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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kim Jong-Il has died

Another tyrant has passed away, but how long will his communist regime survive? I don't know. In the meantime, a song for you to enjoy...

Education and technology


Check out my article, "Technology Cannot Disrupt Education From The Top Down" over at TechCrunch.

To make a long story short, technology won't disrupt and improve public education from the top down because American public education has the money and muscle to resist and co-opt innovation at every turn. I advise entrepreneurs to sell to charter schools, private schools, virtual schools, home school networks or to the students. Often these type of schools have greater incentives to adopt new technologies in order to improve student learning and increase efficiency or lower costs.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Upon reincarnation as a poor kid move here....

My friend Matt Ladner has an interesting post over at Jaygreene regarding the best low-income school districts (at least in relation to their ability to teach children how to read...which is an important indicator of graduating later in life)....


Note, the top three all have big school choice programs. Florida offers tax credits for donations to Scholarship Tuition Organizations which create scholarships for low-income students and students with disabilities. Florida also has one of the nations largest charter school networks (privately run public schools) and the nations largest virtual school. New York is also school choice friendly as it is home to a strong network of charter schools and the largest network of empowerment schools (public schools that operate more like capitalist franchises of the public school district rather than hubs of some massive Soviet bureaucracy).

So if you are reincarnated as a poor kid (especially a Hispanic) move to New York City or Florida (I vote for Florida because of the weather).

UPDATE FOR STATEWIDE EMBARRASSMENT 


I visited the National Center for Education Statistics data center regarding the NAEP test (which Matt references in his post and the first picture). Basically, I found the percentage of low-income students in Miami-Dade scoring proficient or better on the NAEP (25 percent) is the same result as California and Nevada... for all students regardless of income level.

In other words, the best California and Nevada can muster is the achievement levels of low-income students in Miami-Dade. Let that sink in for a moment before reading the next paragraph.

Worse still, when looking at only low-income students, Florida's statewide average is 24 percent proficient or better on the reading exam while Nevada scores 16 percent and California scores 12 percent.  In other words, low-income students are twice as likely to score proficient or better in Florida than in progressive California.

Ouch...