Wednesday, November 02, 2016

 It's Time for Marketing School

What does one do when the product one sells is inferior to that of the competition? Spend money on better marketing, of course — at least that’s what several school districts across the nation have chosen to do. Since 2004, national enrollment in charter schools has grown by 219% while over that same period public schools have seen enrollment decrease by 1%. This decrease has impacted the amount of funding public school districts receive — funding that’s tied to a school’s student population. For example, the Los Angeles Unified School District has lost roughly $100 million in funding as the district’s enrollment is down by about 14,000 students. Most of the decreased enrollment has been attributed to increased enrollment in Los Angeles area charter schools.

While union-driven public schools complain of the loss of funding due to the competition from charter schools, their solutions often amount to nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig. Jason Mandell, a spokesman for the California Charter Schools Association, defended charters, saying, “As more families choose charter schools, districts are being forced to look in the mirror and examine why many families aren’t satisfied with their schools. It’s healthy, because in many cases it’s forcing systems that have become complacent or stagnant to evolve and improve, in order to deliver the kind of high-quality education that families expect.”

Charter schools are continuing to prove that, given a true choice, parents will opt for the best educational opportunities available for their children. Forcing parents and their children to accept substandard schooling for the sake of financing teachers' unions is quite simply egregious and un-American.


Magical Thinking at the New York Post

The [New York] Post is normally a pretty sensible paper; but race denialism does to IQ what Sherman did to Georgia. Here is an actual quote from their October 19th editorial, quote:

"The core problem remains the ugly fact that the city's worst schools are overwhelmingly in minority neighborhoods"

End quote. Just savor that, and think about the mentality behind it.

We have fun at with what we call Magic Dirt Theory: the notion that differences in the overall performance of different races are caused by people just being in the wrong place.

Well, you see in that quote from the Post that it's not just Magic Dirt, it's Magic Bricks and Mortar, too. See, there are these bad schools. New York's PS 191, for example, has low test scores, and it shows up regularly on New York State's annual list of most dangerous schools.

What makes a school bad? It must be the construction materials it's made from. The bricks and mortar exude invisible, noxious vapors that make the students dull-witted and violent. What else could it be? And look: These bad schools are, quote, "overwhelmingly in minority neighborhoods." How evil is that — to put these bad schools with their poisonous bricks in neighborhoods full of blacks and Hispanics?

Why don't we build good schools in minority neighborhoods — schools made out of good construction materials, that don't make the kids dumb and unruly? Why does nobody think to do that? Don't black lives matter? Look at the injustice!

That is the actual mentality of race denialists. That's what they believe. It's magical thinking, at a level that would disgrace headhunters in the Amazon jungle.

The hypocrisy of those Upper West Side parents is, as I said, amusing and entertaining to watch. The willed self-enstupidation of those who shape public opinion is not amusing, not entertaining. It's depressing and alarming, and bodes nothing but ill for our civilization.


How the GAMSAT is Raising the Bar on Australian Talent in the Scientific Field

The GAMSAT was originally designed to aid the selection process for students looking to enrol in graduate-entry courses in Australia. Split into three sections, the test evaluates students on Reasoning in Humanities & Social Sciences, Written Communications, and Reasoning in Biological & Physical Sciences.

All of this will ultimately determine a candidate’s capacity to commence a high-level intellectual course in either a medical or health professional related field. By effectively serving as the gate-keeper for high level graduate-entry courses, the GAMSAT is maintaining a minimum level of competency across the board and acting as a quality control measure for the scientific field as a whole.

Mayank Nagory, owner of Acamedica Coaching, said that the GAMSAT ensures hopeful applicants are kept accountable and work hard to get into the courses they’re passionate about.

“Many students spend countless hours studying and expanding their knowledgebase in preparation for the GAMSAT,” said Mr Nagory. “Majority will seek out specialised preparation courses to make sure they’ve truly mastered their skills and filled any knowledge gaps.”

This, in turn, has a direct impact on the quality of applicants sitting for the exam and will inevitably lead to an influx of highly skilled, and qualified professionals in the health and medical industries.

GAMSAT is not exclusive to those who have previously completed scientific-based fields of study. Candidates who have attained academy excellence in social and humanities sciences are also encouraged to apply.

“While a certain level of knowledge on biological and physical sciences is a big component of the exam, it is not the only consideration candidates should be worried about,” said Mr Nagory. “Successful applicants also need to possess a firm grasp of critical thinking, problem solving and writing ability.”

The exam will ultimately evaluate candidates’ knowledge and skills acquired via prior learning and experience. Preparation for the exam typically involves individuals reading widely and seeking professional guidance from a specialised tutor who understands the level of preparation necessary to excel. 

“The exam can pose as a challenging endeavour for any prospective student, but it plays a big role in determining the overall standard for Australia’s science-based fields,” said Mr Nagory.

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