March 03, 2010

Rethinking your assumptions

One of the greatest failings of today's Conservatives (and many Democrats who have bought into the market is always right philosophy) is the inability to look at the actual facts and reconsider your beliefs. Yet, one Conservative critic of the Public Schools has shown that the real world data is more important than her original assumptions.

Listen to this piece on NPR where Diane Ravitch, the assistant Secretary to Education for Bush I, comes out against No Child Left Behind as a failing program because the underlying assumptions were shown to be wrong and that the way the program works is damaging our children and our schools. One hopes that someone in the White House is listening.

[Note: this is a very human flaw and is one to which everyone is susceptible. The only real defense is to be able to use critical thinking to give appropriate weight to what the data says and having the ability/humility to say I am not fallible and am willing to learn from real world observations.]

Posted by Mary at March 3, 2010 01:00 AM | Philosophy | Technorati links |

I think you mean "I am fallible" - a slip that oddly enough makes your point for you.

Sadly, Obama is stuck on the stupid accountability bandwagon. The other day he came out and applauded the idiotic decision to fire all the (apparently very popular) teachers in the miserably depressed Central Falls (RI) high school because of its low (48%) graduation rate. This even though Obama acknowledges that by the sixth grade you can tell who's going to drop out from school. And even though (Obama and Duncan ignore this fact) CF students' proficiency in reading rises dramatically from the 7th to the 11th grades. But by all means hold those high school teachers accountable for all the problems they inherited. If they were doing their jobs right, they'd surely have transformed all those illiterate kids into rising Rhodes Scholars within a few months.

Posted by: smintheus at March 3, 2010 08:29 AM

One of the signs of a thinking person is that he can recognize when his ideas, or ideas he believes in, are mistaken. Inevitably, some will be. Big Bush actually employed such people. It's one of the differences between father and son.

Posted by: Cujo359 at March 11, 2010 12:50 PM

Obama has 8 days to pass the healthcare bill. If it doesn't pass, hopefully he'll go back to work on more pressing needs.

Posted by: Pennsylvania Medical Coverage at March 11, 2010 05:13 PM