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A couple shots of Tequila

May 24, 2008

First is Dana’s co-blogger, 18-year-old and damned smart Kaden, who is writing about the NCLB which has suffused the last eight years of his educational life. School systems often forget to poll their customers.  After all, what could an 18-year-old have to say about the exalted wisdom of our programs?  Well this, for example:

“In school, homework is pretty typical in most science, literature, or social studies classes. You are given some sort of comprehension assignment, usually reading, and are given a worksheet, which is usually just fill-in-the-blanks copies of said assignment. It’s a basic process of taking in the information, storing it long enough to fill in on the dotted line, and forget it. While obviously certain aspects of class are slightly more useful or engaging, this works not only for the microscope assignments but the macro-scope goal of education: score well.”

Kaden: Candidates and classrooms, an educational viewpoint

Tests attempt to measure the outcome of education.  Standardized tests are to educational outcomes what en vitro tests are to new drugs; suggestive but not definitive by a long shot.  We could start by actually sitting down and listening to students.  And here’s an opportunity to do that, because Kaden is planning a whole series of these posts, which I will try to keep track of in a list below the fold.

Then Dana got wrapped up in a thread at Pharyngula where a Christian stopped by and had her ass handed to her by other commenters, and then quite by accident some actual communication took place.  Well not exactly by accident because Dana stepped in and offered an olive branch along with some kindly advice, and then the flaying-fest morphed into an actual discussion and we were all better people.  Well done!  Then she went back to her own blog, poured a shot, and pounded out Talking Past Each Other: A Few Simple Rules For Christians Among Atheists.  Which I recommend to any Christian planning to visit an atheist blog.

I’m thoroughly enjoying a day of solitude, just drinking coffee and dinking around on the Interwebs.  Now I’m gonna eat some lunch and take my bike to the shop, and invite them to convince me that I could ever trust those hydraulic brakes again.

UPDATES:

  • I did wind up forgiving the hydraulic brakes.  At the bike shop, the owner, owner’s wife, and the mechanic were both horrified that a small manufacturing plug had popped out of the handle.  I noticed that they all had hydraulic brakes on their bikes and reckoned that in all likelihood it meant they were telling the truth this was the only time they’d seen this type of failure.  So despite their offer to replace the entire brake system with cable-operated disc, I said OK, just replace the faulty handle.  But I did mark the faulty handle with my knife – to the discomfort of the mechanic.  “You don’t trust us?” he asked?  I answered that it might be easy to mix up two identical handles – one defective and one a warranty replacement.  But also psychologically I just need to know that the handle had in fact been truly changed.

  • Kaden has another education piece up, entitled Academic Showdown, AP vs IB.  And since I’ll be tracking his articles on this list, I’m changing the category of this post from ‘Blogging’ to ‘Education’.
  • And here’s Grade Inflation
Categories: Education
  1. May 25, 2008 at 06:35 | #1

    That’s my Kaden – Brilliant!  Thanks for writing him up, George – it absolutely made his night!

    And speaking of write-ups… *blush*.  To be fair, Karen offered the first olive branch.  Others of us just accepted it.  She’s now hanging about my place, which is excellent, because a dialogue is sorely needed.  Without it, there’s too much “Us vs. Them” and not enough “Us.”  We get so used to getting sniped at by the Religious Right and sniping back in turn that we forget there’s plenty of common ground between us non-fanatics – atheist and believers.

    By the way, speaking of believers, did you see Walton’s performance at the end?  I can’t believe it – a Christian actually stepped up and answered the tough questions thrown out by atheists clearly, concisely, and honestly!  No flinching away at all.  We need more o’ that sort o’ thing. 

    George, my darling, thank you once again.  You’re just the sweetest evah.  ;-)

    I hope you enjoyed your day of solitude entirely, and moreover got satisfaction from the bike shop.  Stupid hydraulic brakes.  THOSE we can never forgive!

  2. May 25, 2008 at 22:33 | #2

    Good to hear your bike will be back in order!

    I will have to keep my eye out for Kaden’s posts.

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