WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama launched a competition to improve US educational standards, a key part of his campaign promise to make the country's school system the best in the world.
The program, dubbed the "Race to the Top," will encourage US states to compete for 4.35 billion dollars in federal grants with the goal of encouraging them to improve school systems.
Obama said he was "issuing a challenge" to education professionals, state and local officials, even parents and students throughout the country to meet "a few key benchmarks for reform" to obtain the grants.
"If you set and enforce rigorous and challenging standards and assessments; if you put outstanding teachers at the front of the classroom; if you turn around failing schools -- your state can win a Race to the Top grant." ...
Is "Race to the Top" meant to be a double entendre?
It is so difficult to read material about improving education because it is so hackneyed, and I have to live with it every day at work. When I hear a new round of enthusiasm about bringing up the left hand of the bell curve to match the right hand, I think of the study I read about in Straight Talk about Mental Tests in which it was found that the standard deviation among children raised in an Israeli kibbutz was 15 points. Are you getting the meaning of that? Children who were raised communally were no more similar to each other on IQ than if you picked two random children out of the general population. Something as radical as the kibbutz can't even reduce IQ inequality.
By the way, if you're short on cash and don't have access to academic journals, buy the old classics online--I like bookfinder.com for this kind of thing. You can get a beauty like Bias in Mental Testing for like a buck if you look. You might think that it's a waste of time to read old stuff, but trust me, Arthur Jensen 30 years ago is ten times better than any sociology research from 2009.
And tell friends and family about these kinds of facts. Over the years, I've talked to most of my relatives and friends, and unless they're hardcore liberal, white folks will accept this stuff. (I'm sure other non-whites will too.) Just recently I told my mom that the black mean IQ is around 85, and she about fell off her chair. She couldn't believe it was that low. It was hard for me to believe that a 63 year old woman had never heard that before, but I imagine the percentage of people who have is low.