Education

"Democrats’ disgraceful war on schools that actually teach poor, minority children"

"Charter schools are by far the most successful innovation in public education of the last half-century — notably, the first to regularly offer first-rate schooling to lower-income, urban black and Hispanic families. Yet the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress (and in state legislatures such as New York’s) are looking to strangle them."


"The rights and wrongs of Nikole Hannah-Jones"

Dominic Green presents one hellacious put down of Ms. Hannah-Jones. Here's now it begins:

Congratulations to Nikole Hannah-Jones for parlaying the intellectual imposture of the 1619 Project into a job for life. Hannah-Jones has been hired by Howard University as a professor in Race & Journalism. Both of these fields are rife with dubious standards and historic embarrassments, so she should fit right in.


"How Can Professors Inspire Students to Want to Learn?"

Martin Center review of Super Courses: The Future of Teaching and Learning.

Princeton Univ. Press offers this summary:

Visiting schools across the United States as well as in China and Singapore, Bain, working with his longtime collaborator, Marsha Marshall Bain, uncovers super courses throughout the humanities and sciences. At the University of Virginia, undergrads contemplate the big questions that drove Tolstoy—by working with juveniles at a maximum-security correctional facility. Harvard physics students learn about the universe not through lectures but from their peers in a class where even reading is a social event. And students at a Dallas high school use dance to develop growth mindsets—and many of them go on to top colleges, including Juilliard. Bain defines these as super courses because they all use powerful researched-based elements to build a “natural critical learning environment” that fosters intrinsic motivation, self-directed learning, and self-reflective reasoning.

Color me skeptical.


"The Age of the Essay"

Interesting exposition by Paul Graham of one reason why high school and college English is taught so badly. Excerpt:

Defending a position may be a necessary evil in a legal dispute, but it's not the best way to get at the truth, as I think lawyers would be the first to admit. It's not just that you miss subtleties this way. The real problem is that you can't change the question.

And yet this principle is built into the very structure of the things they teach you to write in high school. The topic sentence is your thesis, chosen in advance, the supporting paragraphs the blows you strike in the conflict, and the conclusion-- uh, what is the conclusion? I was never sure about that in high school. It seemed as if we were just supposed to restate what we said in the first paragraph, but in different enough words that no one could tell. Why bother? But when you understand the origins of this sort of "essay," you can see where the conclusion comes from. It's the concluding remarks to the jury.

Link courtesy of reader JK.

Two more of Graham's essays on writing are quite worthwhile: "Write Simply" and "Writing, Briefly".