Showing posts with label public education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label public education. Show all posts

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Why Reading is Fundamental.

This post was stimulated by the following retweet.
Jonathan Korman
3 hrs · 

Retweeted Naval Ravikant (@naval):
Text is precise, compact, indexable, transmissible, translatable, asynchronous & quick to absorb. Intelligent, busy people prefer text.
@naval is obviously talking about SMS text, but it is even more apt for extended texts. Please note the efficiency of a good tweet.  (If I had more time I might use Twitter.)

People have always asked me why I never got into movies, YouTube (except for music), or TV especially movies and TV shows based on books I have read and liked.
The most important reason is that I learned to read before I had even heard about movies and TV which hadn't become popular yet.  I read everything I could get my hands on. I once had a race down a school library book shelf with another reader friend of mine.  I had an adult library card at 8 yo. courtesy of my activist mother who went to bat for me at the local library which I used almost exclusively as the young adult section books were off limits to my elementary card.  I frequently strayed into the adult fiction section and found that I could learn about important social issues there more efficiently than in the news or the history sections.  A good fiction author must write believable stuff in order to sell no matter what the genre.

For me the most important advantage of text is that you must supply your own emotional context to text.  Visual and even aural media are designed to manipulate the emotional state of the consumer.  Humans are story driven, and the invention of writing gave readers much more control over the emotional impact of the story.  Not completely, of course, a good writer can influence the emotional content of his words, but the reader has a chance to process that emotional content at leisure if desired.

Another advantage of text is that it clearly indicates the intelligence, education, and sophistication of the writer by asynchronous textual analysis.  A speech or video may sound plausible, but analysis of the transcript is critical to evaluating the plausibility of the actor.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Good Common Core Education

Testing is simply a political football.  In any metro area large or small there are a few schools or school systems where kids can get a good common core education.  Parents who care vote with their feet, sometimes literally to acquire an address in a good school district.  I know of a parent who chose homelessness to get her kids into a good school in NYC.  The kids did well.  Those who can afford it buy or rent in the good districts.  In my case in NYC it was cheaper to move to the high rent district than to pay for private schools. 
California has standardized tests for schools (STAR) that are public information, and property values are directly correlated.  STAR is referred to by some as Schools Tested by Affluence Ranking. I happen to live in a developed orchard in Santa Clara County where several square miles were built out with similar homes.  On the good school side of the district line literally identical houses can be twice the price of those on the wrong side of the line.  (I had occasion to check this out recently as a son and Jr. Hi grandson were considering a transfer to the area.  I had a utility bill with the right name on it from the good side of the line, and got listings on the wrong side for identical houses which suited the lifestyle of my son's family.  A little over half price was normal.) 
You don't have to be rich.  In fact schools in rich districts are generally not the best.  Private schools skim off all the good kids.  The middle class can generally find schools "on the west side of the power line" where with a little involvement in the PTA with the rest of the parents who paid the premium to get into the area kids get a decent education.  It helps to be upper middle class that is where the best schools are.  But in most good districts there are apartments on the wrong side of the tracks but right side of the power line where if you are willing to compromise living standards for schooling you can find something.  When I moved to CA broke but working I had an apartment in one of the best school districts in Palo Alto.  The roof leaked and the folks at the end were stealing power from the laundry room but the schools through HS were top notch. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Arts Make Education Work

No wonder the religitards are trying to kill it.

Note, the term "retard" applied to one who is normally intelligent insults no one else.  Those with mental challenges are not retarded.  They do very well with their native intelligence.

Worth a click.  Tim inherited his father's passion for promoting and teaching the arts.

HAYWARD -- Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins spent Friday at a Hayward elementary school, joining children in a staged reading, singing with the chorus, answering questions and watching students work on computer art projects as he promoted the arts in schools.

His visit was part of Turnaround Arts, a program to improve students' grades and attendance through the arts.

"I am here today because of the importance of arts in education. When I was in school, I went from being a good student in grade school to a struggling student in high school. The arts became a lifeline for me," he said Friday

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Education Common Privatized.

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The common that is being stolen today is the right of every child to the education hesh needs to claim herm place at the workbench of ideas. Good public education has become the property of those that can afford the homes in the few good school districts and vote for the local taxes that support them. With some charity to a few who can make the trek and get in.

This is the modern stake that was once given to anyone that chose to pay attention in school. It is now denied to most.