Lunch Links

Thursday, June 24th, 2010
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41 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  Lior | 

    The Voucher program report is a must-see. I’m sure the “no effect on achievement” result will be spun as a negative, but in fact if spending $6K instead of $26K per student has no effect on achievement then the program has been an unqualified success — and this is before noting the improvements in high school graduation rates, parent satisfaction and the like.

  2. #2 |  M. Zinnen | 

    Perhaps Mr. Wang should consider a position in the Asian porn industry…it seems as though he were born for it.

  3. #3 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Fingers… bulb cupping…I just loveThe Onion.

  4. #4 |  Aresen | 

    Victims of police brutality in Indianapolis start non-profit support group.

    With a six-figure membership list?

  5. #5 |  Aresen | 

    Fun book review in the Wall Street Journal by Scott Greenfield. Reviews a book on New York City’s criminal justice system during the Gilded Age.

    I want a copy of that book.

  6. #6 |  StevefromOhio | 

    Man, that story out of Houston just enrages me. Wonder if Justin Alderete will be charged with breaking and entering?

    I really think this will stop only when cops breaking the law are charged with crimes. That’s it. That’s the only way it will stop.

  7. #7 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “New report shows D.C. voucher program has been a success. Naturally, Congress has killed the trial.”

    Yawn. Dog bites man.

    What a shocker that the State defends itself against all comers with an iron fist.

    State-dominated indoctrination is the keystone of State power. Ironically, the statist quoted in the article is right, the voucher program does not solve the root problem — State control of schools. Those who advocate vouchers are engaging in the same act of fellatio on the State as the mainstream public union bloodsuckers, maybe even worse because it perpetuates State control while superficially appearing to be a beneficial reform.

    Nothing less than complete separation of schools and State will solve the problem. Alas, there are a thousand advocating reform for the one advocating abolition, and so the poor and politically weak will twist in the wind evermore.

  8. #8 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “Victims of police brutality in Indianapolis start non-profit support group.”

    I’ll lay odds that within one year, the following headline is splashed across The Agitator:

    “Indianapolis SWAT team raids headquarters of non-profit police brutality support group.”

    I’ll put the over/under on dogs killed during the raid at two.

    BTW, this is the sort of anarchic approach that is most likely to be effective at combating police brutality. All those civil lawsuits that are settled for peanuts paid by taxpayers and result in impunity for the offender are just more fuel for police psychopaths (but I repeat myself).

    Haven’t all thinking individuals realized by now that one can’t seek remedy from State institutions?

  9. #9 |  Aresen | 

    CinCA

    No way I’ll take that bet!

  10. #10 |  primus | 

    what odds are you offering?

  11. #11 |  primus | 

    at 10 to 1 I’ll take $10 of that

  12. #12 |  Mattocracy | 

    Typical badge lickers commenting about the Indianapolis link. “Well if your kid wasn’t breaking the law he wouldn’t get his ass kicked.” Bullshit. Unless you are assaulting someone, the police shouldn’t beat the hell out of anyone.

  13. #13 |  Alex | 

    7- Of all the actions and overbearing government could take, surely giving impoverished kids education vouchers is one of the least offensive, is it not? I would guess that per taxpayer the cost is tiny, and some kids are getting a chance at going to a decent school who otherwise very well might not be able to.

  14. #14 |  Aresen | 

    @ Mattocracy | June 24th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Haven’t followed the link, but I would be inclined to reply to that commenter “And if an East German wasn’t an enemy of the state, the Stasi wouldn’t have bothered him.”

  15. #15 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #13 | Alex

    I understand that the concept of vouchers in theory is superior to direct command-and-control education. However, if one agrees with that premise, then taken to its logical conclusion, total freedom of education is infinitely superior to vouchers.

    By settling for vouchers, one abandons the pursuit of the best solution — freedom. Vouchers are also still a State solution, i.e., force/violence.

    Once cannot counter that vouchers have been an effective strategy in advancing educational freedom in practice, as the link proves. The State, sensing loss of control, crushes vouchers and makes it abundantly clear where it stands on freedom.

    So, my conclusion is that “least offensive” is perhaps the most insidious defense of vouchers imaginable. Freedom lovers must stand firm on principle, it’s all we’ve got.

  16. #16 |  Michael Chaney | 

    All the criminal charges were dropped.

    Actually, from the article:

    Olvera says he was acquitted of all charges in a jury trial.

    The prosecution should have had the sense to drop the obviously false charges. Hopefully the city will lose big in the civil suit.

  17. #17 |  croaker | 

    It says quite a bit that you have to look carefully at certain news items and consider the source (onion.com). Too damn many real stories look like they belong in The Onion. And vice versa.

  18. #18 |  RobZ | 

    http://www.dcfpi.org/dc-budget-toolkit/dc-budget-toolkit

    In 2008, DCPS had 320 million in the budget for charter schools which then were expected to have 22,300 enrolled. Works out to considerably more than the $6620 per student voucher cost cited in the CATO article.

    Why the difference? I’m guessing facilities costs.

    “Charter schools also receive a per-pupil funding level to cover facility costs.” (From the web site cited above.)

  19. #19 |  Mark | 

    Am I the only one to think of the Amazon.com Uranium Ore thread when they clicked-through to Robust Wang’s page?

  20. #20 |  BSK | 

    Sorry, I don’t think there is anything funny about mocking that man’s name.

  21. #21 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    @#19

    Most Chinese choose an “English Name” when they go through their English curriculum in high school. They often use this name in professional situations where they may need to communicate with westerners.

    It’s very possible this man was culturally aware enough to know some western vernacular and took one for the team.

    The rest is comedic gold history.

  22. #22 |  bobzbob | 

    The Cato blog claims the report shows that the voucher program improved scores for some subgroups. This is FALSE and in direct contradiction to the conclusions of the report. What is this so often the case at CATO?

    quote:
    • There is no conclusive evidence that the OSP affected student achievement. On average, after at least four years students who were offered (or used) scholarships had reading and math test scores that were statistically similar to those who were not offered scholarships (figure ES-2). The same pattern of results holds for students who applied from schools in need of improvement (SINI), the group Congress designated as the highest priority for the Program. Although some other subgroups of students appeared to have higher levels of reading achievement if they were offered or used a scholarship, those findings could be due to chance. They should be interpreted with caution since the RESULT WERE NO LONGER SIGNIFICANT after applying a statistical test to account for multiple comparisons of treatment and control group members across the subgroups.

  23. #23 |  bobzbob | 

    “7- Of all the actions and overbearing government could take, surely giving impoverished kids education vouchers is one of the least offensive, is it not? I would guess that per taxpayer the cost is tiny, and some kids are getting a chance at going to a decent school who otherwise very well might not be able to.”

    This isn’t true – big studies have shown that voucher programs don’t improve achievement and the cost savings are illusory (an existing school takes a student for the voucher price only because the voucher funding exceeds their incremental cost to add one or a few students to a classroom that is already paid for. If you had to build the voucher school from scratch and fill it with voucher kids you couldn’t do it with the voucher funding.

  24. #24 |  bobzbob | 

    P.S. I suspect this report is buried because it DOESN”T show the achievement gains that voucher supporters expect!

  25. #25 |  Kino | 

    @ #5 ” I want a copy of that book. ”

    order it >

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0061714283/theagitator-20/

  26. #26 |  RGD | 

    The State kills the voucher program because it wants evil indoctrinatory control of all citizens (later, it twirls its little black moustache and strokes a white cat sitting on its lap).

    But it doesn’t kill it because even long-time vocal proponents of the voucher program have come out of the woodwork over the past few years saying, “We were wrong about this. It does not work. It does no good at all.”

    You see, it must be the former, not the latter, because the latter requires someone to change their worldview to accord to the facts, rather than changing the facts to accord to their worldview. Therefore: the program IS successful and the State IS evil. Thus, all is well.

  27. #27 |  OldGrump | 

    Off topic a bit – I wish I could say this surprises and shocks me:

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/06/24/28330.htm
    (Oklahoma cops taze a bedridden grandmother)

    However, enough time watching more and more reports similar to this one just leaves me rather numb to it.

  28. #28 |  Mattocracy | 

    I like how bobzbob and RGD retort to success of voucher programs is “um, no they aren’t. So there. There are some other mythicial reports out there quoted by teachers unions that say different. No bias here. We win!”

    Thanks for playing. The anti-individual choice movement strikes again.

  29. #29 |  ktc2 | 

    Wow, that’s just stunning! Even compared to the normal police brutality stories here. The 86-year-old lady on an oxygen system “took a more aggressive posture in her bed”, so they tasered her, missed and tasered her again. (After stepping on her oxygen tube).

    Just wow! Everyone one of those pigs deserves to be tased in the nuts, repeatedly.

  30. #30 |  Cyto | 

    If you liked “the writer who couldn’t read”, I can recommend “The man who mistook his wife for a hat”. It is an older book; a collection of case studies of similar brain injury cases that reveal the inner workings of our brain and consciousness.

  31. #31 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Matt, the voucher program as presently constituted does nothing to advance freedom. Freedom to move from one state school to another is not freedom, I’m sure you’d agree. Debating the “success” or “failure” of vouchers is quite beside the point from an individual choice perspective.

  32. #32 |  Lior | 

    Cynical in CA: Government can be involved in education in two different ways. It can pay for it and it can produce it. Whether government should pay for education is a question of social policy (society needs to decide to what extent children of poor parents shall have worse opportunities than children of the well-to-do). Whether government should produce education is a question of pure economics — there are several potential suppliers of education and (presumably) we want to get some optimal combination of quality and price.

    What vouchers do is separate the two issues — the public pays but the parents choose the supplier from which they will buy the education (the government being one potential supplier). The study appears to show that it makes no economic sense for the government to produce education, since parents can obtain equivalent education at less than a quarter of the price from other sources.

    I’m not sure where the question of “individual freedom” comes in. Do you think that the public paying for education is an infringement of freedom? (there’s a case to be made that person A should not be forced to pay for the education of the children of person B). Do you think that, assuming the public will pay, having parents choose the school for their kids reduces their freedom compared the public only paying for government-produced education?

  33. #33 |  RWW | 

    Do you think that the public paying for education is an infringement of freedom?

    Not if “the public” does so of their own free will. (Which they do not.)

  34. #34 |  Bronwyn | 

    Cyto,

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ve added it to my wish list at paperbackswap.com!

  35. #35 |  bobzbob | 

    ” can obtain equivalent education at less than a quarter of the price from other sources.”

    This isn’t true. Schools take the voucher kids because their incremental costs to add a child to an existing classroom is less than the voucher payment. If you had to build and staff a school from scratch on the voucher funding you couldn’t to it- I would cost much more.

    Further, all kids don’t cost the same to educate. Public schools “cost per child” is calculated for an average student, many students with disabilities cost several times more to educate – but voucher school won’t take these students because the voucher won’t cover the cost.

  36. #36 |  Bronwyn | 

    Wow! 13 minutes later… wish granted!

    Thanks again, Cyto!

  37. #37 |  bobzbob | 

    “I like how bobzbob and RGD retort to success of voucher programs is “um, no they aren’t. So there. There are some other mythicial reports out there quoted by teachers unions that say different. No bias here. We win!”

    Thanks for playing. The anti-individual choice movement strikes again.”

    Matt- If you had been paying attention instead of talking out your a** you would have noticed that my quote was from the report that CATO linked in their document! That’s right, the very report CATO was reporting on DIRECTLY contradicts their headline.

    Thanks for playing. The pre-complete ignorance movement strikes again.

  38. #38 |  bobzbob | 

    that should be “pro-” not “pre-”

  39. #39 |  Lior | 

    bobzbob: Why do you think private school tuition doesn’t include capital costs? Where else does the money come to pay these costs? The kids on vouchers were not charged tuition that was lower than other kids in the same school, so what they paid reflected capital costs such as construction of the school.

    Regarding the costs of “special education”, your argument doesn’t pass the smell test — the costs of special education cannot be a significant driver of the average cost per child: assume that the public system really only needs $7K/year per regular child, and the average of $28K/year is due to special education. Let as assume that 15% of all kids require “special education” (a slight overestimate). Then the cost for them would be about $147K/year to make the average what it is. At that price you could hire a between two and three college professors to individually educate each such child.

    Of course if you have a voucher system (public funding but private production of education) then children who qualify for special education should get larger vouchers than the default; but this would not be a significant cost in the overall scheme of things. Certainly the fact that some kids will need more funding is a funding issue and thus not a difference between the voucher and non-voucher production models.

  40. #40 |  Mattocracy | 

    Really bob, so the you saying that…

    “has a positive impact on at least some groups of students, harms no groups of students, and does this for less than a third of what the DC Public Schools spend…” isn’t a better alternative to no vouchers?

    Nothing worse, higher graduation rates, some of the students actually took advantage of an opportunity. How can you say this isn’t worth doing.

    The study might say that there isn’t conclusive evidence, but that’s because this was done in one city. Voucher programs should be offered nationwide. Not every student is going to care enough even when offered a better school, but those that will shouldn’t be denied the opportunity. After all, the same study says it HARMS NO STUDENTS and actually HELPED SOME!

    Yes, thank you. I was paying attention. You would’ve realized that if your mouth and asshole weren’t the same.

  41. #41 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #32 | Lior — “I’m not sure where the question of “individual freedom” comes in. Do you think that the public paying for education is an infringement of freedom? (there’s a case to be made that person A should not be forced to pay for the education of the children of person B). Do you think that, assuming the public will pay, having parents choose the school for their kids reduces their freedom compared the public only paying for government-produced education?”

    I thought I was pretty well-known around these parts by now. Please allow me to introduce myself, Lior. I’m Cynical, one of the resident anarchists of this site.

    The answer to your first question is: of course, how could it be anything but?

    The answer to your second question is: there is no reduction of freedom by disallowing vouchers because there is no freedom to begin with to reduce.

    These are answers based on first principles of non-aggression, or pure voluntaryism if you prefer. That is the angle I take on all issues involving the State. Statists of any stripe can play their silly games about public policy, but the only morally consistent philosophy regarding public policy is that there shouldn’t be any.

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