MPG Posted: Mar 14, 2007 11:20 PM >I didn't read your joke.
I do not believe you. Everybody loves jokes and reads them whenever they can. Even bad jokes. Johnny Carson even made a career of delivering bad jokes. Why would you lie to us about a thing like this?
>The literary exercise is easy when you don't live only >inside your own fantasy land: you just realize that >there are really other people in the world. Try it some >time.
Yet another highly revealing comment in a week of revelations by you. The idea that you would find "nuance and multiple interpretation" in the phrase
"...most of which do not have any accountability mechanisms to prove their worth."
tells us all we need to know about the kind of scholar you are. I.e., you are no scholar, at all.
In every field of research there is a body of literature, and in that literature there are words and phrases, often quite a lot of them, with established, conventional meanings. These words and phrases amount to terms of art, and we have them for precisely the same reason the professions have terms of art: they facilitate clear and unambiguous communication. (Plus, you would have a hell of time researching the literature without these terms of art.)
In education research, one of the really big themes is the absence of methods for establishing the efficacy of programs. Some of us think that is a scandal. Furthermore, among educationists, this absence reveals a habit of mind that ramifies in surprising ways.
For example, one of Rudy Giuliani's earliest acts in his first term as mayor of NYC was to request the budget of the then Board of Education. He was denied. Giuliani was denied not because the Board was unwilling to comply with his request, but because they were unable. You see, there was no budget. (Well, there was no one, authoritative budget. There were various bits and pieces of irreconcilable, budget-like objects floating around the enormous NYC public school system, that may or may not have been useful to various subsidiary entities, but that is all.) In other words, the Board could not tell the mayor, with any degree of precision, how many people were in their employ, who they were (i.e., teachers, supervisors, administrators, facilitators, coordinators, etc., etc.), where they worked, and how much the whole thing cost.
I understand this all means nothing to you, Michael, but at the time many people were staggered by this revelation. Staggered first that nobody had ever before asked this of the Board, and staggered that a $15 BBBillion organization ran without a working budget (of course, I use the word "ran" rather loosely). It is one of those things that would be unbelievable, but for the fact that it is true.
As another example, the NYC Board of Education could not precisely say how many children were in special education, at what ages they tended to enter special education, how long they stayed there, and whether special education helped, if at all. And, of course, no one really knew what special education cost, except that is very expensive.
You see, no accountability. It does not occur to educationists to ask or offer evidence of efficacy, therefore no one bothers to collect the evidence. I.e., no "accountability mechanisms to prove their worth."
This very thread, with your name on it, exists because of this educationist habit of mind. Educationists assert that the public schools are "vastly underfunded" and they expect to be believed and they are outraged when anyone questions them on it.
And so it is, that when the Pacific Research Institute asserts that,
"Further, the state continues to create new education programs, most of which do not have any accountability mechanisms to prove their worth."
the meaning is perfectly clear to anyone who can read English and has even a nodding acquaintance with the literature.