April 18, 2022
Dan Springer on Seattle’s woke, broke public transport:
At a recent Sound Transit Board meeting, the outgoing CEO summed up the situation. “Our fare collection system relies overwhelmingly on an honour system,” Peter Rogoff said, “and our increasingly acute problem is that our riders aren’t honouring the system.” By one measurement, as many as a staggering 70% of all passengers are free riders. But even that is only an estimate as there is almost no fare enforcement. Sound Transit did away with fare enforcement officers after a study revealed people of colour were disproportionately getting fined.
Sound Transit Board member Claudia Balducci appears untroubled by this trajectory, insisting that “People are feeling more welcome on our system and less afraid to use it because there’s less of a fear of fare enforcement.” Apparently, this is a good thing. The views of local, law-abiding taxpayers, who are subsidising this experiment in social progress, are left to the imagination.
Ben Sixsmith on the steep decline of Swedish education:
Many of the problems [Magnus] Henrekson and [Johan] Wennström diagnose will be familiar to anyone acquainted with the British education system. Grade inflation has masked declining standards, which, in Sweden, manifested themselves with a Wile E Coyote-esque fall down the PISA rankings. […] Sweden has, in recent decades, undergone an extraordinary demographic transformation. As of 2020, a quarter of Swedish residents had a foreign background. In 2015, research by Dr Gabriel Heller-Sahlgren suggested that “the change in pupil demographics due to immigration explains almost a third of the average decline between 2000 and 2012: 19 per cent in mathematical literacy, 28 per cent in reading literacy, and 41 per cent in scientific literacy.”
And Emil Kirkegaard on super-progressive Ontario, where “diversity” trumps standards:
It is now illegal to use a math test to make sure that math teachers know the material they would be teaching.
The motives for removing tests of educator competence soon become apparent. The likely effect on students - including minority students, in whose name competence is being sidelined - is a topic on which readers may care to speculate.
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