Monday, January 30

Making schools effective

Getting Beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City
We find that traditionally collected input measures--class size, per pupil expenditure, the fraction of teachers with no certification, and the fraction of teachers with an advanced degree--are not correlated with school effectiveness. In stark contrast, we show that an index of five policies suggested by over forty years of qualitative research--frequent teacher feedback, the use of data to guide instruction, high-dosage tutoring, increased instructional time, and high expectations--explains approximately 50 percent of the variation in school effectiveness.

Wednesday, January 25

Spot the difference

This is the first comment I tried to post:

This is the second:

The only thing omitted was "(sorry, NYT)". I suppose we should give the NYT credit. The comment should be posted here.

Anyway, a lot of these people truly are the world's 1%.

Saturday, January 14

The reason Tsai lost?

DPP reiterates denial of '92 consensus'
Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) The "1992 consensus" espoused by the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China does not exist, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said at an international press conference in Taipei on Thursday.

Speaking on behalf of DPP Chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen who was on the campaign trail in Taoyuan County, Hsiao Bi-khim described the "92 consensus" as a term invented in 2000. No such consensus was reached with China in 1992, she told the reporters from over 30 countries around the world.
Supposedly that's the reason she lost: this talk infuriated the Communists and terrified Taiwanese businessmen came out to drum up support for the KMT.

What's odd is I only find mention of this "international press conference" on the gov't CNA website and on the pro-KMT China Post.


Although this article (or editorial) dated August 22, 2011 pretty much follows the DPP line, and quotes guess who:
...Hsiao Bi-khim responded that the "so-called 92 consensus is a very weak foundation." There was no real consensus in 1992 between Taipei and Beijing, she argued, and "there is no domestically agreed to consensus." The only real consensus might be "between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party."

The crappy Taipei Times

Writing of the 2012 election, the Taipei Times shows its partisan character by speaking of the "Chinese" Nationalist Party.
I can't believe how anyone takes this rag seriously as anything other than a mouthpiece for DPP propaganda.

Sunday, January 8

Numbers are hard

Americans Stumble on Math of Big Issues
Many Americans have strong opinions about policy issues shaping the presidential campaign, from immigration to Social Security. But their grasp of numbers that underlie those issues can be tenuous.
Here are some figures that I found:
  • percentage of fellow residents who are foreign-born: 12.4% (37,049,464)
  • percentage who are in the country illegally: 4% to 7% (interesting that most sources give sources as "millions" rather than percentages; could that be because that "millions" sounds like more?)
  • percentage of federal spending on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting: 0.01% ($430 million)
  • percentage of U.S. families on welfare: 1.425% (4.4 million)
But I have to give up, as there's no explanation of the "welfare" figure. Apparently this doesn't include federal means-tested welfare programs (over 180!), like Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Food Stamps, other food programs for children or the elderly, federal housing assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), just to name a few!

The U.S. Foreign-Born Population is 39,929,000, or 12.9%. Shall we say 13%?

Thursday, January 5

Not Mildred Edith Brady

James M. Murphy's The man who started the sexual revolution gives the wrong name to Mildred Edie Brady, the journalist whose article led to Wilhelm Reich's downfall. Her daughter has a picture here.