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Topic: None Dare Call It "The Gap"
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GS Chandy

Posts: 6,753
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
None Dare Call It "The Gap"
Posted: Sep 21, 2012 2:48 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Haim's post of Sep 19, 2012 4:29 PM said:
>
> Gosh, I wonder why.  (Hint:  it's The Prime
> Directive.)
>

I see Haim's 'Hint'.  But I see nowhere the existence of this fabled 'Prime Directive'.
>>
>> Mostly, the system ignores them, with policies and
>> budget priorities that concentrate on raising the

> floor
>> under low-achieving students. A good and necessary
> thing
>> to do, yes, but we‚ve failed to raise the ceiling
> for
>> those already well above the floor.
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/opinion/gifted-stude
> nts-deserve-more-opportunities.html?hp
>

The whole of Haim's post appears below my signature for easy reference.

>> That was in response to my question:
>> And so?
>>
>> Is this another bit of your 'evidence' that will help >>put the 'Education Mafia' in jail?
>> GSC

>
The New York Times article is quite useful - but it does not at all respond to my question; nor does it at all prove the existence of an 'Educational Mafia'; and even less does it prove the existence of that 'Prime Directive' on which Haim seems to be fixated; and even less does it prove that this group of people (assuming their existence, whomsoever they may be) must be put into jail.

Some of the issues that the article usefully raises:
>
> BARACK OBAMA and Mitt Romney both attended elite
> private high schools. Both are undeniably smart and
> well educated and owe much of their success to the
> strong foundation laid by excellent schools.
>
> Every motivated, high-potential young American
> deserves a similar opportunity. But the majority of
> very smart kids lack the wherewithal to enroll in
> rigorous private schools. They depend on public
> education to prepare them for life. Yet that system
> is failing to create enough opportunities for
> hundreds of thousands of these high-potential girls
> and boys.
>

All probably true enough.  But it does not point to the existence of an 'Education Mafia', nor that they have issued something called the 'Prime Directive', nor that they (assuming they do exist) should be jailed.
>
> Mostly, the system ignores them, with policies and
> budget priorities that concentrate on raising the
> floor under low-achieving students. A good and
> necessary thing to do, yes, but we‚ve failed to raise
> the ceiling for those already well above the floor.
>

All probably true enough.  But it does not point to the existence of an 'Education Mafia', nor that they have issued something called the 'Prime Directive', nor that they (assuming they do exist) should be jailed.

What it may prove is that well-educated people like Haim have failed to put the right kind of pressures on your system to ensure that an effective public school system does develop in the USA.  Paul A. Tanner III denies that the US public school system is anywhere near as defective as Haim claims - in fact he claims that the US public school system is today as good as any other in the world.  Be that as it may.  I don't believe he will deny the possibility of improving the whole system (including the private schools).
>
> Mostly, the system ignores them, with policies and
> budget priorities that concentrate on raising the
> floor under low-achieving students. A good and
> necessary thing to do, yes, but we‚ve failed to raise
> the ceiling for those already well above the floor.
>

Indeed.  If true, it DOES prove that educated people like Haim have failed to put the right kind of pressures on the authorities who decide and allocate budgets, etc. Note
that the article states "we've failed..."
>
> Public education‚s neglect of high-ability students
> s doesn‚t just deny individuals opportunities they
> deserve. It also imperils the country‚s future supply
> of scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs. 
>

Quite possibly true (though I would like to seek the opinions of more knowledgeable people like Paul A. Tanner III on this) - these will form what I call 'elements' in a list of things that should be done for the US public school system.  I note here that Haim and Robert Hansen have jeered at the idea of seeking ideas from knowledgeable people.

What the whole article DOES DEFINITIVELY prove, if true, is that educated people in the US, like Haim, have failed to put the right kind of pressures on the authorities who decide and allocate budgets, etc.  It does NOT prove the existence of an 'Education Mafia', of the 'Prime Directive', or that the members of this postulated 'Education Mafia' must be put into jail.
>
> Today‚s systemic failure takes three forms.
>
> First, we‚re weak at identifying „gifted and
> talented‰ children early, particularly if they‚re
> poor or members of minority groups or don‚t have
> savvy, pushy parents.
>

(And why should it take "savvy, pushy parents" to get any child what should be his/hers - an effective education - by right?  That is surely the fault of savvy, pushy people like Haim who have failed to put the right kind of pressure on the authorities who decide and allocate funding to the school system).
>
> Second, at the primary and middle-school levels, we
> don‚t have enough gifted-education classrooms (with
> suitable teachers and curriculums) to serve even the
> existing demand. Congress has „zero-funded‰ the Jacob
> K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education
> Program, Washington‚s sole effort to encourage such
> education. Faced with budget crunches and federal
> pressure to turn around awful schools, many districts
> are cutting their advanced classes as well as art and
> music.
>
> Third, many high schools have just a smattering of
> honors or Advanced Placement classes, sometimes
> populated by kids who are bright but not truly
> prepared to succeed in them.
>

Quite possibly true, though I would like to seek the opinions of more knowledgeable people than I am on this, people like Paul A. Tanner III - all their ideas and Haim's (along with those of his cohorts and consorts) will form what I call 'elements' in a list of things that should be done for the US public school system.  I note here that Haim and Robert Hansen have often jeered at the idea of seeking ideas from knowledgeable people - the stakeholders - in the system.

What the above in the article DOES prove, if true, is that educated people in the US, like Haim, have failed to put the right kind of pressures on the authorities who decide and allocate budgets, etc.  It does NOT prove the existence of an 'Education Mafia', of the 'Prime Directive', or that the members of this postulated 'Education Mafia' must be put into jail.
>
> Here and there, however, entire public schools focus
> exclusively on high-ability, highly motivated
> students. Some are nationally famous (Boston Latin,
> Bronx Science), others known mainly in their own
> communities (Cincinnati‚s Walnut Hills, Austin‚s
> Liberal Arts and Science Academy). When my colleague
> Jessica A. Hockett and I went searching for schools
> like these to study, we discovered that no one had
> ever fully mapped this terrain.
>
> In a country with more than 20,000 public high
> schools, we found just 165 of these schools, known as
> exam schools. They educate about 1 percent of
> students. Nineteen states have none. Only three big
> cities have more than five such schools (Los Angeles
> has zero). Almost all have far more qualified
> applicants than they can accommodate. Hence they
> practice very selective admission, turning away
> thousands of students who could benefit from what
> they have to offer. Northern Virginia‚s acclaimed
> Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and
> Technology, for example, gets some 3,300 applicants a
> year ˜ two-thirds of them academically qualified ˜
> for 480 places.
>
> We built a list, surveyed the principals and visited
> d 11 schools. We learned a lot. While the schools
> differ in many ways, their course offerings resemble
> A.P. classes in content and rigor; they have stellar
> college placement; and the best of them expose their
> pupils to independent study, challenging internships
> and individual research projects.
>
> Critics call them elitist, but we found the
> opposite. These are great schools accessible to
> families who can‚t afford private schooling or
> expensive suburbs. While exam schools in some cities
> don‚t come close to reflecting the demographics
> around them, across the country the low-income
> enrollment in these schools parallels the high school
> population as a whole. African-American youngsters
> are „overrepresented‰ in them and Asian-Americans
> staggeringly so (21 percent versus 5 percent in high
> schools overall). Latinos are underrepresented, but
> so are whites. 
>

Possibly true.  See above.  I will guarantee that, if a proper survey is done, it will indeed be found that no one has "ever fully mapped this terrain" (properly and effectively).  It can also be demonstrated that most such surveys, whenever carried out, are seriously faulty. It would also be not difficult to demonstrate that the above-noted informal survey done by the NYT writers is also somewhat faulty in several respects.

But what the above in the article CERTAINLY DOES prove (if all of it is correct and true), is that educated people in the US, like Haim, have failed to put the right kind of pressures on the authorities who decide and allocate budgets, etc.  It does NOT prove the existence of an 'Education Mafia', of the 'Prime Directive', or that the members of this postulated 'Education Mafia' must be put into jail.
>
> That‚s not so surprising. Prosperous, educated
> parents can access multiple options for their able
> daughters and sons. Elite private schools are still
> out there. So are New Trier, Scarsdale and Beverly
> Hills. The schools we studied, by and large, are
> educational oases for families with smart kids but
> few alternatives.
>

If above contentions are true, it is indeed a tragedy that people "with smart kids have few alternatives" (except expensive private schools).  It does NOT prove ANY of Haim's vehement contentions.

What the above in the article CERTAINLY DOES prove (if all of it is correct and true), is that educated people in the US, like Haim, have failed to put the right kind of pressures on the authorities who decide and allocate budgets, etc.  It does NOT prove the existence of an 'Education Mafia', of the 'Prime Directive', or that the members of this postulated 'Education Mafia' must be put into jail.

Almost EXACTLY the same comments as above apply to the rest of the article (which will be found in full below my signature, and, perhaps, at the New York Times link provided by Haim).

What NO PART of the article proves is ANY of Haim's contentions! 

NOWHERE does it demonstrate the existence of an 'Education Mafia'.  NOWHERE does it demonstrate the existence of a 'Prime Directive' issued to anyone. NOWHERE does it demonstrate the that an 'Education Mafia' (if it exists at all) has done deeds that requires that they be jailed (and, for that matter, nowhere does it demonstrate that "Schools of education should be blown up!" as often demanded by Wayne Bishop).

What the entire article CERTAINLY DOES prove (if all of it is all correct and true), is that educated people in the US, like Haim, have failed to put the right kind of pressures on the authorities who decide and allocate budgets, etc.  No part of the article proves the existence of an 'Education Mafia'; that a 'Prime Directive' has been issued;  that the members of this Haim-postulated 'Education Mafia' must be put into jail.

I attach herewith information about some very practical tools that can help the stakeholders in the US educational system (both private and public schools included) be very significantly improved in a remarkably short period of time.

I do hope that Haim will now refrain from posting RIDICULOUS demands that are impossible to carry out, which will demand a response from me - which is turn is likely to cause Barry Garelick (if not Haim and his cohorts and consorts) extreme tedium.  What WOULD BE MOST USEFUL is if Haim (and his cohorts and consorts) would communicate to the authorities - in a proper way; demanding improvements in the system, not putting up empty criticisms as heretofore - the 'gaps' they find in the US public school education system.  In due course, it certainly would be possible to move the 'system as a whole'.  It will NOT be possible by merely shouting out (regardless how loud your voice may be) "PUT THE EDUCATION MAFIA IN JAIL!" or "BLOW UP THE SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION!", etc, etc.

GSC
("Still Shoveling Away!" - with due apologies to Barry Garelick for any tedium caused)
Haim posted Sep 19, 2012 4:29 PM:
> Gosh, I wonder why.  (Hint:  it's The Prime
> Directive.)
>

>> Mostly, the system ignores them, with policies and
>> budget priorities that concentrate on raising the

> floor
>> under low-achieving students. A good and necessary
> thing
>> to do, yes, but we‚ve failed to raise the ceiling
> for
>> those already well above the floor.
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/opinion/gifted-stude
> nts-deserve-more-opportunities.html?hp
>
> September 18, 2012
> Young, Gifted and Neglected
> By CHESTER E. FINN Jr.
>
> Washington
> BARACK OBAMA and Mitt Romney both attended elite
> private high schools. Both are undeniably smart and
> well educated and owe much of their success to the
> strong foundation laid by excellent schools. 
>
> Every motivated, high-potential young American
> deserves a similar opportunity. But the majority of
> very smart kids lack the wherewithal to enroll in
> rigorous private schools. They depend on public
> education to prepare them for life. Yet that system
> is failing to create enough opportunities for
> hundreds of thousands of these high-potential girls
> and boys.
>
> Mostly, the system ignores them, with policies and
> budget priorities that concentrate on raising the
> floor under low-achieving students. A good and
> necessary thing to do, yes, but we‚ve failed to raise
> the ceiling for those already well above the floor.
>
> Public education‚s neglect of high-ability students
> s doesn‚t just deny individuals opportunities they
> deserve. It also imperils the country‚s future supply
> of scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs. 
>
> Today‚s systemic failure takes three forms.
>
> First, we‚re weak at identifying „gifted and
> talented‰ children early, particularly if they‚re
> poor or members of minority groups or don‚t have
> savvy, pushy parents.
>
> Second, at the primary and middle-school levels, we
> don‚t have enough gifted-education classrooms (with
> suitable teachers and curriculums) to serve even the
> existing demand. Congress has „zero-funded‰ the Jacob
> K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education
> Program, Washington‚s sole effort to encourage such
> education. Faced with budget crunches and federal
> pressure to turn around awful schools, many districts
> are cutting their advanced classes as well as art and
> music.
>
> Third, many high schools have just a smattering of
> honors or Advanced Placement classes, sometimes
> populated by kids who are bright but not truly
> prepared to succeed in them.
>
> Here and there, however, entire public schools focus
> exclusively on high-ability, highly motivated
> students. Some are nationally famous (Boston Latin,
> Bronx Science), others known mainly in their own
> communities (Cincinnati‚s Walnut Hills, Austin‚s
> Liberal Arts and Science Academy). When my colleague
> Jessica A. Hockett and I went searching for schools
> like these to study, we discovered that no one had
> ever fully mapped this terrain.
>
> In a country with more than 20,000 public high
> schools, we found just 165 of these schools, known as
> exam schools. They educate about 1 percent of
> students. Nineteen states have none. Only three big
> cities have more than five such schools (Los Angeles
> has zero). Almost all have far more qualified
> applicants than they can accommodate. Hence they
> practice very selective admission, turning away
> thousands of students who could benefit from what
> they have to offer. Northern Virginia‚s acclaimed
> Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and
> Technology, for example, gets some 3,300 applicants a
> year ˜ two-thirds of them academically qualified ˜
> for 480 places.
>
> We built a list, surveyed the principals and visited
> d 11 schools. We learned a lot. While the schools
> differ in many ways, their course offerings resemble
> A.P. classes in content and rigor; they have stellar
> college placement; and the best of them expose their
> pupils to independent study, challenging internships
> and individual research projects.
>
> Critics call them elitist, but we found the
> e opposite. These are great schools accessible to
> families who can‚t afford private schooling or
> expensive suburbs. While exam schools in some cities
> don‚t come close to reflecting the demographics
> around them, across the country the low-income
> enrollment in these schools parallels the high school
> population as a whole. African-American youngsters
> are „overrepresented‰ in them and Asian-Americans
> staggeringly so (21 percent versus 5 percent in high
> schools overall). Latinos are underrepresented, but
> so are whites. 
>
> That‚s not so surprising. Prosperous, educated
> parents can access multiple options for their able
> daughters and sons. Elite private schools are still
> out there. So are New Trier, Scarsdale and Beverly
> Hills. The schools we studied, by and large, are
> educational oases for families with smart kids but
> few alternatives.
>
> They‚re safe havens, too ˜ schools where everyone
> e focuses on teaching and learning, not maintaining
> order. They have sports teams, but their orchestras
> are better. Yes, some have had to crack down on
> cheating, but in these schools it‚s O.K. to be a
> nerd. You‚re surrounded by kids like you ˜ some
> smarter than you ˜ and taught by capable teachers who
> welcome the challenge, teachers more apt to have
> Ph.D.‚s or experience at the college level than high
> school instructors elsewhere. You aren‚t searched for
> weapons at the door. And you‚re pretty sure to
> graduate and go on to a good college.
>
> Many more students could benefit from schools like
> these ˜ and the numbers would multiply if our
> education system did right by such students in the
> early grades. But that will happen only when we
> acknowledge that leaving no child behind means paying
> as much attention to those who‚ve mastered the basics
> ˜ and have the capacity and motivation for much more
> ˜ as we do to those who cannot yet read or subtract.
>
> It‚s time to end the bias against gifted and talented
> education and quit assuming that every school must be
> all things to all students, a simplistic formula that
> ends up neglecting all sorts of girls and boys, many
> of them poor and minority, who would benefit more
> from specialized public schools. America should have
> a thousand or more high schools for able students,
> not 165, and elementary and middle schools that spot
> and prepare their future pupils.
>
> With their support for school choice, Mr. Romney and
> Mr. Obama have both edged toward recognizing that
> kids aren‚t all the same and schools shouldn‚t be,
> either. Yet fear of seeming elitist will most likely
> keep them from proposing more exam schools. Which is
> ironic and sad, considering where they went to
> school. Smart kids shouldn‚t have to go to private
> schools or get turned away from Bronx Science or
> Thomas Jefferson simply because there‚s no room for
> them.
>
> Chester E. Finn Jr., the president of the Thomas B.
> Fordham Institute and a senior fellow at the Hoover
> Institution at Stanford University, is the author,
> with Jessica A. Hockett, of „Exam Schools: Inside
> America‚s Most Selective Public High Schools.‰




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