novatownhall blog

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Browsing Posts in education

Hillary Clinton, trying to out-socialism socialist Bernie Sanders, has announced a new plan for taxpayers to pay for someone else’s kids college.

She calls it “The New College Compact”.  Here are the highlights:

  • “No student should have to borrow money to pay for tuition at a public college or university.”
  • “Schools will have to control their costs and show more accountability to their students.  No more 42% increases over ten years (way above the rate of inflation of anything else).”
  • States will have to meet their obligation to invest in higher education.
  • The federal government will increase its investment in education and will not profit any longer off of student loans.
  • And everyone, everyone who already has student debt will be able to refinance it at lower rates.
  • We’re going to make community college free.

The upshot is, every one of those things, even not profiting off student loans, the States can do already. The fact is that the State legislatures choose not to do it.

Georgia has Hope Scholarships, which provide free in-state tuition to all Georgia High School students with a B average or better. The federal government has the same revenue source the States do — We the People.

One other point she made, that if one gets a loan to attend a private college, then repayments would be limited to 10% of your income and would have a fixed term — even if you do not pay it off!

Well, that’s nice. Would you give a loan to someone for a course of study that might not land them a good-paying job?

Then she hits the colleges with the same hammer: “We will make sure colleges and universities have more skin in the game. If they load students up with debt for programs that don’t lead to good-paying jobs, students and taxpayers should not be the only ones holding the bag.  The colleges deserve a certain amount of the responsibility and they will have to fulfill it.”

Well, there goes the History Department — and the Drama Department, and the Music Department, and the Philosophy Department, and the Dance Department, and several others I cannot think of right now.

This will turn our colleges and universities into nothing more than glorified trade schools. You can major in Mathematics, Computers, and Engineering. If you want to study anything else, be an Education major and learn to teach it.

Until the 1970′s, more men than women attended college.  Now, not only do more women than men attend college, but more women than men earn Bachelor’s (Bachelorette’s?)  degrees and Master’s (Mistress’s?) degrees.

Back in those halcyon days, educated men worked with less educated women.  Those women might be particularly intelligent, or they might not.  Personality and beauty reigned over intellect.  A young, beautiful, sweet girl could marry an educated man for whom she worked as a secretary, or whom she met in the grocery store or at church.

Now, college-educated men meet their wives either in college or at work.  As such, we are selection sorting by intellect.  Educated men marry educated women, and uneducated men marry uneducated women.  This stratifies society by broadening the IQ curve — more intelligent couples have more intelligent children, and less intelligent people have less intelligent children.

Such selection sorting by intellect necessarily increases the income inequality, as the intellectual inequality increases.

Exacerbating this trend is the fact that less-educated women (who tend, naturally, to be less intelligent) have more children, earlier in life, than do those with more education.  In fact, according to that study, college-educated women average fewer than two children over their lifetimes.  They are not even at replacement rate.  Meanwhile, women with only a high-school education are having an average of 2.7 children over their lifetimes.

Further exaggerating this stratification is that less-educated have those children at younger ages. Let’s figure that women with only a high school education have an average of 2.7 children, at an average age of 25, and that college-educated women have 1.8 children at an average age of 33.  By the age of 100, a less-educated woman will have 53 great-great-grandchildren (from 16 great-great-grand-parents).  The educated woman, however, will have about six great-grandchildren (from eight great-grandparents).

The less-educated (generally less intelligent) people increase, while the more-educated (generally more intelligent) people decrease.

So by more widespread education of women, we have greater stratification because of the selection sorting by education level (a proxy for intellect), and we have a demographic shift toward fewer intelligent offspring.

In Part One, I wrote of how “privilege” is the result of actions.  If a recognizable group tends to make Good Choices (work hard, don’t break the law, etc.), then members of that group achieve some “privilege” accordingly.  When Blacks are committing crimes at ten times the rate Whites are, then Blacks are looked on with greater suspicion.  This is only natural.

(This is why I advocate a truly blind justice system.  The jury should not see the defendant, and he should always be “John Doe” to the jury.  Even if the jurors do not see the defendant, they will be more favorably disposed to Mike Jankowski than to LaShawn White.)

But now, I want to turn to education.  Specifically, the education of women.

Individually, this is a fabulous thing.  I certainly want my daughters to be educated, and to get professional degrees.  I would love for all of my daughters to get their doctoral degrees before they marry.  I want them to marry other professionals, and to raise their children the same way.

But what does that do in the aggregate?

Back in the days when few women went to college, college-educated men were more likely to marry women who were not college educated.  Now, we have a fairly clear split.  College-educated men marry college-educated women, and non-college-educated men marry non-college-educated women.

Well, it does tend to be the more intelligent people who are college-educated.  So more-intelligent men are marrying more-intelligent women, and less-intelligent men are marrying less-intelligent women.

Furthermore, more-educated women tend to have fewer children, and to have them later in life.

So let’s look at some made-up, but hopefully reasonable numbers.  (“Fake, but accurate”?)  In a century, an educated couple who has two children at an average age of 33, will have three generations of offspring: 2^3=8.  Eight intelligent great-grandchildren.  But of course, those great-grandchildren also have other, presumably similarly-intelligent great-grandparents, and we are just making replacements, not increasing the population of intelligent people.

Meanwhile, the less-intelligent couple will have four children at an average age of 25.  Four generations in a century: 4^4=256 less-intelligent great-great-grandchildren.  They, too, will have other great-great-grandparents, of course, but they have doubled the number of less-intelligent people every generation.  So for every pair of less-intelligent great-great-grandparents, there are thirty-two (32) less intelligent great-great-grandchildren.

With intelligence and education’s being prime indicators of income and wealth, we now see a significant driver of increasing income inequality.

On the occasion of this Martin Luther King Holiday:

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Brief thoughts on President Obama’s proposal to offer free community college. Such a policy would likely to result in:

- Devalued credentials leading to INCREASED employer demand for MORE credentials. An associates degree would quickly become the equivalent of a high school diploma.

- Increased credentialism in what has become a vain, status seeking society.

- Community College is nearly free as it is

A little local news to cleanse the palate. Loudoun County Public Schools are considering asking Richmond for permission to charge students for riding the bus.

I saw this story and it made me ask: “Why are we having such budget problems in Loudoun that local officials are actually considering making parents pay for bus rides to school?” (Read the full story is here)

Some are saying that this is proof that sprawl does not work and that taxes are too low in Loudoun

A few takeaway questions:

- Considering that children pay for lunch, why would it not be reasonable to pay for the bus ride?

- Are taxes too low in Loudoun? If the county is spending too much, then where’s the waste? (not saying there’s no waste, just want to know). Also consider that Loudoun County can’t afford to build new roads because the new developments are so spread apart.

- Are our local elected officials focused too much on policies that promote sprawl? Considering that we can not even transport our children to school with out having to consider levying some type of fee because schools and housing are too far flung and budgets are not covering the needs, the answer to that question is probably “yes”.

- If we are having budget troubles now, just imagine how much fun it will be once Loudoun has to pitch in to pay for the Metro in about 5 years or so.

I bring this up because of recent snow days; school make-up; waivers to keep from extending the school year; student, parent, teacher and school administration opinions and beliefs; state and federal accountability, which seems to be at issue in recent weeks. First we need to know how this “public education” came about.

You can read here the history of public education. I perused many a site and feel this site gives a good, general understanding. For the most part, disciplining unruly children, rote and giving basic learning standards for children to do work, primarily factor jobs, was the intent for the public system. Compulsory attendance came into effect in the early 1900′s. Standards and minimum days (and/or hours) were later mandated and incorporated into state constitutions. Women were brought into the mix because they were seen as creating “good republican children with virtue”. All in all, it continued to evolve into the current system we now have instilled.

The current school system has become burdened with how to educate, what text and tools to use, as well vacations, holidays and “teacher” work days. I always enjoyed that term as being an oxymoron. When the teachers work, school for the children is not in session. Does that mean that when school is in session, teachers don’t work? Ponder that a bit. And why do we need to have the summer off from school? Why not winter instead? Originally, summer and fall was set for the kids to help on the farms with crops. We still do agriculture in this country but we can’t use child labor. Some of these farms don’t have a great return and it was always a family affair. Shoot, you didn’t have to attend school after you were 14. What changed and why? Even with mechanized equipment (which is very costly), how does the small farm make ends meet without family help? And who or what forces that circumstance?

Here is a brief stat on year round school. Yes, many countries do this because of the benefit of education. Why do people think that summer vacation (school break) is a holy grail? People work all year round with minimal vacation time-weeks at best, or even NO vacation time. Kids can’t handle school without constant breaks? Or is it school administration, teachers and parents pushing the point? Remember, public school was set up for those kids and immigrants to work in the factories of high density areas. But where now are those factories? And, of course, there where many other jobs and means of employment other than factories. Matter of fact, those jobs were pretty much OJT ( on the job training) where apprentices and employees worked their way up the ladder to achieve management, journeyman and masters of a trade or craft. But now, public education (or it’s equivalent) is being being pushed as a necessity to “make your way in life”. How so? Oh, right. It keeps people from feeding off the teet of the government where those social entitlement programs are involved. Why, then, are these same educated children, who cannot find jobs to their “skills”, doing just exactly that–feeding off the government? Something isn’t adding up here. Why can’t kids just quit school and work with their level of knowledge or pursue a desired skill or craft?

I have this article where Wisconsin wants to change the length of their school year by SHORTENING it. I have this article that shows how many days behind the local schools are because of snow days and what options they have. Seems that that holy grail “summer” is not to be interfered with. But what of the children’s education? Are they going too long or not long enough? Are they not getting enough breaks to assist in their learning capabilities? Is it a money problem for the school districts? Does our public school system need to morph once again to meet current needs and requirements? Idle hands; disciplining children; working the factories–where did it go wrong?