Thursday, October 31, 2019

City Diss Service

Did you get the call? You know, the warning about a freeze this Friday? The one that came in at 4AM Thursday? Yeah. THAT one. And has anyone from The Other Dunwoody thanked any of you ass-hats who voted this disaster into existence for your service? No? Well, we'd like to here but words fail us. Adequate pejoratives are yet to be defined.

Monday, October 28, 2019

It All Adds Up

The AJC has a rather disturbing but unsurprising blog post on how "we" expect kids to be on grade level in math but a lot of them aren't. The education industry has ginned up a report, with its own website, arguing that this expectation, that children stay on task with math, actually causes them to lose ground in math. Though there is an observation that "math is cumulative" they dare not identify very real, systemic, pedagogical problems within the education industry and consequently offer no meaningful solutions.

Math is cumulative: a student will not progress until they have mastered pre-requisite skills. Not "demonstrated once after cramming for a test," but acquired enduring proficiency. And we're talking skills here, not merely "learned concepts." Think of it this way: you could study the rules, history and great players of cricket and even ace tests on all these areas, but would that make you a great cricket player? Or even a competent one? And after the test would you even bother to remember the rules? And this is the pedagogical paradigm dominating the education industry: get it, then forget it. It works for history. It works for english, grammar, writing and literature. The only thing embraced by the education industry that it does not work for is sports, and well, math. But with math, a classroom endeavor, they will use only the get-it-forget-it approach. And should anyone or anything try to upset that applecart they will fight it tooth and nail. Consider that the kind of practice required to acquire proficiency in sports, and math, is required for the former and given the pejorative of "drill and kill" with the latter.

And this is not going to change. Our current crop of educators are themselves products of this system.  They know nothing else and cannot make any meaningful change. Frankly they have no reason to improve as long as they can "pass" their failures (AKA "students") to the next grade without any responsibility or accountability. Should anyone bring in outside evaluations they will undermine them in any way possible, even to the point of cheating. They will suggest that math competency is unnecessary or unattainable and generate documentation supporting those claims. They will deride any objective measure as unfair because they know that no amount of cramming, no teaching-to-the-test will overcome three or four years of mathematics retardation.

And what happens when your child gets to college? Well, they (and you) will expect the same treatment, the same unwarranted praise and advancement, the same lack of rigor that they received in high school. And since colleges have been pulled into the education industry that is exactly what will happen. Just don't be too surprised when your child gets into the job force and has their ass handed to them by co-workers with a foreign education--where math counts. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Trust, Do Not Verify

That is what Georgia's teachers and educators want. Of course they're hiding behind what they claim to be student frailty (but don't call them "snowflakes") and hyperbolic rhetoric (e.g., "deluge of tests"). But student testing is not their real issue. What they are really upset about is being called to task on actually educating our children. Not just passing them thru a system but ensuring that each and every step along they way these children have learned what they need to progress. Educators will not stand for that.

How do we know this? Well, cruise on over to Stan Jester's "No Joking" blog and check out the post on AP Exams - Return on Investment paying attention to the comments. One commenter outs DCSD on an institutionalized platform for grade inflation exposing "the county’s grading policy of Guided/Group practice being 45% of the final grade" also pointing out one of the main reasons for this obsession with subjectivity: "students are able to maintain their A’s and B’s and keep their chance at the HOPE scholarship alive (even if they fail every test)!"

But if you have objective, third party evaluations (testing AND grading) then your subjective evaluations will be exposed for the sham that they are. Why aren't parents appalled? Because the HOPE scholarship is based on grades, not independently verifiable knowledge. And they fully expect colleges and universities to continue this subjective grade inflation all the way thru the Bachelors program. And they do. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Another Mystery Solved

It was Monday morning. About a week ago. Tried to access the online version of the AJC. After much spinning of the wheel abject failure is acknowledged.

Probably because the morning update locked the editions list with a write semaphore which blocked the read necessary to allow access. Sloppy programming. But how can this happen? Well there is the rest of the story.

Check out the "Exception Details." Notice anything disturbing? That's right, they're not only using .Net, they have a Win32Exception. On a foundation of suboptimal technology they've managed to build a fragile application all but guaranteed to fail.

If you've actually read the AJC is there really any surprise?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Drive Like Hell...'ll get there faster.

You've seen those signs. You know, the ones begging you to slow down before you run down one of the neighborhood kids. Or even furkids.

But you're going to drive like hell anyway, aren't you? Why? Because if anyone put up a sign saying "Drive Like Cops Are Watching" you'd check the calendar to see if it is April First. After all, this is Dunwoody and our cops don't do traffic. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Don't Breathe The Model

Much to the Georgia EPD's consternation and feigned surprise the folks living near sterilization plants don't breath models. And models are what the EPD proposed to use to "monitor" carcinogens in the air. Exclusively models.

There are a couple of problems with this. First, folks breathe air. Happens all the time. And if the air they breathe is loaded with carcinogens they just might want to know. Now the EPD protests, saying that air tests do not pinpoint sources or prove causality. To which most folks ingesting carcinogens simply say "so what?" They also ignore the fact that the model and testing are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it is a common practice to validate a theoretical model with empirical data. Other states did exactly that.

Maybe the real problem is that EPD staff are breathing our air and living off our tax dollars. Maybe we can come up with a model showing that we really don't need more than one out of ten of the current EPD headcount. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Year Of Just Say No

The first, definite NO is the GO Bond vote. With rumors and surveys floating around strongly suggesting that the new Austin Elementary will open, Day ONE with trailers, what greater indictment of this System Administration do you need. With their total incompetence when it comes to planning facilities why in gawd's name would you give them more money to abuse? Because you hope to get some?

Then there is the county government where SB7, sponsored by State Senator Emanuel Jones, is poised to gut what little remains of DeKalb's ethics board. Some have observed that the more you know about SB7 the less likely you are to vote in favor. This is why Jones, after a challenging public meeting with only limited discussion of SB7, published a smarmy notice that "it had been decided" to postpone the remaining two public meetings until after the vote. In itself a disgusting political ploy that is made all the worse by suggesting (he won't allow you to pin him down on anything) it needed to be closer to the legislative session since they intend to put out more proposals to fully eviscerate the ethics board.

At least voting should be easy. The county, on two fronts, are shoving referenda most foul into our face and all we have to do is Say NO!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Be Smart--Don't Vape

The AJC has announced that "tackling vaping" is among the top concerns for DeKalb schools. Thank gawd we can knock that off the Parents' Should-Do List. In fact DCSD is ranking vaping right up there alongside guns on campus. What is yet to be revealed is whether DCSD is ever going to address chronic, systemic ignorance. That is apparently unknowable. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

No Joking. Really?

What DOES Google Know?