Linky Friday: Here, There, Everywhere


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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139 Responses

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Liberalized hunting and butchering licenses can lead to a tasty solution.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Wild boar is not always the best eating (boar taint).Report

      • In Colorado, feral hogs are defined to be an invasive species. Any number can be taken at any time of year without a license. Pretty much any of the specialty butchers that will take a deer or elk carcass will also handle a hog for you — there’s no shortage of them. The bigger problem is getting access. So far, feral hogs have been confined to the portion of the state south and east of Colorado Springs. Most of the public lands in that area are State Trust Lands that are closed to general access for most of the year. Unless you know someone, hunting on private land is difficult to arrange.Report

  1. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    [Ou3] It is illegal to bait while hunting (usually); I hope the school was cited. On the other hand, that’s a pretty easy boar to take down, even with a bow or crossbow if proximity to neighbors is a concern. A trotter that big? Would feed the whole school for a week.

    The best meal I ever had was wild boar stew while visiting a friend’s family in Bruges, Belgium.

    But yes, wild boars are dangerous creatures…heck mostly domesticated pigs are somewhat dangerous (and the oogy me out)… and I hope the fellow was dispatched an eaten.Report

    • Avatar fillyjonk says:

      We received an e-mail this week warning those of us in “outlying” buildings (hello, biology department!) that wild hogs have been spotted in the area.

      They also noted “do not approach” but those of us in biology already knew that. And to call the campus police if you see one.

      I have already decided: if I drive in at sparrowfart some morning and there’s a hog in the parking lot or on our lawn, I’m (a) calling campus police and (b) turning around, going home, and taking a sick day. They don’t pay me enough to brave a gauntlet of hogs.

      (The are the ONE animal – aside from some humans – I worry about running into when I’m out in the woods or prairies doing fieldwork. Deer, coyotes, snakes, even bobcats – don’t worry me, ‘cos they run the other way. Hogs – they will run at you.)Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        I don’t blame you… there are very few things I’d brave a wild-pig herd for; maybe the one thing would be… wild pig… but then I’d be armed for that.

        Each year we butcher a couple of our neighbor’s pigs into the most unbelievable sausage, bacon, pancetta and pork… but I drew the line at raising them as over the years while helping him with various pig related projects they are the only animal that consistently bites me… not nibble like a goat at your sleeve… but bite like a fat 200 lb dog on your leg. And the 200 lb’ers are the babies. No thanks.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          I blame Charlotte’s Web and the movie Babe, everyone reads & sees those and straight up forgets that pigs are serious livestock.

          It’s like thinking a mountain ram is just an overgrown pygmy goat.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq says:

            Most people in the developed world only encounter domesticated animals either after slaughter or through children’s media, where they tend to be depicted really cuddly and cute. This means that they don’t realize how dangerous they can be in full grown or even not so grown form.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine says:

              Or how naughty.

              We raise sheep and goats and when various passages about goats come up in Mass my kids just nod their heads raise their hands and exclaim “preach it brother” … well in their imagination brains anyhow.

              I could imagine how whole passages seem entirely arbitrary to modern sensibilities if you are silly enough to think goats and sheep are just slightly different models of four legged animals.Report

          • Avatar fillyjonk says:

            Or that bison are cute. My graduate advisor talked about how scandalized he was on a trip to (I think it was?) Yellowstone where there was a semi-captive herd – people would walk up to the bison and try to pull fur off them (they were shedding). Those people are incredibly lucky they are not dead.

            Frankly, I am even leery around EXTREMELY domesticated (like: treated as pets) milch cows.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              You get kicked by a cow once, and they aren’t cute anymore.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq says:

              I wonder how many kids get scarred when they see the real wild animal after only seeing cuddly cartoon versions. Real bears are a lot more intimidating than their cartoon counterpart.Report

              • Avatar Anne says:

                @leeesq I’m still traumatized by a run in with Baloo the bear at Disney world when I was a kid. Statues all around the park of different characters, my sister and I go up to what we THINK is a statue of Baloo….then he moved! ….still not over itReport

          • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

            And Green Acres.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      I’m too far north to have wild board be available locally but I’m quite curious to try it. Is it very different than domesticated pork? I understand it’s massively tough and gamey.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        All pork is different than domesticated industrial pork 🙂 Its a matter of degree.

        The pastured pork we do is from older breeds (ossabaw and tamworth) and people remark how they taste “porkier” but unlike the industrial hog which is bred to be leaner, we breed the fat back in… so the meat is quite a bit more tender and makes a much better bbq… and the Lard… that’s maybe the best part.

        Wild pigs, in so far as they are usually older breads and foraging, they will definitely have a porkier taste, and depending on the season quite possibly more tender; but it is true that a full grown boar in certain seasons will acquire an additional patina of flavor. And the larger muscles will be heavily worked; I’ve never, however, detected any difference in Loins/Tenderloins.

        But honestly, my culinary experience teaches me that most times people have a bad experience with “gamey” meat is that either the meat hasn’t been handled properly or (and its harder to tell people) it hasn’t been prepared properly. Coq au Vin exists for a reason. The boar stew isn’t simply boiled pork… the seasonings and layers of flavor need some care to direct strong flavors in complementary ways… older cooking traditions deal with this quite simply and elegantly… but tend to require multiple steps and might be considered by some cooks, involved.

        So, yes… you’re working with a different product and the results can be spectacular or disastrous… but I’d never blame the animal.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Good to know. Thank you. Is it served in restaurants in the south?Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine says:

            No, not wild, wild boar… restaurants can only serve meet that has been killed at a certified processing center (at least in Virginia – excepting Chickens and Rabbits). Some specialty farms raise “wild” boar but I’ve only ever seen it offered at very high-end places (and frankly wondered whether it was)… and real feral species are not legal to raise in most states – so you can’t even farm them if you wanted to.

            Increasingly though, you can find better pork offered at Farm-to-table places; Berkshire is trending right now and if its pastured its a different experience than “regular” pork. But grainfed Berkshire doesn’t do anything for me.

            In case you’re wondering, yes, dining with me is a lot like this.

            {There’s a pretty vigorous debate about regulatory overreach in the definition of wild/feral pigs that are pretty clearly the work of regulatory capture… but that’s another topic.}Report

            • In Texas, where there are a lot of feral pigs (of various sorts, all the way up to European boar), there are now trapping operations that truck the live captured hogs to certified processing plants. Arranging for never-frozen pork from them is fairly complex and local; pretty much anyone can order aged flash-frozen wild boar cuts. Supposedly wild boar — who knows how much domestic pig genetics are mixed in there?

              @marchmaine , what do you think about meats that have been dry aged and then flash frozen?Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                @michael-cain I’d do it. Might be some theoretical degradation of texture, but I doubt it would be noticeable. Besides, the main benefit is the change in flavor and that wouldn’t be impacted at all.

                I mean, if it were a once in a lifetime event like a wedding or a 50th anniversary I might push for the whole roast shipped unfrozen and then trim it at home… but a good vacuum sealed and frozen (fresh) product has worked well for our farm sales.

                You might enjoy this article from Serious Eats about aging beef at home. One takeaway for shopping is that their experts and taste testing confirmed that nothing happens short of 28-days and most folks preferred 45-day aging.Report

  2. Avatar fillyjonk says:

    Ou5: I guess this is about observing owls as therapy, not owls-as-comfort-animals. Because I think the laws on the books protecting birds of prey in the US would have something to say about that.

    (Owls are interesting. I occasionally hear a screech owl around my yard. They’re welcome; anything that eats mice is welcome in my yard. Even rat snakes)Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Tabarrok is doing the politico thing of assuming two examples have no other variable than whatever issue we care about, which in this case is zoning laws.

    The article compares a mansion on a lot to a high density condo project, and asserts that were it not for zoning, the mansion would not have been built.


    But here’s the thing. There are many variables that go into “highest and best use” analyses than just the zone. Things he doesn’t address in his article include- Is there even a demand for condos there? Is there infrastructure in the street that could support that many dwelling units?

    Sometimes in fact, there is an imbalance, where the market demand, infrastructure, adjacencies, and assorted variables all point to “build This Here!” even if it is contrary to zoning requirements.

    Except in those cases, what happens most often is developers just get the zoning changed to something they like. In fact, I can’t remember the last project I worked on where the project was built “by right” that is, without some alteration of zoning. Its one reason NIMBY critics accuse planning boards of being servile lapdogs of developers. It isn’t quite so tidy and pat as all that, but generally, if someone leaves a zone unchallenged, its because the underlying fundamentals aren’t there.

    While functional zoning has a lot of legitimate criticism, Tabarrok’s underlying thesis seems to be that market forces should be the primary determining factor of what gets built. This ignores the fact that land development is very much a collaborative effort with the entire community as interested stakeholders.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      On one of the housing and cities threads on LGM, I noted that democracy makes building great cities or even decent regional centers hard. Traditionally, there were two ways to a great city. One was the autocratic model where a ruler used a city to reflect his or her imperial grandeur. Saint Petersburg under the Romanovs or Napoleon III’s Paris are examples of this. The other model is the anarchic. This is where a city grows in fits and starts over many long years with people doing what they want and no overall plan but the end result is great. London and Rome fit this model. Many of our great cities are a combination of both the autocratic and the anarchic.

      Democracy is really bad at cities because the citizenry rarely wants to spend that much tax money to build a beautiful monument to itself, eliminating the autocratic, and likes control and order, getting rid of the anarchic. Zoning might make housing more expensive and increase income inequality and racial disparity but it gives people the order they want.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw says:

      Yeah, this hits a lot of good points. Also, step back and wonder about the origin of the assigned zoning. In a McMansion like the one pictured, it is likely that the zoning was proposed by the developer. He did that to maximize his profit in developing the lots for sale, with the belief that there was a market for low-density unattached housing.

      Is Tabarrok implicitly complaining that the previous developer’s market decision has created a social harm? This is an odd position for right-libertarian to occupy.

      The piece he links posits the plight of the poor “developer that wanted to tear it [the McMansion] down and build condos.” The jackbooted government preventing entrepreneurial aspirations? No, somebody lives there now, and the streets and other infrastructure were built with that usage in mind.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Existing infrastructure gets hand waved off a lot. I’m a big fan of ‘build more and build often, and the NIMBY’s can piss off’ when it comes to dealing with housing affordability, but one still has to consider water, sewage, power, and transit to a site.. A neighborhood of McMansions probably can not simply support a high density condo because the services are not sized for the load, and the roads can’t handle the increase in traffic.

      Now, if the site was originally built up expecting high density housing, and somehow a develper came in at the last minute and got it all switched over to McMansions, then he might have a point.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        Land development is a complex issue because by its very nature requires a deep and interactive engagement with the surrounding fabric of society. Everything from physical infrastructure to social, economic and legal structures are affected so the list of stakeholders even for a simple project is huge.

        Per @leeesq reference to the LGM arguments, I am generally skeptical of assigning a negative value of democracy to development.

        In our recent decades citizen involvement has tended this way, but I am thinking of the boosterism of the 19th century cities where citizens agitated for greater density and construction of cities.

        Here in downtown LA, the various neighborhood councils of downtown are supportive of new apartments, because generally speaking they are seen as improvements over the parking lost which used to occupy most of the downtown lots.

        But of course, stakeholders who have aligned interests on one issue may have colliding interests on another.
        The company I work for just got a nasty surprise on a new project where the City Councilman’s office and neighborhood council approved the project, but a faction within the Planning department lobbied to get a requirement for several low income units added to the agreement.
        Note that this was only possible because we were asking for a waiver of zoning regulations to begin with, and that this wasn’t “the government” it wasn’t even “democracy” doing, it was one faction within which opposed the others.

        The issue is still being negotiated.

        But the takeaway is that land development has a lot of moving pieces, and doesn’t lend itself to the high concept political theories we like to chew on.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          I was just sticking to technical issues, the political issues are way thornier.

          Although, oddly enough, people seem to think the political issues are easier to deal with, if only politicians would break out the “Tough Talk” (see: Trump). I find that explain that no, even if you did clear away the political headaches, you still have to deal with the fact that putting that building in that spot means laying out additional infrastructure that will cost you many millions of dollars.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          Chip Daniels: In our recent decades citizen involvement has tended this way, but I am thinking of the boosterism of the 19th century cities where citizens agitated for greater density and construction of cities.

          I wouldn’t characterize it quite like this. People in the 19th century moved to cities (either from the countryside or straight from (mostly) Europe) and starting building dwellings willy nilly. Well off people built nicer dwellings in communties that were somewhat planned, but most just built what they could with what resources they had in land that became increasingly marginal for habitation (e.g. it was the low lying land that all the sewage from the rest of the city flowed to)(i.e Five Points)Report

      • Avatar North says:

        That all may be true but it’s also waved as a perennial protective fan for NIMBY interests. Those endless leagues of single family ranch owners in California act like it’s inconceivable that a single family residence could possibly be more dense. As if the knowledge to build more infrastructure was lost to the ages or something. No no, it’s impossible, Cthulu ate the sewer designs, let’s just pass a rent regulation measure or something and call it a day.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    HO2: That’s because rent control doesn’t work. At best, it’s a band-aid, but it’s a terrible long term solution.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Rent control was and remains a popular solution because its great for the people that get it, at least originally, and lots of Leftists hate any solution that might slightly help any sort of business person. Building more houses helps business people because even the new housing is public housing a lot of the work is going to be done by private contractors.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I don’t agree with your universities in big cities are commuter school assertions. Plenty of people flock to NYU and Fordham because they are in NYC. Boston has a ton of schools. 1/4 of the Boston Area is college students. LA has USC, UCLA, Northridge, and others. Seattle has Washington, Chicago has NW and Chicago, etc.Report

    • I should have specified “public” as I was thinking in terms of public policy.

      There are exceptions like Washington and UCLA (but not Northridge), but most of the ones you list are private.

      States put their flagships in the state capitals, usually. Land grants quite logically tended to go to rural centers (though some of those aren’t as rural as they were). Those schools are sort of grandfathered as the best, while the urban schools (many of which have more people than the flagship!) have to claw their way up.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        My very anecdotal observation is that big cities tend to have graduate only public universities. SF has UCSF (Medicine) and Hastings (law). NYC has SUNY-Downstate (Medicine).

        Oregon’s public medical school is in Portland. Maybe these are outliers.Report

  6. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Wo4: I doubt “the male as provider is seen as a remnant of the patriarchy” explanation. Based on an informal sampling, many women still like “the male as provider.” The answer still lies in the kyriachy/patriarchy though. I think that young millennial men with college degrees might be suffering is because baby boomers are not retiring but remaining in control and many of them might prefer to higher millennial women for non-STEM white collar positions than millennial men for a variety of reasons. Particularly, male executives most likely want to work with a bunch of young women that they can politely or not so politely flirt with and get their egos inflated by rather than young men.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter says:

      I am deeply suspicious of a study that talks about relative change in underlying stats without mentioning those absolute stats. It’s suggestive of cherry picking.

      “Change in E/P ratio?” After that change (which is supposed to make men worse than women), are they actually worse off than women or are women just catching up?Report

  7. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    WO2 – I like having a sit-stand desk. I can do either. If my legs get restless, but I can’t go for a walk, I just lift my workstation to a standing height. When my feet get tired, I sit back down.Report

    • Avatar fillyjonk says:

      I wonder if the solution to the whole problem isn’t just working in sufficient BREAKS for employees.

      I sit at my desk, but during office hours/writing time I get up every 1/2 hour or so to go ask a colleague something, or go get a drink of water, or just stretch. (On some chairs, if I sit for more than 1/2 hour, it sets off my bursitis. This makes driving long distances somewhat complicated).

      However, I also spend between 2 and 5 hours a day standing, on tile-over-concrete floors, when I teach. I do walk (there is evidence saying standing in one place is harder on the joints than walking) but I know after a really long day of teaching, my feet and knees are kind of sore. I do sometimes – during longer labs – sit down when there’s a lull, but that’s not often for long.

      It’s just interesting to me to see how the “SITTING IS AS BAD FOR YOU AS SMOKING IS!!111!!:” that led to to the promotion of standing (or even treadmill) desks is being (ahem) walked back.

      I still think it’s work that kills us more than either standing or sitting….Report

  8. Avatar Kazzy says:

    “I know it’s against my brand, but it’s unfortunate how many universities we have in small cities while a lot of urban schools are considered commuter afterthoughts.”


  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    The Atlantic does a long-form hypothetical about a world where the United States only has public education and one where it only has private education.

    The article ends up believing in balance and having both. What struck me about the description of Detroit County Day is that it affirmed my suspicion that more exclusive private schools end up looking a lot like mini-colleges in terms of courses and structure. This gives their students an undeniable leg up unless they are complete troublemakers. Even the best public schools need to teach in a more traditional structure of Math I, Math II, History I, History II, etc.

    It was also kind of sad to see that dedicated teachers end up in the private school world for the ability to craft courses.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      The article makes one of my big pet peeves in language. In the public school section, it refers to Cuba and Finland, two countries without any private schools, has having federal governments. Cuba and Finland are unitary state. The top tier is national and any administrative subdivision only welds power that the national government allows. They are not federal states like the United States, Canada, or Germany.

      It was a good argument. Secular advocates of an all private school scenario often make what I call “the Dead Poet’s Society” fallacy. That is they believe that the majority of private schools are going to end up looking like exclusive preppie academies through the magic of the market. You see a similar fallacy in feminist advocates for single sex education where they imagine every all female school will end up like a schmancy boarding school that installs all sorts of good feminist values in women. On a Pandagon thread, I had to point out that my maternal grandmother went to an all girl’s high school and she learned how to keep books and graduated with what used to be called a commercial degree.

      Most private schools aren’t going to end up anything like a fancy private school simply because most parents aren’t going to be able to afford anything like that and few are going to have the inclination to care that much about their kid’s education. Education like healthcare is one of those areas where lots of people really just want to sit back and be taken care of. Many are going to be very religious places that really don’t teach much in the way of any secular topic. I imagine that most private schools are going to end up indistinguishable from most public schools except in how they are funded and who runs them.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        What a lot of the dialogue circles about, but doesn’t address seriously, is that not all families are equal in terms of their commitment and ability to complement schools in the education of children.

        Much of the way we talk about schools treats them like auto repair shops where the kids are dropped off and education is inserted into their brains before sending them back home again. It puts parents as passive bystanders in the process when in fact they are the critical complementary component.

        Even when this is addressed, its usually to denigrate and despair, with the resulting conclusion that flight and withdrawal is the only solution.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          I proposed an absolutely brilliant solution to this problem yesterday, and I feel like it has not been treated with appropriate seriousness.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          On an old alternative history usenet group I participated in, the sci-fi pulp author J.M. Stirling stated if there were no public schools he thinks that at least a third of the population will end up illiterate. Many parents are very passive when it comes to their kid’s education. They put their kids in the local public school system and hope for the best.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            @pillsy @leeesq

            What history tells us is that there isn’t a universal consumer demand for education.
            For whatever reasons, plenty of people simply don’t value it enough to pay for it.

            Yet we collectively as citizens have decided that universal education offers us a benefit, so we mandate it.

            Which for me is why the “everything is a toaster” market fundamentalist model isn’t desirable.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              I want to take a moment to sign onto this. Not really any quibbles with it either. Educated masses are a common good in an enormous number of ways.Report

          • Avatar Maribou says:

            @leeesq I think it’s S.M. Stirling, and if so, I’m not sure I’d call him a pulp author. His books come out in hardcover these days, and I’d say he writes alternate history. Not the most intellectual alternate histories ever written, but not really pulps either.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              I loved the Nantucket series enormously but Dies the Fire left me cold. Probably because of how bleak that world was.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @north I liked Dies the Fire et al (the first 5, haven’t gotten back to them post-grad school) because (pre-the-run-of-dystopias-being-so-popular-in-YA) it was one of the rare dystopic situations where the women were portrayed as being as capable as the men were. I also like his books where Venus and Mars were treated as if the pulps were right, but then taken seriously and bulit into alternate history, a whole lot (maybe those are the ones Lee was thinking of? still wouldn’t say they are pulps though. too meta, too clever.) Haven’t read the Nantucket books yet.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq says:

              Your right. It was S.M. Stirling.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe says:

            The American literacy rate for white adults in 1870 was close to 90%. This was with education being publically funded, but without a significant amount of state level organizational structure (i.e bureaucracy) and absolutely no federal level input. And it wasn’t mandatory for kids to go to school (by government fiat)Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        We actually already have more or less a model for an all-private world: day care/nursery school/pre school/etc. The fact that there isn’t even a single term to describe this realm of our education system speaks to the various things that will emerge absent a public system for a very diverse population of people.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      What I see happening if you abolish public schools is that there will be education corporations that come in and set up K through 12 or even Pre-K through 12 systems in different parts of the United States. The number of education corporations will vary based on the population. Really populous areas like the New York City Metropolitan Area or Greater Miami will have several dozen. Less populous areas will have natural monopolies because they aren’t that many kids to educate. For a certain amount per kid per year, these education corporations will function and educate kids like the old school districts but they might cover a more amorphous area. Most parents will select the one that looks good enough at the lowest price and leave it to that.

      I imagine that because the way things work, many education corporations will run several private school districts across the United States. So EduWest can run school districts in Oregon, Washington, and California while Mid-Atlantic Academies will have their school districts in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Jersey.Report

      • Add that absent government coercion of some form, a bunch of the most rural parts of the country won’t have schools because there’s no profit in it. Or maybe go back to the one-room schoolhouse and schoolmarm. I’ve been known to say that much of the Great Plains is slowly unwinding its history.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          Another big problem with an entirely private education system in a big country with many sparse territories. I’d imagine that it would be the churches and home schooling that takes up the educational slack in those places.Report

      • Avatar fillyjonk says:

        There will be Nordstrom’s type education for the rich, connected, and VERY lucky few geniuses.

        There will be wal-mart or Dollar General style education (online, glitchy, gappy, very general and very limited) for everyone else. It will be bad. It will further fragment the “Coastal” (or “Urban”) “Elite” from “Flyover Country,” and will lead to even more stereotyping of people.

        My pet conspiracy theory is that it’s already happening in higher ed – that we’ll have Harvard and Yale and all as status-markers for the rich, and online for-profits for everyone else.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          It’s already the case for public education that 80% and up percentile in income/wealth are served well, 50%-80% re served mostly ok with some exceptions, 30% to 50% are not served well with some exceptions, and under 30% are not served at all.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            I don’t think that’s entirely true. Many (most? All?) children in the lower tiers receive 1 or 2 meals a day at school; that’s a huge service. Some segment have regular contact with caring adults. School may be the warmest, safest place they spend consistent time. And much more.

            I recognize that’s a low bar and that we rely on public schools to provide those serviced raises its own questions. Their is undoubtedlt great inequity within the system and the status quo is unacceptable. But to say that 30% of children receive no service at all is inaccurate.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter says:

              There is undoubtedly great inequity within the system and the status quo is unacceptable.

              Normally we don’t include parents as part of “the system” when we make that observation, but parental involvement, competence, and culture are a big source (maybe “the” big source) of that inequality.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                You’ll note I said inequity, not inequality.

                And, sure, it goes beyond things the schools can control for. And yet we have a system wherein the schools and students in greatest need (regardless of the reason) are generally the least supported.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe says:

              I’ll stipulate that every school has some value to some students. (but also that it may be actively harmful for others)

              The biggest problem is cases like this, where outright fraud (more than just juking the stats) has now created a sizeable pool of 18-24 year olds where no one can tell if there credential is actually worth the paper it’s printed on. Because with real numbers, graduation rates have gone from 73 percent last year to 42% this year.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Thanks for the links.

                And :ouch: Bad administration, bad signalling, unprepared kids. I feel somewhat sorrier for the 42% who are lumped in there with the 100%.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                This is positively awful.

                It’s difficult to wrap my head around how awful this is.

                School as day care. Except at the end of 18 years… what do you have? People who don’t even know what they don’t even know.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’m even straining to come up with a decent analogy.

                It’s like if you were in charge of producing firemen. The requirement is to have people who can carry a 200-lb sack of potatoes down a ladder.

                Well, of course, there are a bunch of people who can’t do this. So you say “okay, the new rule is to carry a 150-lb sack of potatoes down a ladder.”

                And, well, there are a lot of people who can’t do this. And you have to choose between instituting lifting/ladder drills and just saying “okay, the new rule is to carry a 100-lb sack of potatoes down a ladder” and then, when people can’t even do that, just writing down that they can.

                Except each one of these kids is a house on fire and they, themselves, are the fireman.

                Which is where the analogy breaks down.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Maybe the kids are the sack of potatoes.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                That *MIGHT* be accurate for elementary school?

                If you’re ending up with an 18-year old, at that point, you want to have created a fireman.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                OK, let’s try this. School admins are the firemen, kids are sacks of potatoes, the ladder is graduation rates. But the ladder is on fire. (Or are the potatoes on fire?)Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                And somebody came along and cut all the hosesReport

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, all analogies break down at some point.

                It seems like we should ask “what is the goal of elementary/middle school/high school?”

                Because it seems like the answer in this district was “day care”.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I think I got it figured. Daycare is a shipping container. But since the ladder burned the sacks of potatoes are just sitting there undelivered. (Potatoes are not on fire.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The potatoes that are white tend to get delivered but the darker ones tend to not make it out to the grocery stores?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                If this were a charter system doing this, it would be daily coverage on the left side blogs and twitters, and calls for DeVos to resign would be deafening.

                The kicker is that DeVos is so incompetent, and the Trunp administration is so disinterested in anything beyond 5 minutes from now, is that they have neither the ability nor inclination to ‘not let a crisis go to waste.’

                Anyone else with their priors could use this to create the political space to have carte blanche to do whatever edreform policy their heart desires. Arnie Duncan or Michelle Rhee would be able to take a chainsaw to the system.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                The kicker to the kicker is that the DC schools chancelor (i.e. superintendent) and the deputy mayor with the education portfolio resigned, not because of this systemic malfeasance, but a specific malfeasance of the chancellor’s own kid getting preferential treatment in a school attendence lottery.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                a specific malfeasance of the chancellor’s own kid getting preferential treatment in a school attendance lottery.

                So his neighborhood school is “Dunbar High” and no way is he going to send his kid there. He probably HAS to live inside of DC as a condition of accepting the job.

                So the next head of the DC Public Schools needs to not have school age kids or he needs to be willing to sacrifice them.

                And… and weird that you need to “win the lottery” in order to get into a charter school. That speaks of a massive demand against a supply artificially kept low by gov whim.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                The student wasn’t trying to get into a charter, they were trying to enroll in a (better) regular public school, but after being in a public magnet school that they wound up not liking (though its also very good, one of the best – but the focus is performing arts) (it also reportedly has its own problems with enrollment shenanigans as an audit found numerous ‘DC’ students are actually Maryland residents)

                Its possible (but I really have no idea) that a family may not be eligible for charters if they make over a certain income. (It’s also possible that there are fixed enrollment windows that they didn’t want to wait for)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Based on the logic that the profit motive and less government oversight would somehow result in less cheating?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Those days when you are thankful for anothers incompetence.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                And so the question, as ever, is what do we do in response?

                Generally the theme of charters and privatization is withdrawal, exclusion, and lifeboat ethics of deciding who gets thrown overboard to fend for themselves.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Generally the theme of charters and privatization is withdrawal, exclusion, and lifeboat ethics of deciding who gets thrown overboard to fend for themselves.

                Is this worse than what actually happened?

                Because if what happened is worse than that, maybe we could look at that and say “well, at least it’s better than what we had when we didn’t do this.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Is what worse?

                Millions of illiterate unskilled young people thrown into a high tech economy, and told that they are not valued, scorned and derided as losers? Versus being passed along and given unearned praise?

                And how did this become our only two options?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Is what worse?

                The thing that you said that I quoted.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Why does exclusion or failure become our only options?

                Why is universal educational success somehow beyond our reach?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Why is universal educational success somehow beyond our reach?

                Probably because whenever someone says “holy crap, we need to change what we’re doing!”, someone else points out that whatever it is that the new thing is, it has to work for every single person and, if it doesn’t, we shouldn’t change what we’re doing.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I don’t think the debate in America is between Universal “Education Solution A, versus Universal Education Solution B”.

                I think it is more, “Should we have universal education, or should it be every man for himself?”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                At this point, I’m saying “look at the current system and look what it’s doing and we should stop doing that”.

                And, from my perspective, there are solutions on the table that come out and say “we can’t save everybody but we need to change this” and instead of changing what we have, the discussion turns into “why *CAN’T* we save everybody?”

                “Because trying to save everybody got us to where we are.”Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                If only there were national level stats to look at our ed system and compare it with other countries. If only….Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                “Guys. I figured it out. We just need to make the schools in this district more like the ones in Cuba.”

                “Oh, good. We can break up the meeting early.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Which “current system” are you looking at?

                We have public K-12 schools, private K-12 schools, and Charter K-12 schools. Each succeeds in some respects, and each fails in some respects.

                “Because trying to save everybody got us to where we are.”

                Who said this, and what supports such an assertion?
                When and where did we ever in our history “try to save everybody?”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The one that inspired this thread?

                Here, let me link to it. If you don’t want to click on the link and read the story, here’s some paragraphs from the story:

                The likely drop in the graduation rate is the latest fallout from an investigation that cast doubt on the validity of diplomas awarded last year. The graduation rate in 2017 was 73 percent, but the probe revealed that one in three graduates received their diplomas in violation of city policy. Those students had walked across graduation stages despite missing too many classes or improperly taking makeup classes.

                Even if all of the students regarded as “moderately off-track” receive diplomas, the graduation rate would stand at about 61 percent — 12 points below last year’s.

                Here’s a sentence from the middle of the article:

                The report portrayed a systemic culture in which teachers felt pressured to award diplomas even if teens failed to meet requirements, all in the name of improving graduation rates.

                Who said this, and what supports such an assertion?
                When and where did we ever in our history “try to save everybody?”

                Here, let me quote you from a comment from earlier in the thread:

                Why is universal educational success somehow beyond our reach?

                My take on this question was that the underlying assumption was that, if only we had enough *WILL*, we could achieve universal educational success.

                Perhaps I should have just assumed that the questioner knew that, of course, we’d have some people left behind (even the *BEST* school districts in the country don’t have 100% graduation rates for 100% of the students) and the questioner would have been okay with just bumping the low, low numbers into numbers that were merely low on the way to turning them into mediumish numbers.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                OK, so your takeaway from the article about teachers cooking the books to show better graduation rates, was a case of “trying to save everybody”.

                We have very different ideas about what this phrase means.

                This scandal was part and parcel of the “withdrawal” I mentioned upthread. The students here came from poor families, or families where education wasn’t given priority.
                The school and community knew this, yet expected them to master skills and meet metrics which they couldn’t possibly do. In response, the teachers and administrators cheated.

                And yes, I do believe that if we only had the will, we could accomplish universal success.
                I point out that when it comes to things that we collectively believe to be important, like terrorism, we have no trouble at all spending whatever resources and effort required.

                4 Trillion dollars to be burned in a massive pyre called the Mideast?
                Why, of course!
                Draconian security apparatus for every single airport and federal, state, and local government buildings?
                Easily done!
                Instilling a climate of fear and suspicion throughout the land?
                Small price to pay, my good man!

                Added taxes to improve schools?

                Like addicts, we always find the resources to get what we really crave.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                OK, so your takeaway from the article about teachers cooking the books to show better graduation rates, was a case of “trying to save everybody”.

                No. My takeaway is that “we need to change what we’re doing!” and the argument was “well, I sure hope we don’t use charter schools to do it!”

                And yes, I do believe that if we only had the will, we could accomplish universal success.
                I point out that when it comes to things that we collectively believe to be important, like terrorism, we have no trouble at all spending whatever resources and effort required.

                What school districts have the most resources and effort? Effort might not be measurable, but resources are.

                Here’s a map of spending per student.

                As for effort… well. I’m not sure that “effort” is something that can be mandated.

                Certainly not in a school district that has a couple of generations of students whose own parents’ idea of schooling is that it’s a day care of sorts (because that’s what school was like when they were there).Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                What do you want to change to, though?

                This is my point, that there isn’t really a broad consensus agreement on what the desired outcome should be.

                The argument I see most often is that we should jettison the low performing children and families rather than try to improve them.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                The argument I see most often is that we should jettison the low performing children and families rather than try to improve them.

                Depends on what we’re trying to do. Put 5 disruptive students in a class and learning basically stops.

                So if you throw those 5 out then you’ve made life a lot better for the remaining 20, established teacher control, and lots of other good things.

                Lifeboat ethics says the worse outcome is sinking the lifeboat.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Confiscate the wealth of the top 1% to fund special schools for the disruptive students.

                Lifeboat ethics says you have improved the lot of the 99%.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Confiscate the wealth of the top 1% to fund special schools for the disruptive students.

                You bastard! How dare you ostracize my child like that and send him/her to a special school for disruptive students!Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Confiscate the wealth of the top 1% to fund special schools for the disruptive students.

                Lifeboat ethics says you have improved the lot of the 99%.

                After you eat the rich on year one, year two will be interesting. Probably generate lots of problems for the 99%.

                You might have the scale for how much we’d have to spend on the disruptive students correct. However the core problem remains, what do we do when these students simply don’t go to class? I.e. when they do what they want to do and not what we want them to do?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Things can go any number of ways, Dark, some uglier than others.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Free education, at gunpoint if you don’t want it. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Well, that’s actually correct.
                Education is considered so vital to a free society we literally force people at gunpoint to consume it. Yet another reason why it isn’t a toaster.

                All snarkiness aside, I raised the specter of “eat the rich” wealth confiscation to ask, why is it that when we hear talk about “tough choices” or “draconian measures” or “lifeboat ethics” it always seems to be the powerless and weaker members of society who have this inflicted upon them?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                why is it that when we hear talk about “tough choices” or “draconian measures” or “lifeboat ethics” it always seems to be the powerless and weaker members of society who have this inflicted upon them?

                Because expectation of education is something that privileged people have and pass along to their children?

                And people who were raised within a system where schools were little more than day care do not have this expectation to pass along?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                So why aren’t we talking about public boarding schools, if we are demanding public education?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                All snarkiness aside, I raised the specter of “eat the rich” wealth confiscation to ask, why is it that when we hear talk about “tough choices” or “draconian measures” or “lifeboat ethics” it always seems to be the powerless and weaker members of society who have this inflicted upon them?

                Because society has limited resources. Pensions and healthcare both got, and mispent blank checks, we’re not handing out any more until we figure out what to do about those. Education will be doing very well just to not lose money in the foreseeable future.

                And these painful choices and lifeboat ethics will happen because pensions and healthcare were too strong, not too weak. It’s just education’s misfortune to share that boat with both of them.

                BTW this sort of thing is why I try to prioritize economic growth in my political choices.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Well yes, configuring our resources to preference the rich and powerful is a liberal talking point, but I was searching for the conservative reason.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Well yes, configuring our resources to preference the rich and powerful is a liberal talking point, but I was searching for the conservative reason.

                If we’re just talking about education, then the poor, poorly performing Detroit schools are better funded per-pupil than the public school I moved to get my children into. Obviously they’re not spending that “extra” money in the classroom, if memory serves our local teacher to non teacher ratio is something like 3:2 (for every three teachers there are two non-teachers) while Detroit is something like 1:3.

                Now granted, when we get into “liberal talking points” we’ll cherry pick the most expensive school district around for comparison and it will be one percenters who use a money cannon to fix all problems.

                However fundamentally it’s not about the money. My kid’s district clearly has enough money to do their mission. Yes, they fail some kids. No, I don’t let myself get worked up about it. Every few years the system drops the ball and mis-serves one of my kids and I have to correct things. Part of the Principal’s job is to deal with people like me and typically she/he folds. We went charter for two years because they didn’t. Every year half my kids end up getting nasty-grams because of excessive absences and that’s also fine.

                The system is a great resource for parents, but it’s not a parent and can’t reasonably be expected to replace them.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The argument I see most often is that we should jettison the low performing children and families rather than try to improve them.

                Really? Because my take is that when I look at that school district mentioned in the article is that that is what we’d already done and people are pissed that the folks in charge of falsifying the paperwork got caught.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                That is a very interesting map. My school district spends below the national average (about $3K below) and is considered one of the best in the area. There are some very rural districts that spend way above the average and are not considered very good.

                Obviously $/student is a very poor metric to measure potential success by. I’m sure it has value at the margins (spending way below the curve is probably a very bad thing, but spending above is not guarantor of success either).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I couldn’t find any effort maps.

                I’m not sure how’d we measure such a thing anyway.

                “Parental Involvement”?
                Maybe I could link to the article “Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?” again along with that asinine quotation from the guy:

                ‘I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,’ quips Swift.

                We need to redistribute effort.Report

              • My school district spends below the national average (about $3K below) and is considered one of the best in the area. There are some very rural districts that spend way above the average and are not considered very good.

                I haven’t looked, but hope that the methodology is something better than “divide the district budget by the number of students.” Rural areas often have significantly higher transportation costs*. Same thing for construction costs*. In my state, the formulas for distributing state K-12 funding delivers more money per student to rural districts, which have an incentive to spend every penny in order to justify the formula.

                * My local school district covers the entire county, ranging from suburban areas with near-urban density to rural areas that are scattered private holdings within mountainous national forests. The “mountain schools” have much higher transportation and capital costs than the city schools. (Also different schedules and sometimes attendance practices: six inches of snow that’s an inconvenience down here on the flat may well be three feet of snow up in the mountains, and multiple days before roads are cleared.)Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Other things to consider…

                – Cost of living, which factors into salaries
                – Where the funds are going (the issues you speak to plus other factors like the “need” for security)
                – Special education fundingReport

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                For us, the cost of living is much higher, as are salaries, but transportation costs are probably a lot lower, and the PTA is ridiculously well funded and able to provide significant financial support to schools that probably don’t get rolled into those numbers.

                So my point holds, $/student is a bad metric by which to judge education quality, at least all by itself. Break it out a bit (salaries, transport, facilities, programs, etc.), and it might be more useful.

                Now hold that against PTA funding and support, and you can start to get an idea as to how much parent involvement you have.Report

              • Avatar Hot Cha says:

                What does “universal educational success” look like, to you?

                Is it “nobody fails”? Because that doesn’t mean “everyone wins”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                In my mind, “universal” means “a very low rate of failure”.

                It means where those who need extra care and help are given it.

                It means that those communities and families that underperform are seen as people to be helped, rather than problems to be disposed.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                And how did this become our only two options?

                Because it’s not our choice. It’s very hard to save people from themselves and/or to save children from their parents.

                A massive flood hit a small town near the Mississippi River. One levy in the river had broke, causing the flooding to occur while another levy was predicted to break in the hour.

                A man who owned a house along the river stood on the roof of his house as water had engulfed the rest of it. Water levels were slowly rising. A rescue boat came to save the man from his house. The boat approached and the rescuers told the man another levy was about to break and the water would move over his house, sweeping him away to his drowning death. The man told the rescuers he did not need help because he believed in God and that God would save him. Twenty minutes later, the rescuers returned, trying to help the man escape. Once again, the man waved off the rescuers saying that God would save him. Ten minutes afterwards, the rescuers returned again, saying it would be the last time they could return because the levy was about to break. They asked him one last time to get on the rescue boat. He said once again that he believes in God and God would save him from the levy should it break. A few minutes after the rescuers left, the levy broke and the rushing waters engulfed the house, carrying away the man to his drowning death.

                When the man reached the Heavens, he stood at the gates to enter. He told the men at the gates that he wanted to see God. When he saw God, he asked, “What happened? I thought you were going to save me? Why didn’t you save me?” God replied, “I did try to save you. I sent the boat three times.”

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                It’s very hard to save people from themselves and/or to save children from their parents.

                Yes, it is hard, very hard to cure this dysfunction.

                And honestly I think liberals should sack up and address that underperforming schools have more problems than out of date textbooks.

                But “curing the ills of society” is the sort of amorphous fuzzy problem that conservatives like to caricature liberals with.

                But…has anyone noticed the drumbeat of “cure the ills of society” from the right?

                Like the David Brookses and Charles Murrays and Kevin Williamsons of the world clucking their tongues over the social dysfunction of the lower classes, what with their fornicating and breeding out of wedlock, and ravenous appetite for opiods?
                Or the MRA/ anti-feminists who decry the lack of male role modeling available in modern society and its harmful effects on the prospects for young men’s education?

                How would the white working class Trump supporters fare under a privatized school system? How would they fare under the new high tech economy where physical and analytical work is automated, but the most prized skills are the human relation/ feminine skills?

                “Every man for himself” sounds a lot different to a gainfully employed coastal elitist than it does to a laid off factory worker in Ohio.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Can we avoid having this conversation if we increase funding per student (which ends up going towards administrative staff)?


              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Increasing funds can only do so much.
                I really do believe we need cultural change, where education is given the same priority it is in the Asian and Jewish communities.

                I know comparing cultures is always a fraught conversation, with the shadow of racism and bigotry hovering over it like a malevolent ghost, but I gotta think we can absorb a lesson in how making education a high priority pays dividends even in the face of disadvantage.

                From my personal observation of people I know, there is more going on than Tiger Moms beating kids like a rented mule to make them study hard; there is an ethos of community responsibility and support networks that comes into play.

                But see, then I start to sound like a conservative.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Better go back to talking about funding, then.

                That way we can avoid sounding like conservatives.

                Hey, I understand that the kids who end up going to Ivy League schools usually have lacrosse programs in their high schools.

                Maybe we should do a better job of making sure that kids in bad schools can play lacrosse?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Maybe we should do a better job of making sure that kids in bad schools can play lacrosse?

                Cross Country.

                Scales well, cheaper, has absurdly large teams so more forgiving of dysfunctional parents, and it’s a lifestyle advantage later.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Part of the problem is that we’re looking at this thing like it happened in the last few years when, really, it’s happened over decades.

                If your grandparents went to bullshit schools and your parents when to bullshit schools… when you tell them that you don’t give a shit about school because it’s bullshit… what can they say? You’re right.

                So much damage has been done… how in the heck would you even *BEGIN* to address it?

                Well, my take is that there are a handful of students who have not yet had it hammered into them that school is bullshit and, maybe, stuff we know we know how to do could help with them.

                “But what about…”
                “Yeah, I don’t know. I have no idea even where to begin.”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                If your grandparents went to bullshit schools and your parents when to bullshit schools… when you tell them that you don’t give a shit about school because it’s bullshit… what can they say? You’re right.

                Go back far enough in any bloodline and you’ll find ancestors who couldn’t read. Who went to school in some one room schoolhouse without electricity or a toilet. Or in short, who went to schools that were seriously dysfunctional by modern standards.

                The bulk of the damage isn’t being done by the schools. They showcase that damage but they’re not the cause.

                Call it… multiple interlocking cultural institutions. Education isn’t viewed as a “must have” or “ticket to success” by the some part of the community. At worst people are openly hostile to the concept because it’s viewed as part of someone else’s culture. Good students either flee the area(*) or have social pressure put on them to stop.

                Best case for kids who buy into this is they have a life plan that is something like “work on the farm, local factory, or repair cars” and that will work for them. Best case for society is they’re right, and they’re a minority of the local community.

                Worst case is the area drug dealer is the guy supplying jobs and at the top of the social-economic heap. One-in-a-million “become rich” professions (actors, singers, basketball) are glorified and that’s everyone’s life plan.

                (*) Functional public schools use tracking to separate students who are interested in education from those who aren’t so “flee the area” can be as simple as “go to a different classroom”.

                “Yeah, I don’t know. I have no idea even where to begin.”

                1) Serious default birth control for teenagers (and pre-teens) so pregnancy isn’t accidental and parents aren’t children themselves and are thus more competent and better resourced.

                2) End the war on drugs so that local drug dealer isn’t the big man on campus. There are lots of other positive outcomes from this but whatever.

                3) Cultural support for education. Face down culture’s demons. Name and shame. Probably can’t be imposed by outsiders and SERIOUSLY HARD in any case. (Yeah, I know. Telling other people they should change their culture is unlikely to be useful but whatever).Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Face down culture’s demons. Name and shame.

                We’ve tried calling them deplorables, but that seemed to have backfired.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @chip-daniels ‘Sfunny but I feel like the very next sentence

                Probably can’t be imposed by outsiders and SERIOUSLY HARD in any case.

                addresses your comment efficiently.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Right, so who are these insiders who will name themselves and shame themselves?

                “It doesn’t work to name and shame pedophiles! It only works when fellow pedophiles do it!”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                “I wonder why the high school students don’t listen to me even though I explained to them that they were a lot like pedos and needed to change.”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Right, so who are these insiders who will name themselves and shame themselves?

                A year ago I would have said Bill Cosby, not the best choice nowadays. In any case I’m not a fan of “Big name” endorsements. It didn’t work for HRC’s election.

                I think ideally the “insiders” are family members imparting life lessons to the younger generation. Which makes outsiders pointing out the behavior problematic. Culture is seriously hard to change.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                How would Bill Cosby (even pre-scandal) be a useful voice in naming and shaming the low cultural standards of white rural working class Trump voters?

                Maybe Jeff Foxworthy or Larry the Cable Guy need to start giving stern lectures on avoiding meth, staying in school, not getting knocked up, and learning how to do a useful trade.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Maybe Jeff Foxworthy or Larry the Cable Guy need to start giving stern lectures on avoiding meth, staying in school, not getting knocked up, and learning how to do a useful trade.

                The ideal person for that crowd would be Trump himself.

                Thankfully he is acting against meth, I’m not sure how convincing or effective he’ll be on everything else.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @chip-daniels “It doesn’t work for someone from a different province to talk about how (province) is full of pedophiles! It only works when people from (province) start to attack the problem themselves, because otherwise they’ll just huddle up defensively and the problems will if anything get worse. If people from other provinces want to help they need to find people *inside* the province to be their spokesfolks and collaborators.”

                True story, pretty sure it’s part of the reason the culture where I grew up is so f’d up..

                Also, must you regularly default to pedophilia as an example so often, it’s like you have read several times about how my father was a pedophile and so you think triggering me is a good way to win arguments or something. Pretty sure it’s only the former (“you have read several times”) and not the latter (“you’re triggering me on purpose”) but it’s still kind of hard to deal with. And is likely to make me take your examples a lot more literally than you perhaps would like me to.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Didn’t know that, actually, so I will refrain in future.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @chip-daniels Thank you. It’s come up in multiple situations including long-form posts I’ve written, so you can see why I might assume people would know.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                (Ie, we had people coming in from outside to make jokes and shame and impose new national public education health class curricula… nobody much trying to become an insider or support the insiders to the culture who were already at work trying to change things. That… seems slowly to be shifting.)Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Generally the theme of charters and privatization is withdrawal, exclusion, and lifeboat ethics of deciding who gets thrown overboard to fend for themselves.

                We only need to talk about lifeboat ethics if the boat is going down. If that’s the situation then ethically everyone should get off the boat.

                I’d call the Charters’ “theme” “empowering parents”. I’ve used Charters as a club against the local public school to keep them in line. The public school(s) will do right by my kid or my kid won’t go.

                Charters exist to step in after publics fail. This is a good thing, all systems have corner cases and failures.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                That is indeed awful. I’d struggle to call that a ‘school’, though obviously it is one for the sake of this conversation.

                Part of what we have to think about though is what is our baseline… would those students have been better off in NO school than the fraud school? Obviously, just about any other schooling would have been better than what they received.Report

    • Avatar fillyjonk says:

      In my limited experience, yes, private schools are a lot like mini-colleges.

      I still suspect my parents’ sending me to prep school may have saved my life – I was miserable in the local public system, and was bullied, and risked “falling through the cracks.” Oddly enough, I fit in at prep school, because there were enough weird brainy kids that I felt like I had a “squad.”

      I was also much better prepared for college than many of my dorm-mates in college were….

      I still think there needs to be both, and I still think there are a LOT of problems with how education is done in the US (though I have few answers as to how to fix them).Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Some independents function that way but so do some publics. I went to public high school and a private Jesuit liberal arts university. Many of my classmates came from elite public schools and their background was much closer to that of our independent school peers than my own. Things like “sophomore standing” or taking econ or philosophy (at an AP level to boot!) were foreign to me but common for many others.Report

  1. March 13, 2018

    […] the comments to a recent Linky Friday, doughty commenter Kolohe pointed out some awful stats related to the DC high […]Report

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