Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Crazies Come Out in Edweek

(updated 5/26)

So it seems they left the barn doors open at Edweek in this issue. Yeah, most of the issue was actually pretty decent and informative, and I should be happy, but they developed some problems at the end.

First, there was the nit picky stupid. Yeah, I tend to discount studies that use the wrong verb with data, too. Whatever. My advisor tended to have the same problem with this word as well. I adapted, just so that I could avoid the conflict everytime I wrote something, but it seems like one of the most elitist, condescending critiques of writing possible. Only smart people know the latin declination of datum. Screw that. Data is as data does.

Sorry for the rant. It will get worse.

We advance to this article in which the author thinks we're not doing enough for the 'smart kids'. He's got a point. I don't think schools are anywhere near challenging enough. Only a select few in high powered, upwardly mobile districts really push all their students. And that would be the problem, wouldn't it? How do we go about finding all these smart kids? Should we use the time honored tradition of selecting the children of the rich? Maybe we should use the children of the already smart? But of course, alot of them were the children of the rich themselves, so let's just go back to step one. The one thing that I've found visting schools and talking to kids, is that there's a whole lot of smart kids out there who never get the chance.

In the same issue, we see that this kid did get the chance. He's smart, he's driven, but as much as the article wants to use that word, 'genius', we can't deny that his dad's an engineer, his mom stays at home in order to cart him around, and he goes to one of the best schools in the country. What happens to the kid with the same genes living in South Central? The influence of adults on kids learning is of the utmost important, as shown in the link from Wired posted by Maki-girl right above (below?)

High level education can be given to all children and most likely, all children will end up performing alot better than they do right now. Calls for the improvement of gifted education are simply elitist and classist in my book. When the kids are recognized as gifted, we do know how to teach them well. We just have to do that for alot more kids.

And finally, here's a letter to the editor from someone who's just not gifted. I got several words for Michael Mcneece of Fulton, Mississippi: 'Go fucking learn something, and then go ahead and fuck yourself.'

(I told you the rant would get worse)

Why doesn't he just come out and call us freakin' Nazis? That Edweek would go ahead and publish this crap is beyond me. How is this reasonable debate? As I've posted before, our defense of evolution is published in dozens if not hundreds of journals. You see, we scientists, we don't burn books, we make them.


At 8:50 AM, Anonymous maki-girl said...

My advisor had the same "data" affliction, too. I think he just liked telling me I was wrong.


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