Flat Earthism, Ed School-Style
January 27, 2011, 04:26 PM
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My readers review books so I don`t have to read them! A reader writes about the latest book by Linda Darling-Hammond, who is probably the second biggest Education School name in the country, after Howard Garner. Her book is about why public schools in Finland, South Korea, and Singapore get so much better test scores than American public schools.
I`ve been reading a 2010 book on education policy by Linda Darling-Hammond, who holds a named chair in Stanford`s education department. The book is The Flat World and Education: How America`s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future. A few choice items, from just skipping around:

From page 4:

Meanwhile, knowledge is expanding at a breathtaking pace . . . [I]n the three years from 1999 to 2002, the amount of new information produced nearly equaled the amount produced in the entire history of the world previously.  The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years, and it is predicted to double every 72 hours by 2010.
Dig that last sentence!  72 hours .... She has a citation to a 2002 source for that.  Could she mean 720 hours?
On page 11, there`s a bar chart of PISA scores across the four subject areas, with — just like Peter Brimelow has written — the white scores represented by a black bar and the black scores (yes, "black," not "African-American") represented by a white bar.  (Hispanics are gray, and there are variously crosshatched patterns for Asians, multiracial, and OECD average.)

From page 25:

The failure of many states to invest adequately in the education of low-income children and new immigrants, to provide them with effective teachers and the necessary curriculum and learning materials, results in growing numbers leaving school without the skills needed to become a part of the economy.  While the highest-achieving nations are making steep, strategically smart investments in education, the United States is squandering much of its human capital.
Better that the last half of that last sentence said "the United States is importing poverty and loading itself down with students who first need to learn English before they can learn anything else."

From page 60:

Thus, tracking persists in the face of growing evidence that it does not substantially benefit high achievers and tends to put low achievers at a serious disadvantage, in part because of these long-standing beliefs about the role of schools in selection, and in part because good teaching is a scarce resource and thus must be allocated.
The first part of that sounds unbelievable to me (at least for the high achievers), and I note that nothing by Charles Murray or Heather Mac Donald appears in either the references or index (and immigration doesn`t appear in the index).  But I noticed that among the long list of her own publications in the references is something that appeared in the Huffington Post during the 2008 campaign, a plug for Wonderboy (here).
Judging from her pictures, Professor Dr. Hammond-Darling looks like she might (or might not be) about 1/32nd black, which can`t hurt in the Ed School business.