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Education

So, a little bit of live blogging.  Last week in the comments I posited that the highest paying Majors were not the Majors that graduated the most students.

Let’s look.

According to Time, the top 10 paying Majors are:

Highest-Earning Majors

Thoughts?

7 of the top 7 Majors are engineering.  8 of the top 10.

The other two are very technical majors.

Graduates?

Top 10 Most Popular Majors:

Most Popular Majors

  • Business Management and Administration
  • General Business
  • Accounting
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Elementary Education
  • Marketing and Marketing Research
  •  General Education
  • English Language and Literature
  • Communications

Not one in common.  Not one.

My advice to Occupy?

Go to school and study a discipline that pays.

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I just thought of this.  If you wanna fix public schools, or at least improve them dramatically AND increase the pay of teachers, just follow these simple three rules:

  1. Find some way to identify the bottom 10% of teachers.
  2. Fire them.
  3. Do this every year.

If you object to this, you are more interested in keeping shitty teachers in jobs than you are seriously worried about kids getting a good education.

Education should not be a “Make Work Pay” program.

One more for the file labelled: We Hate Kids, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers has come out against a policy that would allow the city to fire and hire teachers based on merit, you know–teaching kids–rather than on seniority:

A coalition of City Council members, former school leaders, parents and pastors are calling for Minneapolis public schools to end seniority-based hiring and firing practices in the next teachers union contract.

In its “Contract for Student Achievement” position paper, the group argues that past agreements between the district and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) “repeatedly put the needs of adults over the academic needs of students.”

“We call on the district and the MFT to negotiate a different kind of contract — one that recognizes the academic crisis in our schools and makes student achievement the top focus,” the coalition says in its letter, which was delivered to the school board this week.

Saying the letter “feels like an attack” on teachers, union president Lynn Nordgren disputed some of its findings and the argument that past contracts have halted reform.

At the heart of all successful organizations is innovation.  And innovation requires change; sometimes massive disruptive change.  And Unions aren’t in favor of that.

I love teachers.  My dad taught, many of my friends teach, some in my family currently teach.  Hell, I was a teacher.

I love great teachers.  We should fire the horrible ones, not the bad ones, just the horrible ones, but that’s a post for another day.

My beef is the Union.  That organization that represents teachers and bargains and negotiates for them.  If you ever had any doubt, any doubt what so ever, that Unions not only don’t care about kids, but hate children, here it is.  In all its glory, how Unions are power hungry monsters:

To the relief of college-bound seniors, Lakeville high school teachers will once again write letters of recommendation under a deal reached this week between their local union and the school district.

The agreement ends a standoff that began two weeks ago during contract negotiations between the union and district. Hoping to spur a settlement, some teachers began refusing to write recommendation letters, among other measures requested by their union.

The Union requested teachers stop writing letters of recommendation for seniors trying to get into college.

Power.  Pure and unapologetic power.  Unions do not exist for the benefit of the children.  They exploit children.  And teachers.  And you.

Measure teachers.  Fire shitty ones.  Reward great ones.  And abolish teachers unions.

So, the hope of our fathers, our children marching into society, the future of America has elicited THIS editorial from, of all countries, Iran:

An Iranian military commander says that the protests spreading from New York’s Wall Street to other US cities are the beginning of an “American Spring” – likening them to the uprisings that toppled Arab autocrats in the Middle East.

General Masoud Jazayeri of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the protests against corporate greed and the gap between rich and poor are a revolution in the making that will topple what he called the Western capitalist system.

Oh my, what a nation we have built.

I’ve been making fun of the protesters up in New York.  Camping out for days on end, complaining about capitalism on hand held phones, and iPads and Facebooks.  They have laptops and smart phones and tablet PCs.  They can make websites and Twitter.  And they are mad at the people who made those things.  Weird/  The irony of a nation mourning one of the greatest capitalists of his generation while simultaneously protesting his work is fascinating to me.

Stinky hippies.

I firmly believe that they need to make better choices.  I don’t think that they should major in Middle Eastern Studies with a minor in Art History specializing in Persian pottery.  I don’t think that they should buy bottled water when they don’t have a job.  I DO think that they should get a job.  I don’t agree that it’s just okay to protest government over reach and then occupy private property when that private property owner wants to clean things up.

Anyway, there’s a ton I don’t get with these protesters.  A ton I DO get, but a ton I don’t. And I wanna blame ’em.  I do.  ‘Cause I’m good like that; assigning responsibility for actions.  So when these kids act like they do, I wanna blame them for their own actions.

But I saw something the other day that made me shake my head and shrug.  We can’t blame them.  Not after this.  Rather than teaching our youth that with hard work comes great success, we are teaching them that failure has no consequence.  That you can do just any ‘ol thing and it’ll be okay, just a-o-k.

We teach it at our Universities:

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

REG 02.20.16 – Undergraduate Grade Exclusion

Authority:  Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

History: First Issued: August 23, 2011.

1.1  Undergraduate students may select up to two NC State courses with posted letter grades of C- or below to be excluded from calculation of their cumulative grade point average.  Unsuccessful audits or credit-only attempts are not eligible for exclusion.

So, to all you misguided youth in NYC and all OVER this great land, I offer you my apology.  It may not be your fault that you are growing up to be Leftists.  I now see that we are actively teaching you to be Leftists.

My bad.

 

With the passing of Steve Jobs, his Commencement Address at Stanford is making the rounds.  The message of his words is powerful, the speech itself, actually, is massively forgettable.  But his Opus, his yawlp, is most impressive.

Stay hungry.  Stay foolish.

I resonate.  I’m nearly 43, well into a decent career at a massive corporation doing better than I have a right to ask.  But I’m hungry.  And I do foolish shit all day long.  All the time.  In fact, I yearn for the foolish, I embrace the foolish.

I get foolish.

So I understand that fire in the belly of the college kid who watches on TV as other college kids go do stuff.  Get noticed and make a name if not a statement.  But holy moly, there is a massive learning curve here:

Chapel Hill, N.C. — Hundreds of North Carolina college students walked out of class Wednesday afternoon as the weeks-long protest against Wall Street spread to universities nationwide.

I get it.  I do.  To get noticed you have to do things that are noticeable.  And if you really think that there are people being victimized, I urge you to get noticed:

Apart from the message of Occupy Wall Street, which is people over profit, is that UNC students, regardless of political or socio-economic background, have issues on this campus,” student Denise Mitchell said. “Students just don’t feel like they’re being heard by the university.

Huh?  Wait, this isn’t some attempt to improve student/faculty relations at some flippin’ university is it?

Mitchell cited a recent study that found UNC housekeepers feel they are treated unfairly…

What the what?  Wait, Occupy Wall Street is a movement that wants to draw attention to the fact that the very wealthy are, in fact wealthy, because of the shenanigans on of massive banks.  So, using that as cover you walk out of class to voice student concerns that housekeepers don’t think life is fair?

…and an investigation into the Department of African and Afro-American Studies following allegations of plagiarism by a former football player.

Right.  ‘Cause the fact that a football player plagiarized his work is shocking only because what, 85% of the student body is guilty as well?  Is it because he’s black?  Hell, IS he even black?

More proof that our education system is failing us follows:

Students used Facebook and other social media outlets to spread word of the noon protests. They say they represent 99 percent of Americans – people struggling to get by while the wealthiest one percent makes financial decisions.

“People will become aware and will know that we are the 99 percent, and our voices will not be ignored,” N.C. State student Katina Gad said.

Do they understand what 99% means?  Do they understand what struggling to get by means?  As an exercise, if they are so poor and so struggling, how are they organizing using Facebook?

The stupid continues:

“If you look at any group of people (who) are being discriminated against, I think youth and students are a big part of that. We’ve taken on massive amounts of student loans to go into what jobs?” said Ryan Thompson, who helped organize the small protest on N.C. State’s Brickyard.

“How are we going to pay $50,000 in debt when there are no jobs out there?” UNC student Ana Maria Reichenbach said.

Stunning.

If you look at any group of people who are being discriminated against…..

Don’t do it man, do NOT say that YOU are being discriminated against.

I think youth and students are a big part of that.

You did it.  But that aside, what does that even MEAN?  Youth and students are a big part of WHAT?  What in the HELL are you talking about?

How are we going to pay $50,000 in debt when there are no jobs out there?

So, now that you’ve decided to drop a cool 50 large on a European Classical Renaissance Philosophy / German Sociology degree and are shocked to learn that no one gives a fuck, you think I’M on the hook for your stupid student loans?

Check this out.  Being 50k down should disqualify you for almost any reasonable job out there where a corporation is going to trust you with their money.  If you can’t manage YOUR money, how do you expect any one to let you manage theirs?

Area college students are planning a citywide protest in Raleigh’s Moore Square at 5 p.m. Sunday, and many of the students said they plan to travel to New York in the next few weeks to show their support in person to the hundreds of protesters on Wall Street.

Again.  I resonate.  But if you are going to flush a $50,000 education down the toilet so that you can get arrested in New York, at least do it with a plan.  Be organized.  Be coherent.  Have points that are well thought out, organized and documented.  Be crisp and concise.  Make sure that one point is related to the next.  It should flow and people should go:

Yeah!  I never thought of it that way before.

But, then again, if you knew that, I suspect you wouldn’t be making the trip to NY in the first place,

Francis Tarkenton.

When he retired from playing professional football, he was the greatest quarterback of all time.  Still today he’s mentioned in the top 10.  He was really somethin’; really something to see.  Two things about Sir Francis:

  1. He was an innovator.
  2. He achieved at the highest level.

So, when #10 speaks about educational achievement, I tend to wanna listen.  At least listen:

Inflation-adjusted spending per student in the United States has nearly tripled since 1970. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, we spend more per student than any nation except Switzerland, with only middling results to show for it.

Over the past 20 years, we’ve been told that a big part of the problem is crumbling schools—that with new buildings and computers in every classroom, everything would improve. But even though spending on facilities and equipment has more than doubled since 1989 (again adjusted for inflation), we’re still not seeing results, and officials assume the answer is that we haven’t spent enough.

These same misguided beliefs are front and center in President Obama’s jobs plan, which includes billions for “public school modernization.” The popular definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. We’ve been spending billions of dollars on school modernization for decades, and I suspect we could keep on doing it until the end of the world, without much in the way of academic results. The only beneficiaries are the teachers unions.

Perhaps no other sector of American society so demonstrates the failure of government spending and interference. We’ve destroyed individual initiative, individual innovation and personal achievement, and marginalized anyone willing to point it out. As one of my coaches used to say, “You don’t get vast results with half-vast efforts!”

The results we’re looking for are students learning, so we need to reward great teachers who show they can make that happen—and get rid of bad teachers who don’t get the job done. It’s what we do in every other profession: If you’re good, you get rewarded, and if you’re not, then you look for other work. It’s fine to look for ways to improve the measuring tools, but don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Listen.  Let yourself listen and you know, you simply can NOT deny that he’s right.

Listen:

— we’re still not seeing results

— The only beneficiaries are the teachers unions.

— The results we’re looking for are students learning, so we need to reward great teachers

— get rid of bad teachers

And the one that rocks me to the very core of my being:

— We’ve destroyed individual initiative, individual innovation and personal achievement, and marginalized anyone willing to point it out.

We are turning into France!

Still don’t believe me?  STILL?  Consider:

Imagine the National Football League in an alternate reality. Each player’s salary is based on how long he’s been in the league. It’s about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he’s an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player’s been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct.

Imagine if sports were managed like teachers are managed.  Rather than think about how it is that our schools are failing us, consider this.  How is it even possible that our schools are succeeding to the degree they do?  The industry drives out innovation.  It drives out competition.  It drives out achievers.  It is left with far FAR too many who teach for three reasons:

  1. June
  2. July
  3. August

There are great, really great teachers in this country.  Let’s honor them and the work they do by firing the teachers who really REALLY suck.

Last week, Sean asked if the bake sale in California was racist.

This past Tuesday, the Berkeley College Republicans sponsored a bake sale on campus that sold cupcakes at different prices based on ethnicity. Whites had to pay the highest prices at $2 per cupcake, while Native Americans received the lowest prices at 25 cents.

Now, I’m a firm believer in the Rand Paul version of race relations.  That is, it’s perfectly legal, certainly not reasonable, for a private merchant to serve who he wants.  And not to serve who he doesn’t.  Further, I think the word racist is misused today.  Probably in the same way that liberals feel conservatives misuse Socialist.

Do I think the bake sale is racist?  No.

Do I think it’s discriminatory?  Yes.

Do I think it’s satire in the same way Jon Stewart is satire?  Most certainly.

However, I also think it’s appropriate.  Universities all over the country are going out of their way to sell their “cupcakes” at different prices to different people base don nothing but race.

Consider admission into the University of Wisconsin Law School:

Visually:

So, what’s up with Wisconsin?  Why so racist?  Why is the School of Law at the University of Wisconsin so over the top inappropriate?

I suggest that they’re so inappropriate because they don’t know they are being inappropriate.  Consider admission into the University of Michigan School of Law:

Visually:

And Nebraska:

Visual:

The point?

We make race an issue.  The fact is that the color of your skin DOES matter.  It matters a whole lot.  Wanna get into law school?  Be black.  Wanna NOT get into law school?  Be white.

Is what those kids in California are doing shocking?  Sure, I think so.  Selling a cupcake for less money depending on your skin color IS shocking.  SHOULD be shocking.

But it’s no different that the Leftists selling law degrees for less depending on your skin color.