December 12, 2011

How long is this supposed to take?

There's a consensus among all responsible opinion-molders that a leading solution to today's unemployment, low wages, growing inequality, and the like is to Fix the Schools. For example, this headline appeared recently in World Net Daily: "Zuckerman: Improve Education to Create US Jobs." I'm sure that Zuckerberg would say the same thing in public, as would Obama, Romney, Friedman, Gingrich, Duncan, Gates, and, for that matter, Jobs if he were revivified. 

In contrast, immigration restriction is derided, on the rare occasions when it is even considered as a policy response to high unemployment and low wages, as taking too long to deal with the current crisis.

But, how long would Improved Education take to Create US Jobs? Say the average worker is 40 years old.  Furthermore, as we hear from all responsible commenters on The Gap in school achievement, the problem is that The Gap exists from the first point it is measured -- in kindergarten -- so therefore Fixing the Schools must include taking children likely to suffer low achievement away from their mothers or grandmothers for most of their waking hours and put them in intensive (and presumably Fixed) preschools by age 3 or so. (Or perhaps age 2 or 1 or zero or in utero ... the age when intervention is determined to be necessary seems to creep backwards over time.) 

So, if we could Fix the Schools tomorrow, we'd have Fixed 40 year old workers within about 37 years, or by 2048. Too bad about people who will be 41 in 2048, of course. They will remain doomed. So, Fixed Schools will take about 62 years in toto to work their magic on the entire labor force. So, you can see why all sensible thinkers agree that Fixing the Schools makes much more sense than Enforcing the Border. Of course, nobody yet quite knows how to Fix the Schools, but no doubt that breakthrough will come Real Soon Now.

25 comments:

John Seiler said...

The government schools don't need to be "fixed," but dissolved. Give the money back to taxpayers; and repeal truancy laws. Let parents school their kids as they see fit, using their returned tax money. See John Taylor Gatto's Web site (Google it.) Americans were smarter, and more independent, before the Prussian model was imposed on us beginning in the 1850s by the odious Horace Mann.

James N.S.W said...

There's no attempt to even consider from the American SWPL crowd that the increasingly crummy school performance of American students is directly related to the number of Mexicans that flood across the border. My American SWPL friends and contacts still continue to blame the schools, ignorant of how much funding they actually recieve and the test scores and academic performance of Whites/Asians relative to the rest of the world. One thing I have always noticed when talking about IQ with a lot of people on the left and the right is that they are unaware of even the basic IQ test score gaps between different racial groups, let alone what these gaps even or could mean. I've often found that trying to convince many people of the 15 point IQ gap between American Blacks and White people is a nigh on impossible task in itself.

It's why we're up shit creek without a paddle.

eh said...

"Zuckerman: Improve Education to Create US Jobs."

I can't remember the last time I heard such an original and inspiring thought. Oh wait, yes I can: it was 'Hope and Change'.

SGOTI said...

I just wish they'd tell us there would be "free beer tomorrow".

Neither scenario is likely to happen, and free beer would be more instantly gratifying.

David said...

Omitted from World Net Daily's gloss is Mort's second prescription, found in his original US News article here.

"2. Visas. Approve many more H-1B visas to permit highly educated graduate students in the hard sciences to work in engineering and technology. Contrary to popular perception of immigrants, these are people who would create more jobs rather than cost jobs."

Like a broken record these guys are!

Eric said...

Sure, fix the schools. Then we can be like Tunisia where most everyone has a college degree and nobody has a job.

The problems we have with the economy, which mostly relate to the size and scope of the government, will not be solved by fixing the schools. I'd rather have a prosperous country full of employed people who have a tenuous grasp of algebra than a country full of math whizzes who sell trinkets to foreign tourists.

David said...

Eric said

>Tunisia where most everyone has a college degree and nobody has a job<

Fixed:

America 2014 where most everyone has a college degree and nobody has a job.

In Mort's world, the community college, like McDonalds, will always be hiring professors of Media, Excel, Real Estate, Transgender Studies, and How To Make Jewelry. At about the same pay as a McDonalds job.

NOTA said...

David:

I think low-skill immigration and high-skill immigration really are somewhat different issues. At the extreme high end, we surely want to let in, say, world class scientists who want to come to America. We may also want to let in doctors and engineers, though there are downsides there--we may push most Americans out of those fields by pushing the return on an expensive and demanding education down too low.

But those concerns seem fundamentally different from the ones surrounding large scale immigration of low-skill people whose kids and grandkids don't seem to do all that well in school. Importing Indian doctors and engineers may lead to some bad outcomes, but one of them probably wont be to import a big permanent underclass.

elvisd said...

The deliberate devaluing and destruction of vocational ed is the great unmentioned issue in education. I just spent the last school year watching a principal, a superintendent, a school board, and county commissioners lambast my school for being a vo-tech. Of all the awful shit that I've experienced in my years teaching-the gangs, the infantile parents, the pervs, the ridiculous SPED laws, the political correctness-this takes the cake.

Bantam said...

The time it takes to master Finnish is the obvious answer.

Whiskey said...

Steve, the point about "fix the schools" is really "spend money to employ people like us." Generally nice White ladies and such (yes including men).

That's the whole point -- employ more SWPL.

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

Steve, the point about "fix the schools" is really "spend money to employ people like us." Generally nice White ladies and such (yes including men)."

Yes, Whiskey, Steve knows this. We all know this. We are not as stupid as we think you are.

Reg C├Žsar said...

At the extreme high end, we surely want to let in, say, world class scientists who want to come to America. --NOTA

It was just as easy for those to get in under the Harding and Coolidge laws as under the Johnson laws.

Ever heard of Wernher von Braun? Albert Einstein? An Wang? Andy Grove?

Anonymous said...

The argument about 'fixing the schools' is pure crap - and any intelligent person should quickly see right through it.
The driver of all economic growth and therefore higher living standards and employment is technoligal innovation ie new inventions, industrila processes and ways of doing things.
Now in today's hi-tech world, technological innovation is not the fruit of the lone 'practical man' genius anymore, but the fruit of engineering and science PhDs working in company research labs and doing esearch projects.Think of William Shockley, Xerox labs, IBM labs etc.
As we all know only a small fraction of the general population has IQs high enough to do this work, and in general these people come from good middle class families, are recognised and do well is school as it is.
Casting the net wider amongst the 'great unwashed' just won't work.Diminishing returns and all that - the crucial high IQ material just doesn't live there.
a better way of nuturing crucial talent is to offer full scholarships to talented science and math students and to hothouse high IQ students from the earliest years.

Anonymous said...

The entire "broken schools" meme is the combined effort of the teachers' unions and the cheap labor lobby.

It benefits the teachers' unions because it results in an endless supply of new money to fix a problem that cannot be repaired.

It benefits the cheap labor because it implies Americans are stupid and uneducated workers who need to be replaced with intelligent, well-educated (and of course, cheaper) foreigners.

As with so many issues, on "broken schools", the so-called left and right split the truth right down the middle.

Paul Mendez said...

US Business has been carping about how "bad" schools are for the past 30 years. Interestingly, that is about the same time US Business stopped training its workers and started treating them like disposable machine parts instead of valuable assets.

I've been involved in education and workforce development fields since the early 80's. During that time, I have watched "free market capitalists" continually try to shift the burden of training their workers onto the government.

David said...

NOTA,
Replacing Americans with dumb people, on the one hand, and replacing Americans with non-dumb people, on the other, is still replacing Americans. You fellows are hell-bent on "electing a new people," as Brecht put it. I find your patriotism nonexistent.

From a tactical point of view, welcoming easily outwitted invaders may be better than welcoming smart invaders. China, for example, should have to fire shots if it wants to invade us.

(I won't mention the fact, because it's of less importance, that right-half-of-the-Bell-Curvers are inextricably bound up with larger numbers of left-halfers [relatives, friends of relatives, relatives of these friends, their relatives, etc.]. Not everyone whom the craftier immigrant would bring into the US is as bright as he.)

Average Joe said...

One highly effective way to improve our educational system would be to stop Hispanics with low IQs from entering the United States.

Peter A said...

"Americans were smarter, and more independent, before the Prussian model was imposed on us beginning in the 1850s by the odious Horace Mann."

Yes, but something else also started happening to the US right before the 1850s. (Hint it starts with "Ir" and ends with "ish")

Unruly Irish kids (who in those days often didn't speak English) is one of the reasons Mann was able to get traction with his public school system in the first place. I'm not kidding:

" Struck by the large number of Irish immigrant children living in squatters’ camps beside the railroad lines on which their fathers worked, [Mann} pushed for mandatory education laws that would require towns and districts to provide schooling for all children, whether permanent residents or not."

http://www.ait.net/technos/tq_09/2eakin.php

So the roots of our public school system have been entwined with mass immigration since the beginning. An unholy alliance that goes back more than 150 years.

Jeff said...

The people who talk this way about schools are like Chelsea Clinton in her TV debut. They aren't trying to solve problems or give you information. They are trying to ennoble themselves.

"Stories from the Chelsea beat, meanwhile, are all meant to do a few things, very quickly: Highlight some bright spot of good news in otherwise bleak circumstances; indicate how viewers might help out the situation, if so inclined; and (this is never once said, but almost always palpable in the empathetic eyes of the reporter) ennoble the reporter herself, and thereby ennoble the network."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/chelsea-clinton-makes-broadcast-debut-on-nbcs-rock-center/2011/12/12/gIQApql2qO_story.html?hpid=z5

Anonymous said...

elvisd said,

"The deliberate devaluing and destruction of vocational ed is the great unmentioned issue in education. I just spent the last school year watching a principal, a superintendent, a school board, and county commissioners lambast my school for being a vo-tech. Of all the awful shit that I've experienced in my years teaching-the gangs, the infantile parents, the pervs, the ridiculous SPED laws, the political correctness-this takes the cake."

Ditto--happened where I taught too. They all think they have to have every kid take first year algebra, geometry, second year algebra when a lot of kids will NEVER have either the ability nor the interest in any of those.

Carpentry? Metal shop? The boards don't want to spend money on those things.

Doug1 said...

Mass deportations of illegals would have an immediate effect in creating more jobs for citizens, esp. black ones.

Rohan Swee said...

Paul Mendez: I've been involved in education and workforce development fields since the early 80's. During that time, I have watched "free market capitalists" continually try to shift the burden of training their workers onto the government.

Concurrently with trying to shift the burden of actually paying them onto the "government" aka net taxpayers. (Food stamps, medical care, education, housing subsidies, etc., etc., etc.)

Anonymous said...

"Carpentry? Metal shop? The boards don't want to spend money on those things."


Ah, hell no, prole whites are good at that stuff and can earn a good living doing that. Therefore, the school system wastes their time during high school and makes them take out loans to get trained after high school.

JSM said...

"As we all know only a small fraction of the general population has IQs high enough to do this work, and in general these people come from good middle class families, are recognised and do well is school as it is.
"Casting the net wider amongst the 'great unwashed' just won't work.Diminishing returns and all that - the crucial high IQ material just doesn't live there.
a better way of nuturing crucial talent is to offer full scholarships to talented science and math students and to hothouse high IQ students from the earliest years."

See, Anon, what you don't realize is the elites KNOW all this.

They are "casting the net wider" because they DON'T want brainiacs from the middle class getting full scholarships --

because they don't WANT any actual competition to arise that would knock their own (reverted-to-the-mean) spawn out of the plum positions in society.