Elon Musk also runs his own K-12 school

Ad Astra encompasses students, not employees. For the past four years, this experimental non-profit school has been quietly educating Musk’s sons, the children of select SpaceX employees, and a few high-achievers from nearby Los Angeles. It started back in 2014, when Musk pulled his five young sons out of one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious…

Faculty respond to incentives; who would have guessed?

National policies take varied approaches to encouraging university-based innovation. This paper studies a natural experiment: the end of the “professor’s privilege” in Norway, where university researchers previously enjoyed full rights to their innovations. Upon the reform, Norway moved toward the typical US model, where the university holds majority rights. Using comprehensive data on Norwegian workers,…

Data on human feces in San Francisco

Block-by-block surveillance reveals the deterioration of downtown San Francisco. Of 153 city blocks surveyed, 41 contained used drug needles and 96 had human feces present. Yikes! That’s about 2/3 of city blocks with human feces. https://www.city-journal.org/html/left-coast-lawlessness-15976.html

I have received the highest honor in educational research

I was criticized by that famous nutjob Diane Ravitch: https://dianeravitch.net/2018/06/13/north-carolina-44-8-million-for-vouchers-no-accountability/ https://dianeravitch.net/2018/06/13/another-analysis-of-the-fatally-flawed-n-c-voucher-evaluation/ The second post links to a pretty hilarious review of our study (http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2018/06/12/n-c-states-hyped-voucher-study-tells-us-nothing-about-n-c-s-voucher-program/). The writer, Kris Nordstrom, writes as if he’s uncovered a nefarious plot. Sorry, it’s just a propensity score analysis paper written by some nerds. Over several paragraphs he breathlessly states that…

Announcing a new survey on student success

Developed with my colleague Paul Umbach, the Revealing Institutional Strengths and Challenges (RISC) Survey is the only student survey focused on student success. You can learn more here: https://www.risc.college/why-risc We’re taking registrations from two-year institutions for Fall 2018 administration. We’re also looking for a few four-years for our four-year pilot, contact me if interested.

Three good books about India

I’ve been pondering a family trip to India, so I’m reading books about India like a fiend. Maximum city: Bombay lost and found, by Suketa Mehta I couldn’t put this one down. Part autobiography, the author is an Indian who returns to India after spending some time in America. He intersperses anecdotes about his life…

Everyone makes school’s cheer squad after parent complains

A New Jersey mom went to her daughter’s school and complained about her not making the cheerleading squad – so now everyone gets to make the team. ​ “All my hard work has been thrown out the window,” seethed cheerleader Stephanie Krueger about the ruling during a Board of Education meeting last week in East…

British students can no longer read a clock

Schools are removing analogue clocks from examination halls because teenagers are unable to tell the time, a head teachers’ union has said. Teachers are now installing digital devices after pupils sitting their GCSE and A-level exams complained that they were struggling to read the correct time on an analogue clock. Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary…

Taleb doesn’t like professors, can’t say I blame him

6) The educational model is now imploding as the only thing people seem to learn at colleges is ideology by losers who became professors because they aren't good enough to create things & got together to BS in a citation ring #RentSeekers (not just in economics, but everywhere) — Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 26,…