ArchiveJuly 2018

Genes explain as much variation in educational attainment as income

Over the past five years, Benjamin has been part of an international team of researchers identifying variations in the human genome that are associated with how many years of education people get. In 2013, after analyzing the DNA of 101,000 people, the team found just three of these genetic variants. In 2016, they identified 71 more after tripling the size of their study. Now, after scanning the...

Pre-K program advocates try to prevent research from being published

I had the opportunity to study under Lipsey when he was one of the instructors at the IES CRT Summer Institute. That he of all people had to deal with this is really depressing. Do not question the narrative that all educational spending and programs are double-plus good! We must think of the children! We believe that most people will agree that society has an obligation to prevent or ameliorate...

More states opting to ‘robo-grade’ student essays by computer

“I’ve been working on this now for about 25 years, and I feel that … the time is right and it’s really starting to be used now,” says Peter Foltz, a research professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He’s also vice president for research for Pearson, the company whose automated scoring program graded some 34 million student essays on state and national...

Vermont Law strips tenure from 14 professors

After being informed by the chair of Vermont Law School’s retention committee that the school stripped 14 law professors of tenure, the American Association of University Professors has questioned whether the school followed proper regulations. In a June 19 letter sent to the school’s tenure and retention committee chair, the AAUP conceded that under “extraordinary circumstances because of...

If monopolies are bad, what about traditional public ed?

Many of my friends who defend public education are also the political type who are very worried about monopolies. They often point to the damage that companies with large market shares—think Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Google—can do. These friends point out how these companies’ large market presence allows them to squeeze out competitors, exploit employees, and hold customers captive. Those points, of...

Why everyone hates faculty meetings (except dept. heads and lickspittles)

One eternal problem has been their inefficiency. In 1957, C. Northcote Parkinson, an academic and legendary writer on management, came up with the law of triviality, that “the time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum [of money] involved.” In that same spirit, this columnist would like to propose an even broader principle, applying to gatherings of ten people...

More data on human feces in SF

A foul odor permeated from a massive bag of human excrement sludge left on a street corner in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district Saturday. The horrendous smell and sight quickly gained notoriety when a Reddit user posted a screen shot of a report made to San Francisco’s Citizen app for identifying crimes. “Twenty pounds of feces dumped onto sidewalk,” the report called...

About me

Stephen

Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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