E.D. Hirsch, Jr., is penetratingly right; the issue is the “educrats” who impose educational strategies on the basis of unproven theories:
Why has the topic of teacher quality suddenly reached such a crescendo? Education reform has been on the national agenda since 1983, the year of A Nation at Risk, but only in the last few years has the teacher-quality issue risen to the top. I think it may be reform fatigue, possibly desperation. The teacher is becoming a convenient scapegoat for America’s education reformers, who, after decades of ideas that have not panned out, cling to the belief that the flaw is not in the reform ideas themselves but in their implementation.
Teachers are being blamed for failures not their own. The “back-to-basics” and “whole-school reform” strategies disappointed. Similarly, as the National Assessment of Educational Progress has consistently shown, the state-standards movement and the No Child Left Behind law have left high-school students just about as far behind as they were before the reforms were instituted. Charter schools, despite their laudable triumphs, are highly uneven in quality, and their overall results are not much better than those of regular schools….
The most likely cause of disappointing results from the various reforms is not poor teaching but poorly conceived reforms. They have been primarily structural in character. They have not systematically grappled with the grade-by-grade specifics and coherence of the elementary-school curriculum. Educational success is ultimately defined by what students learn. If the grade-by-grade content of schooling remains undefined, schooling will remain unproductive over the long run, no matter who is teaching.
Amazing new technology, NICHOLAS WADE
Nearly half a century ago, archaeologists found a charred ancient scroll in the ark of a synagogue on the western shore of the Dead Sea.
The lump of carbonized parchment could not be opened or read. Its curators did nothing but conserve it, hoping that new technology might one day emerge to make the scroll legible.
Just such a technology has now been perfected by computer scientists at theUniversity of Kentucky. Working with biblical scholars in Jerusalem, they have used a computer to unfurl a digital image of the scroll.
It turns out to hold a fragment identical to the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible and, at nearly 2,000 years old, is the earliest instance of the text.
The writing retrieved by the computer from the digital image of the unopened scroll is amazingly clear and legible, in contrast to the scroll’s blackened and beaten-up exterior. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think anything would come of it,” said Pnina Shor, the head of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Scholars say this remarkable new technique may make it possible to read other scrolls too brittle to be unrolled.
The scroll’s content, the first two chapters of the Book of Leviticus, has consonants — early Hebrew texts didn’t specify vowels — that are identical to those of the Masoretic text, the authoritative version of the Hebrew Bible and the one often used as the basis for translations of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles.
Automation, robots, and computers both eliminating jobs and creating jobs — and white collar workers losing out.
This vignette illustrates some of what we hope to accomplish with this 3 part series. Wendy spoke up for her dad to mitigate risk. The doctor listened to mitigate risk. And we are speaking now in this series about the ESV’s changes to Genesis 3:16 and 4:7, in part, to mitigate risk toward women, but more importantly, to mitigate risk to the authority of Scripture which is the foundation of our life and practice as Christians. As we enter this conversation, we do so from a place of shared commitment to the authority of Scripture, access to scholarship of others well versed in Hebrew translation and a daily, intimate knowledge of how misreading Scripture can affect the lives of the women we disciple.
Although I attended a small liberal arts college, it wasn’t until the summer between my junior and senior years that I began to appreciate the importance of the liberal arts. I was working as an intern that summer on Capitol Hill. My aspiration at that juncture in my life was to become a professional photographer, so I made an appointment with the assistant head of photography at National Geographic.
I showed him my portfolio, and he offered some appreciative comments. Then I asked, “What do you look for in a photographer?” His answer surprised me. “I’m looking for someone with a liberal arts education,” he said. “I can teach anyone how to operate a camera. I can’t teach them what to photograph. A liberal arts education provides that.”
Later that same year, at a college extension program across the country in Oregon, I began to savor the delights of the life of the mind, immersing myself, timidly at first, in the world of ideas. That discovery changed my life, setting me on a course toward graduate school and a lifetime of scholarship and writing, both for academic and general audiences.
Now, 40 years after graduating from college, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I offer that anecdote not to be self-aggrandizing or self-congratulatory — and certainly not to denigrate other vocations. The world truly would be a sorry place if it were populated only with art history majors. I tell that story because I worry that too few students open themselves to the liberal arts and to the delights of free-ranging intellectual engagement.
Just for fun: what some books could have been called. [HT: MT]
Kevin DeYoung commenting on the ERAS/ESS debate about the Trinity, closes with this (and that last laconic line):
Obviously, there is much more that could be said about the doctrine of the Trinity, from Augustine and the Fathers, to the Reformed tradition, to the revival of Trinitarian interest in recent decades, to the detailed arguments for and against the eternal subordination of the Son in journals, books, and blogs. I make no pretense of having the last word or anything close to a definitive word on the subject. But as I’ve studied the words of some ESS/ERAS/EFS proponents more closely and have read from the Reformed tradition more deeply, I’ve come to see there is a gap between the two that is more significant than may seem at first glance.
The 9-to-5 grind has created a cult of workaholics.
Unfortunately, the 8-hour workday hasn’t budged in 100 years. Nevermind that the Information Age represents the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution and that family structures have changed dramatically since the early 1900s.
Workers still get in their cars every morning and clog up the freeways and do it again at night.
Mondays are dreaded. Wednesdays are “hump days.” Friday mornings bring relief because they’re the final push before the weekend.
The idea that workers are expected to endure 70% of their week so they can enjoy the other 30% is collective insanity.
Why my company moved to a five-hour workday
My company decided to do things differently. I run a business that sells stand-up paddleboards, so a shorter workday that freed our employees’ afternoons for extraordinary living was a natural fit for our beach lifestyle brand.
We decided to move to a five-hour workday, where everyone works from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. By eliminating an hour-long lunch, we only reduced our work time by two hours. Our employees don’t get paid less, and I still expect them to be twice as productive as the average worker.
The results have been astounding. Last year, we were named the fastest-growing private company in San Diego. This year, our 9-person team will generate $9 million in revenue.
When I tell people my team only works five hours a day, their response is always, “That’s nice, but it won’t work for me.” The 9-to-5 is so ingrained in their minds that they can’t imagine anything else.
But you can reduce your hours by 30% and maintain the same level of productivity.