Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Cruising the Web

Eric Grunden, a colleague at my school and a good friend, has started blogging about education issues and he has some thoughts about Fran Tarkenton's column yesterday in the WSJ wondering what would happen if the NFL were run like education. Eric turns it around to wonder if schools were run like the NFL. Here's a sample:
3. Bad schools in one part of the country would be subsidized by excellent schools in another. This wouldn’t depend on whether or not the bad schools ever improved (Cleveland).

4. Only the best students would take the big tests, so the results would be better. How about being forced to play the practice squad against Tom Brady? And then being evaluated on the basis of their poor performance?

5. A student who chose not to study or skipped school could be fined, or even benched for a big exam.
Timothy Carney peels back Washington-speak by pointing out that what the media likes to portray as "elder statesmen" are really lobbyists. They just don't like to reveal the conflicts of interest behind some of these supposed elder statesmen's positions.

Andrew Ferguson reminds us of how the Washington establishment used to think that Dick Cheney was their kind of Republican.

Another department of Energy loan to Nevada Geothermal Power now looks like it won't be able to stay in business - think of it as "Solyndra Lite."

Karl at Patterico's blog looks at another liberal, Jeffrey Sachs, who is fed up with democracy. That whole Constitution is just such a drag because representative democracy makes it harder for liberals to impose their policies that they're so sure are better for us.

John F. Cogan and John B. Taylor look back at the history of short-term stimulus policies from Carter's time to today. These temporary proposals all have something in common - they don't work.

Bret Stephens catalogs how Obama expresses contempt for Americans. From his comments about bitter gun-and religion-clinging Mid-westerners to his recent characterization of Americans becoming soft, Obama has let us know how we're falling short of his
When a good history of anti-Americanism is someday written, it will note that it's mainly a story of disenchantment—of the obdurate and sometimes vulgar reality of the country falling short of the lover's ideal. Listening to Mr. Obama, especially now as the country turns against him, one senses in him a similar disenchantment: America is lovable exactly in proportion to the love it gives him in return.

Hence his increasingly ill-concealed expressions of contempt. Hence the increasingly widespread counter-contempt.
Things are so bad nowadays that, even in liberal states and congressional districts, conservatism is gaining in its appeal.

The Hill reports on the tense relations between Harry Reid and President Obama.

Jonah Goldberg puts his finger on the essential inconsistency in the administration's approach to fighting terrorists.
Meanwhile, President Obama keeps ordering that the more famous terrorists be killed on sight. That's fine with me. But as far as I can tell, he's never disagreed with Holder's view about the need for civilian trials for terrorists we don't kill, like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

Hence my confusion. If you believe that even non-American terrorists should be treated like American criminals, with all of the 5th Amendment rights we grant to our own accused, how can you sanction killing an American without so much as a hearing?
Goldberg concludes that Obama would prefer to kill these people outright including the risk of any collateral damage than capture them alive and have the whole controversy of what to do with them and where to put them.

Here's a clip-and-keep infographic of "the Obama Presidency by the Numbers" comparing Obama's own statements and the numbers today.

So Eric Holder's only excuse about how he didn't know about Fast and Furious is that he just didn't read the memos prepared for him. Soon he'll be telling us that he lied in his own diary.

3 comments:

Marshall said...

Yes,let's look at what Eric Grunden had to say:

1. A summer salary dispute might have led to no school for the 2011-2012 season. That darn teachers–oops, players union.

2. There would be a minimum salary that enabled teachers to support families without having to work second jobs.

Seems to me that Grunden is pointing out the problems of giving unions the power to collectively bargain (and to take collective action).

3. Bad schools in one part of the country would be subsidized by excellent schools in another. This wouldn’t depend on whether or not the bad schools ever improved (Cleveland).

The NFL figured out that they needed real competition to keep fan interest and to provide competitive tests for its elite. They were (and are) right. The problem is that big market teams have more money than small market teams. So the league (in negotiations with the players' union) came up with a scheme that shared tv money with all teams and capped player payrolls). I think Grunden confused the NFL with MLB -- which does have a payroll "tax". But Grunden seems easily confused.

And the NFL's system works. Look at the Lions and the Bills (and Cleveland beat the Pats last year, 34-17).

4. Only the best students would take the big tests, so the results would be better. How about being forced to play the practice squad against Tom Brady? And then being evaluated on the basis of their poor performance?

Gee, do you permit all students in your school to compete in your "college" bowls? Of course not! The privilege must be earned.

5. A student who chose not to study or skipped school could be fined, or even benched for a big exam.

Back in the fifties(when I was educated), schools did discipline pupils -- usually by making them spend more time at school (it was called "detention"). Nowadays, schools give errant children extra holidays(called "suspensions"). Less work for teachers?

6. Kickers aren’t forced to play wide receiver just because the front office decided to go empty backfield after the season starts. Teachers shouldn’t be made to switch preps just because a school has decided they need an AP chemistry section.

Huh? Was Grunden "forced" to teach a class for which he was unqualified? Schools ought to be free to hire qualified people and to fire unqualified people. Seems to me that the "problem" Grunden alludes to is that the school couldn't fire an unneeded teacher and had to use him/her to teach a course that should have been staffed by someone who knew something about the subject matter.

7. The coaching staff would be stocked with social studies teachers. :)

NFL teams have a myriad of coaching specialties, defense, offense, quarterback, line, strength, special teams, etc. Does Grunden think they're all interchangeable? Or does he think HE is soooo much smarter than an athletics coach.

Let’s have a productive discussion about school finance, not just another cute analogy.

Ah, Grunden reveals himself. We can fix all of the problems of our schools if we just spend more money! Well, it's been tried and tried and has failed and failed.

Look how much better Wisconson is doing after they eliminated collective bargaining by school unions (no layoffs, smaller class sizes -- and no more money spent).

Rick Caird said...

Marshall beat me to it, but more fisking is more fun:

Unfortunately, your friend Eric Gruden shows us exactly what is wrong with the schools.

Hopefully, Betsy's readers will follow the link. Point by point:

1. Ever heard of teacher strikes, Eric? Are you suggesting they will never happen again?

2. There are minimum teacher's salaries as specified in their contracts (just like the NFL). You may want more money, but that is a different question.

3. Schools with more tax revenue already support poorer schools at least on a state and county level. See a bunch of judicial decisions on that.

4. This one makes little sense. In the NFL, the poorer teams are "eliminated", but they do play and are compared with the better teams. In the NFL, Eric, no more that two teams can play each other at a time.

5. Truant oficers and jailed parents of kids who skip school.

6. Occurs because of tenure. Give up tenure and the surplus English teacher could be replaced by a chem teacher.

7. What does this even mean?


Actually, Eric, the analogy holds quite well. I don't think you really want a discussion of school finance. How about having every teacher be eligible to be cut each fall?

James said...

"These temporary proposals all have something in common - they don't work."

They're also never temporary.