Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Age, written in water

John Hattie suggests that a teacher with an ATAR of 57 will have 40-50% of their students brighter than them.  This is beyond ridiculous.  Leaving aside the obvious bias of a government that wants to defy the market by getting better teachers without paying more for them and an educational system that wants to blame its failures on bad students rather than rotten teaching, ATARs are not a simple measure of intelligence, whatever that is.  Your ATAR depends, among other things, on your class, your motivation, your school, your family, and your luck on the day, and any suggestion that it’s an unchangeable lifetime sentence is both stupid and cruel. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Then as now

The GOP was not only a pachyderm but a power. Everywhere west of Manhattan’s PM and the New York Post, more and more of the US was becoming Republicanland. In the Solid South, hatred of the New Deal was bitterer than anywhere else.  In 26 states Republican governors administered the affairs of 66% of the American people. Since 1938 more & more citizens in 38 states had consistently voted Republican. 
The Republican party…. had less than five months to pull itself together.
What made the Party crisis important not only to politicians but to plain people was the deepening need for leadership in the land. The President’s leadership had been repudiated again & again by Congress, and the people’s only answer to complaints from the White House about Congress was to send more & more Republicans to Congress, to repudiate that leadership further. 
This search for leadership was just as deep in Congress itself. … These, the very men supposed to generate leadership, were leaderless.  The spectacle of Congress thrashing about was a significant index to the national need.
One plain evidence of the need was the abnormal national interest, nine months before Election day, in the doings and movements of politicians.

Time, Feb 14, 1944, p. 18

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