘A’s.

Bill de Haan

I've had to review candidates for various entry and mid-level positions several times over the years. Foreign-born applicants often have impeccable resumes, but in interviews, grammatical errors tend to abound.

The types of errors tend to differ based on the applicants' native region. Orientals don't use articles correctly, or at all, while eastern Europeans tend to speak in RPN ("I to the store walked" rather than "I walked to the store").

However, those errors are the result of English being their second (or later) language, often learned later in life. It's not a marker of their skill or aptitude. I had a Chinese report whose spoken English was very poor (he was about 40% literate, I'd say), but from his written correspondence, you'd think he graduated from Oxford with honours. He was shy about his accent, but the effort he put into his writing was astounding. And he was an excellent coder, too.

In comparison, I've have native English speakers who were borderline unintelligible when speaking, and their lack of communications skill was even more pronounced in the written form. I seriously was writing at a higher level than some of these candidates where when I was in fourth grade, and I am hardly the most literal soul around.

Unsurprisingly, the multilingual candidates who made grammatical mistakes were usually embarrassed by them, and apologized, while the borderline incoherent native speakers were not only not embarrassed, they tended to be the most entitled, as well.

I'd say that there was a mappable relationship between the communications ability of a candidate and their amount of anger and resentment. Fortunately, that relationship was an inverse one, so we didn't have to hire a bunch of people I'd rather not have around in the first place.

WTP

Why would anyone sane pay to take a course whose aim is not to educate them in any way?

More appropriate question, why would anyone, as a (presumably sane) taxpayer, pay for someone else, especially someone younger, to take a course whose aim is not to educate them in any way but is far more likely to cause that younger person, from a generation upon which you will depend upon for services and such in your advanced years, to be left resentful, unskilled and racially fixated - and heavily in debt? You really don't think that such people, people so seriously handicapped in their abilities to make a living, will ever pay those "loans" back do you? With what? You can't get blood from a turnip, you can't get wealth from a miseducated, ignorant, entitled layabout.

WTP

Already there, it seems.

Well if I may repeat myself (which I'm prone to do when I'm distressed), a comment I made from that link a year and a half ago that reinforces my point above...

They are not going to college (on our dime no less) in order to qualify themselves for good, or even adequate, jobs. They are going to college to qualify themselves for victim statuses that will, in the glorious future, excuse their need/ability to work. From each according to his ability to each according to his need. In such a world, what incentive is there to have abilities instead of needs? Where is the economic, or even logical, incentive?

Connor

Up is down, black is white and lowering standards is "inclusive excellence".

Boatswain's Mate

They are going to college to qualify themselves for victim statuses that will, in the glorious future, excuse their need/ability to work. From each according to his ability to each according to his need. In such a world, what incentive is there to have abilities instead of needs? Where is the economic, or even logical, incentive?

Of course, under such a pernicious and working-as-intended rubric, there is no incentive (save for those who are self-possessed of ambition and motivation, despite and not because of their higher education). Accordingly, as our host linked above, laziness should no longer be deemed a character flaw one should work to correct, but rather a revolutionary act that can and should be applauded. Because ReasonsTM.

Duke

It is an article such as this one that makes me wish there actually was a god.

At least that would allow for hope that perhaps, prayers may deliver us from the encroaching madness of the totalitarian and very confused left.

But alas, we are fucked.

David

But alas, we are fucked.

I’m going to have that made into a neon sign above the bar. To add charm and atmosphere.

Killer Marmot

The best way to solve this problem is through the marketplace. Those institutions that are dedicated to education will likely find an eager market for their product, as their graduates will be in demand by the private sector. And those institutions dedicated to indoctrination will be rewarded with waning enrollment, as their graduates find themselves in possession of near-worthless degrees.

And this process will be accelerated by demographics. The competition for students will likely get fiercer in the next few decades.

WTP

And this process will be accelerated by demographics. The competition for students will likely get fiercer in the next few decades.

And the start of this process will be retarded until such time as we eventually run out of other people's money. Though running out of other people's money has yet to bring about this marketplace solution in Venezuela. Or any number of other failed states. Because socialism spreads wider and wider until there is no marketplace, one defined by civilized standards anyway.

Smallish Bees

I'm old enough to remember when all the conservatives warned that the collegiate tendency to entitlement and defense was going to destroy them when they entered the real world. But now we are seeing that the students, upon entering the work world, are transforming it into the image of the University.

Smallish Bees

Entitlement and offense. Voice to text on a phone is not the best way to vent my spleen intelligibly.

Monty James

"Asao Inoue of the University of Washington-Tacoma is known for advocating that students should be graded based on the “labour” they put into their work, not the “quality” of the finished product."

Manzanar has been closed, alas.

Manzanar National Historic Site

David

Up is down, black is white and lowering standards is “inclusive excellence”.

If someone can generate a portal to another reality, one less clown-shoe stupefying, now would be a good time.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

The best way to solve this problem is through the marketplace...the students, upon entering the work world, are transforming it into the image of the University.

You will bake the cake, tovarisch, and wax her scrotum.

Killer Marmot

And the start of this process will be retarded until such time as we eventually run out of other people's money.

I disagree.

Private colleges have little other than tuition, donations, and investments for revenue. Government support is usually minor. For them, falling enrollment is a catastrophe.

Public colleges have financial support from their state governments. But states have limited ability to expand their debt, as they do not have the power to print money. If a public college finds itself with falling enrollment, its state support will likely fall or at least be held constant, as state support will primarily be based on student population.

pst314

Marmot, these schools have been churning out idiots, useful idiots, and malevolents for a long time, and are producing them in increasing numbers. The marketplace has not worked very well so far. Why should we expect it to solve the problem before our culture is irreparably damaged?

WTP
* 65% of seniors graduating from public and nonprofit colleges in 2017 had student loan debt.

* Average debt at graduation from public and nonprofit colleges was $28,650 in 2017, a 1% increase from 2016.

* 66% of graduates from public colleges had loans (average debt of $25,550)

* 75% of graduates from private nonprofit colleges had loans (average debt of $32,300)

* 88% of graduates from for-profit colleges had loans (average debt of $39,950)

* About 15% of the student debt held by the graduating class of 2017 was private.

* 48% of borrowers who attended for-profit colleges default within 12 years, compared to 12% of public college attendees, and 14% of nonprofit college attendees.

Graduates who received Pell Grants were likely to borrow, and borrow more:

* 88% of graduates who received Pell Grants had student loans in 2012, with an average balance of $31,200.

* 53% of those who didn’t receive a Pell Grant had student loan debt, borrowing an average of $26,450 ($4,750 less than those with Pell Grants).

https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/

Government guarantees student loans for private colleges as well.

But states have limited ability to expand their debt, as they do not have the power to print money.

Which is why people running for federal office, specifically POTUS, are promising free college and student loan "forgiveness". The line between public and private in the education sphere (and beyond in fact) is increasingly blurred and there is nothing to stop someone with the appropriate level of political power from disappearing any and all student debt by paying it off with federal (printed) dollars.

pst314

there is nothing to stop someone with the appropriate level of political power from disappearing any and all student debt by paying it off with federal (printed) dollars.

and so, mysteriously, what was a more than adequate retirement nest egg becomes insufficient. Not that this bothers the political class, because the impoverishment of millions of retirees offers them more opportunities to promise Free Stuff.

Richard

Why would anyone sane pay to take a course whose aim is not to educate them in any way?

"If you have a degree, you will be paid more" said someone that they trusted.

"Do I have to study hard to get a degree?"

"That is a different question" came the reply.

Baceseras

Would the professor be all right with it if the payroll department worked really hard but couldn't find his check?

Of course they'll go back and look again. Still can't find it? No problem! It's the effort they put into it, you see.

pst314

Would the professor be all right with it if the payroll department worked really hard but couldn't find his check?

I like the cut of your jib.

There are no consequences for our ruling classes being wrong. There should consequences. Serious consequences.

False Profiteer

I've also riddled out the purpose of the button.

David

I’ve also riddled out the purpose of the button.

Bless you, sir. May houseguests never tamper with your precisely calibrated shower settings.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

OK, I know this is way off topic, well, maybe not, as it shows someone somewhere didn't get educated, and maybe it is our fault for introducing the wonder of fried chicken to the UK, but how the hell is this supposed to stop all the stabby stuff going on over there ?

I get that it may be that the toffs at the Home Office don't know that you don't eat fried chicken with a knife and fork, but just in case, reaching out to our cousins across the pond, you don't eat fried chicken with a knife and fork, lest one decide to go on a stabby rampage with a three inch plastic take-away knife or worse, a KFC spork - those things hurt.

Adam

Smallish - Let the record of these proceedings reflect that I correctly predicted the deleterious effects of woke snowflakes on the workplaces of America.

Spiny Norman

Curiously enough, American radio host Dennis Prager is discussing this very topic at this very moment. A (apparently young, female) caller complained that "perfection prevents the flow of ideas". Correct (not neccesarily "perfect") spelling and grammar is now an impediment to communication.

Dr Inoue is not much of an abberration. This is the current state of government education.

WTP

A (apparently young, female) caller complained

OK, Spiny. No you've done it...Shouldn't that be "An (apparently young, female) caller complained..."? Because "We'll be there in an hour" not "We'll be there in a hour", yet "It's a history book" NOT "It's an history book".

* runs off to find PayPal password...BRB... *

Adam

I taught a class about critical thinking a few years ago. We spent the first day discussing what “thinking” means. A central point was that conscious awareness was not thinking. Afterwards, one student came up and said his eyes were opened. He had never considered that thinking was a complex intentional act requiring effort and decision-making.

Thankfully, he did not report me to the Administration. They were busy ordering faculty to cease marking papers with red pencil and to use a soothing blue instead.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

NOT "It's an history book".

Unless it is Howard Zinn's in which case it is anhistory book.

Spiny Norman

Shouldn't that be "An (apparently young, female) caller complained..."?

No, I don't think so, because the parenthetical is separate: "a caller complained" was the actual statement. I suppose, had I given it more thought, I might have written "A caller, who sounded young and female, complained that..."

(I tend to use parentheticals far too often, anyway.)

[shrugs]

Off to the Correction Booth for me.

NTSOG

''... students should be graded based on the “labour” they put into their work, not the “quality” of the finished product.''

I was immediately reminded of that famous medical saying: ''operation successful, but patient died.''

I'm sure there are many other professions that require great effort or labour but we, the general, consuming public, do demand a quality outcome. Piloting passenger planes and designing strong, safe bridges and buildings come to mind.

Spiny Norman

[sticks head out of the Correction Booth door]

Unless it is Howard Zinn's in which case it is anhistory book.

aka "A Pravda History of the United States".

That's what my libertarian high school history and civics teacher called it when it was published. His Master's was in Comparative History, and his thesis was comparing the Peloponnesian War and the Cold War, with a (controversial in academia even then) conclusion that the US and the West would win decisively. His jibe about Zinn's magnum opus was more than just sarcasm, as he had witnessed and understood the Soviet Union's infiltration of Western Academia 50 years ago.

fnord

Asao Inoue of the University of Washington-Tacoma is known for advocating that students should be graded based on the “labour” they put into their work, not the “quality” of the finished product

Marx smiles.

fnord

Let us not mince words. Blacks cannot/will not (pick one) meet standards therefore standards must be eliminated. I predicted this 40 years ago when Affirmative Action morphed (inevitably) into quotas.

Killer Marmot

Marmot, these schools have been churning out idiots, useful idiots, and malevolents for a long time, and are producing them in increasing numbers. The marketplace has not worked very well so far. Why should we expect it to solve the problem before our culture is irreparably damaged?

Enrollment in the humanities is plunging. The market is working.

https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/07/31/humanities-enrollment-free-fall-13243

Daniel Ream

That's what my libertarian high school history and civics teacher called it when it was published. His Master's was in Comparative History, and his thesis was comparing the Peloponnesian War and the Cold War, with a (controversial in academia even then) conclusion that the US and the West would win decisively.

This is why Civics should always be taught by a Citizen.

pst314

Enrollment in the humanities is plunging. The market is working.

They're frequently idiots by the time they leave high school, because a large fraction of the teachers are fools and worse than fools.

from your link:

While some humanities fields -- such as cultural, gender and ethnic studies -- have escaped the devastation, most others have not.

So no decrease in the number of students choosing the worst fields.

Killer Marmot

pst314:

That's likely because "cultural, gender, and ethnic studies" are a recent addition to humanities faculties. They're still a bit trendy. But even these fields are not growing as a percentage of total degrees awarded.

fnord

The number of people who are capable of and can benefit from advanced academic work is limited. I'll pull a number out of thin air, just like the 'social sciences', and say that 2/3 of the 'students' in college have no business being there except to provide fodder for faculty/administrator positions. I will further maintain that, after the US State Department, academia is the most corrupt institution in America. Including organized crime who at least don't pretend to be law abiding.

Darleen

Funny how the loudest shrieks about "white supremacy" "white nationalism" and how we must "dismantle whiteness" comes from people of pallor who uniformly find "people of color" incapable of learning basic skills of communication.

There was a time when American slave owners made it illegal to teach the darkies how to read & write. Dr. Inoue is one of their descendants.

Rosco

From the "Words Still Have Meanings to Me" department: at Home Depot today, I observed a bitter-looking woman who wore a t-shirt that proclaimed "FEMINIST." Is that, I wondered, another way to declare "I am an asshole" to the world?

pst314

I saw a kid today wearing an Oberlin t-shirt. I didn't have the heart to ask him if he was familiar with its defamation of Gibson's Bakery.

WTP

I pressed the button, made a contribution, and immediately felt an overwhelming sense of peace, harmony, and a love for all mankind except for hard-left socialists and similar wankers. I heartily recommend the experience.

WTP

No, I don't think so, because the parenthetical is separate: "a caller complained" was the actual statement. I suppose, had I given it more thought, I might have written "A caller, who sounded young and female, complained that..."

Well agree with the latter, but unless reading the parenthetical after finishing the sentence (an odd thing that I used to do as a child) it just sounds awkward to me to have two vowel sounds that close together. I figured that's why we developed "an" in the first place. Why else would you need two indefinite articles? Seems a waste since they're already indefinite anyway.

(I tend to use parentheticals far too often, anyway.)

I as well (I blame it on being a software developer).

pst314

I will further maintain that, after the US State Department, academia is the most corrupt institution in America.

You can make a very good case for that.

Adam

Affirmative Action did not morph into quotas. It was always quotas, but people at first thought it more palatable to pretend they weren't quotas by calling them something else like "goals".

This is like calling a tornado that destroys your house a great opportunity to redecorate the living room.

David

I pressed the button, made a contribution, and immediately felt an overwhelming sense of peace, harmony, and a love for all mankind except for hard-left socialists and similar wankers. I heartily recommend the experience.

Your host endorses this message. And bless you, sir. May you never know the trauma of malodorous towels.

David

I’ll pull a number out of thin air,

Duke Pesta, an English professor and conservative pundit, suggested that it’s all but impossible, career-wise, for a professor to fail 40% of his students, despite the fact that 40% of his students really shouldn’t be there, even with lowered standards.

[ Added: ]

Somewhat related:

At Leeds Metropolitan University, entry levels on 97 degree courses, including architecture, law, English literature and history, have been cut to 80 points on the Universities and Colleges Admission Service tariff - the equivalent of two grade Es [at A-level], the lowest possible pass.

That was 2012. (In contrast, when I was doing A-levels, the understanding was that anything less than ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades at A-level would seriously jeopardise hopes of going to university.)

Also this, on grade inflation:

The research… shows that students who left school last year with CCD or below at A-level were almost three times more likely to graduate with first class honours than they were in 2010-11.

The increases are seemingly “unexplained.” And I’ve yet to see evidence that the system will spontaneously self-correct any time soon.

David

Or put another way:

Steve

The way forward is mediocrity!

I'm sure China, Japan, Russia, and other unenlightened European countries look at this as a sign of strength. And these dolts think the world will shine a light of glory on them.

You have to be brain dead to buy into this nonsense. It is so thoroughly disgusting watching this happen, watching fools who think they are wise scramble to beat everyone else to the bottom, where they can award a PhD to an illiterate vegetable who can sit at home earning his "living wage" from the government teat.

Brain dead and stupid is no way to go through life.

fnord

And let's not forget all that he PhD candidates whose primary purpose, behind serving as cash cows to support the ever growing horde of administrators, is providing a class of indentured servants, just this side of slaves, to do the grunt work of 'teaching' the first and second year inmates.

Joe Ego

Probably more related to the previous post, but certainly reinforced by this one. I saw this via Twitter: https://cultstate.com/2017/10/13/The-Butterfly-War/

The writer describes operating online profiles that appear to belong to protected minority groups, which can then be verified by the types of ads and suggestions produced by google, fb, etc. On the one hand this provides opportunities to engage in online activities that might otherwise attract a ban hammer. On the other hand it presents social and legal problem for tech companies when their algorithms and policies target said protected minority groups.

Imagine being able to blend in with the dozen Philly residents who jeered and threw stuff at the cops who were trying to keep streets clear and bystanders away from yesterday's shooter. The local reporter was criticized for posting the video to twitter because don't you know these people have a different relationship with the police than you privileged, law-abiding people of pallor?

Dan

Pretty sure the Chinese and Egyptians were heavily into that writing stuff well before “white people” did much of it. Not sure when it became a white racist activity.

UK Fred

Readers may wish to review the results from a free school in London, Michaela School or College, under the headship of Katharine Birbalsingh and also the reactions from many in the educational establishment to those results.

It appears that in Britain, the Educational Establishment wants and indeed expects pupils not to be educated.

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