Speaking of Myths…More on the “Class Size” Nonsense

How about this recent Sun-Times article…

Schools are top scorers, but have jammed classes

If you’re looking for a high-scoring Chicago public school, be prepared to accept larger class sizes in the early grades, just when some experts say smaller classes count the most.

Well DUH!

If an educator can transmit an idea to a child, then they can transmit that same idea to more children in the same space. The “class-size” myth was obvious nonsense to anyone with a lick of common sense.

Give me a decent teacher and a decent curricullum, and a class of up to 40 kids, and they can outperform a couple of ideological edu-drones with today’s awful curricullum with 2 classes of 20.

I mean really, does this even require a debate?

In 2004-2005, Edgebrook’s sole first-grade room held a whopping 40 students. That year, the school posted the highest test score among the city’s neighborhood schools, yet it had the largest primary class sizes in the six-county area. At least two of its tested grades that year — third and eighth — held 30 or more students.

“Holy mackerel,” said Edgebrook Principal Jan Kepka. “I knew [class sizes] were big, but I didn’t realize they were the biggest.”

Driving down class sizes across the country has been a huge failure. It has produced no net gains in achievement at an obscene cost. But like I keep trying to tell you – that is the goal of the education bureaucracy.

If education of our children were the goal, and money were the answer, this would be the best educated nation in the free world. It is actually darn near the worst. That can only happen by design.

Speaking of “Globalization,” it’s About Time We Outsourced Education

Beam it to Bangalore. I love it!

Indians working cheap, outperforming schools in the overfed education bureaucracy. Though I’ve criticized NCLB (No Child Left Behind), the fact is that the stories you read below redeem the entire mess.


Online Tutors: Education a Click Away

Video Here

Students from elementary to graduate school can get help any time of the day or night, from the comfort of their homes. Subjects range from math to English.

It’s the outsourcing of education. Just like manufacturing or service jobs, the task of teaching America’s youth is no longer limited by borders.

Woo Hoo!

Online companies like TutorVista, Careerlauncher and Educomp are hoping to compete for millions of federal dollars available to private tutoring firms under the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, which mandated that the government pay for private tutoring for students in underperforming schools.

According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, only 19 percent of students who qualify for those services are currently getting help. Proponents say offshore tutors could be a solution for many students ó especially lower-income ones, many of whom live in rural areas where private tutors are hard to find.

The Educrat interviewed for the story put up the usual nonsense about tutors “needing to understand the learning standards of each state” (drivel) and “the need to be certified” in the state in which they are tutoring. (more drivel)

Here is an article – seemingly unrelated – that dispells (yet again) the “certification” myth.

NCLB has driven this trend, as well as the trend to go around a “certification” process. These are good things, and the kids are getting a better education as a result.

The real job of educating America’s kids won’t truly be finished until the US has universal, fully funded, school choice.

The Truth About Globalization

This is one of the best articles on “globalization” I’ve seen. As I’ve commented here and on the show, since the election, so-called “economic nationalism,” and it’s juxtaposition against “globalization,” will be the big policy debate of the next 10 years.

Globalization: The Long-Run Big Picture

These overwhelmingly beneficial results are often hidden from view by the fact that at the same time globalization implies a substantial decline in the relative or even absolute nominal GDPs of today’s advanced countries, the experience of which engenders opposition to the process. What is not seen is that to whatever extent globalization might reduce absolute nominal GDP in today’s advanced countries, it reduces prices many times more, with the result that it correspondingly increases their real GDP, and that to whatever extent it reduces merely their relative nominal GDP, it again increases their real GDP many times more.

It isn’t how much you make, but how much you make buys. It really is that simple.

Globalization is the process of bringing the entire world into the system of division of labor and thus into the system of social cooperation, of which division of labor is the essence. Its completion will mark the highest level of division of labor and social cooperation that it is possible for human beings to achieve, given the size of the world’s population.

The key word here is “completion.” For those who want to see the “high paying” manufacturing job back in the US, the only way that will ever happen will be for the entire world to reach a point of equilibirum whereby labor rates, combined with transport and other barriers, are basically equal.

This equalization will be a good thing, not a bad thing. Again, it isn’t how much you make, but how much you make will buy you.

I could go on and post paragraph after paragraph of the linked article. The fact is, however, that it is quite long. It suffices to say that I won’t entertain the argument of a “Dobbsian” protectionist until they can say they have read the entire article, and poke holes in it based upon logic and reason, and not some emotional appeal to their cousin or aunt who lost a job somewhere. Cousins and Aunts are no reason to impede the global progress toward a more free world.

Now Playing


Produced and Financed by Jack Abramoff
Directed by Dennis Hastert

Milton Friedman – RIP

If the goal in life is to leave the world a better place than you found it, Milton met that goal many times over. Billions of people in this world have a better life because of this man.

Dr. Milton Friedman 1912-2006


NPQ Interview – 2006

PBS Interview – 2000

So Much for “Good Suburban Schools”

I get a kick out of how the Education Dogma promoted by the MSM is causing the “Silly Rich” to question their tony suburban public schools.

Leaving the City for the Schools, and Regretting It

Yet a small but growing number of such parents are abandoning even some of the top-performing public schools in the region. In school districts like Scarsdale, N.Y., and Montclair, N.J., where high test scores and college admission rates have built national reputations and propelled real estate prices upward, these demanding families say they were disappointed by classes that were too crowded, bare-bones arts and sports programs, and an emphasis on standardized testing rather than creative teaching.

Some are private school graduates themselves who, try as they might, feel guilty giving their offspring anything less. Others were spoiled by their childrenís experiences in private school in preschool or the early grades before leaving the city. Still others simply found that public school programs in suburbia did not live up to their promise.

Given the district’s reputation, Mrs. Ophir said, she was taken aback when Dylan, who learned the alphabet at an early age, had not progressed any further after a year in the public kindergarten. Mrs. Ophir said the teacher largely ignored him because he was ahead of the other students.

“He didnít learn anything ó I was a neurotic mess,” she said. “He was developing all sorts of bad habits. He thought school was playtime. He didnít want to apply himself.”

Mrs. Ophir kept Dylan in the public schools, hoping things would improve. He attended a one-hour-a-week session for gifted and talented students, but Mrs. Ophir said she was unimpressed with the teacher.

For those interested in Exit Polling Data

2004 Exit Polls Results

2006 Exit Poll Results

See anything interesting?

Q and O takes on James Webb’s Screed

As I’ve stated, keeping America from slipping into a Dobbsian nightmare is going to be a new hobby of mine.

Today, James Webb, Senator-Elect from Virginia, wrote a long piece about the growing “inequalities” in America.

Jon Henke at Q and O makes short work of the Dobbsian rhetoric. If you want to prevent America from becoming France, you had better start paying attention to this debate.

“Populism = Marxism” I love it. It’s about time somebody started saying so.

Updated: Ask your Democratic friends why we should follow the path of Europe, when Europe is failing so dramtically.

The Europeans are driving off a cliff, but they don’t see it coming because they spend so much of their time reveling in their own moral superiority. I believe that, in their own minds, they are on the cutting edge of societal evolution (to borrow a phrase from Rush Limbaugh), but the forces of natural selection would appear to be working against them.

Forbes v Dobbs – The Debate that Defines America’s Future

I spend a lot of time debating with my listeners regarding the “protectionist” visions of anti-immigration and anti-trade “Dobbsians.”

The Dobbs/Buchanan vision of Fortress America is one that I generally disagree with.

We all understand the need to manage immigration better and ensure that “slave labor” from China doesn’t destroy America’s “middle class.” However, the idea that we can preserve our economy by enacting mercantilistic principles while shutting out immigration from all sources is foolish.

This post on Karlgaard’s blog highlights a debate between Steve Forbes and Lou Dobbs.

Though Dobbs raises important issues regarding people impacted by this era’s dramatic rate of change, the fact is that Forbes’ vision of the future is a far better one.

You can remain dynamic and adapt to changes, or you can become France.

Win the Argument on Global Warming

So much for the left’s commitment to “science.” Seriously, if you are truly interested in science (real science, not the made up stuff at the UN) please, please please read the entire article linked below.

A science writer tears to shreds, and I mean tiny little shreds, the nonsense that the debate on “Global Warming” is over. If it is over, it’s because it is so utterly absurd that man has caused global warming.

Just FYI, I’ve been saying this for about 3-5 years now…

The sun is warmer now than for the past 11,400 years

Sir Nicholas Stern’s report on the economics of climate change, which was published last week, says that the debate is over. It isn’t. There are more greenhouse gases in the air than there were, so the world should warm a bit, but that’s as far as the “consensus” goes. After the recent hysteria, you may not find the truth easy to believe. So you can find all my references and detailed calculations here.

Finally, the UN’s predictions are founded not only on an exaggerated forcing-to-temperature conversion factor justified neither by observation nor by physical law, but also on an excessive rate of increase in airborne carbon dioxide. The true rate is 0.38 per cent year on year since records began in 1958. The models assume 1 per cent per annum, more than two and a half times too high. In 2001, the UN used these and other adjustments to predict a 21st-century temperature increase of 1.5 to 6C. Stern suggests up to 10C.

Dick Lindzen emailed me last week to say that constant repetition of wrong numbers doesn’t make them right. Removing the UN’s solecisms, and using reasonable data and assumptions, a simple global model shows that temperature will rise by just 0.1 to 1.4C in the coming century, with a best estimate of 0.6C, well within the medieval temperature range and only a fifth of the UN’s new, central projection.

Why haven’t air or sea temperatures turned out as the UN’s models predicted? Because the science is bad, the “consensus” is wrong, and Herr Professor Ludwig Boltzmann, FRS, was as right about energy-to-temperature as he was about atoms.

Of course, what do you expect from a scientific belief that is based on a lie. (see below)


The second article by Monckton tears apart the silly ‘solutions’ proposed by the “Global Warming Panic Lobby”.

First, the writer mentions the frightening calls for censorship of anyone skeptical of the absurd idea of man-made global warming.

My calculations last week had to be rubbished. Separately, The Sunday Telegraph’s letters editor and I received emails saying I’d wrongly assumed the Earth was a “blackbody” with no greenhouse effect at all (I hadn’t). The www.realclimate.org website, run by two of the “hockey-stick” graph’s authors, said the same in a blog entitled “Cuckoo science”.

On Thursday, Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, compared climate sceptics to advocates of Islamic terror. Neither, she said, should have access to the media.

All such interventions advocated by the climate-change “consensus” will be expensively futile without the consent of the Third World’s fast-growing nations. That consent will rightly be withheld until the UN produces soundly based, scientifically honest, fair and realistic projections. Meanwhile, cut out and keep this article. If Margaret Beckett has her way, you won’t ever see one like it again.