Sentences to Ponder – Nocera Edition

1. Nocera writes an op-ed on Tucker that is void of real analysis 

“Ever since the passage of No Child Left Behind 12 years ago, teachers have been judged, far too simplistically, based on standardized tests given to their students.” 

Note: This perhaps the most wildly inaccurate statement I have ever seen written in the New York Times. Over the past 12 years, how many teachers have actually been judged in any real way based on student test scores? I would venture under .01% (and I’m not trying to weigh in on whether this is good or bad, just trying to clarify that very few teachers in this country face real consequences based on the performance of their students on standardized tests). Unfortunately, I find this type of column typical for Nocera, who generally summarizes other’s thoughts rather than providing critical analysis. 

For my response to Tucker, see here

2. Against empathy 

“In light of these features, our public decisions will be fairer and more moral once we put empathy aside.”

3. Where slavery thrived, inequality rules today [HT Davis Z]

“In lands turned over to slavery, Wright had observed, there was little incentive to provide so-called public goods—schools, libraries, and other institutions—that attract migrants. In the North, by contrast, the need to attract and retain free labor in areas resulted in a far greater investment in public goods—institutions that would, over the succeeding decades, offer far greater opportunities for social mobility and lay the foundation for sustained, superior economic growth.”

4. 25 high-performing, low-income high schools 

Note: this list is disproportionately dominated by charter schools. Make of that what you will – charters cream? charters have long tails on either end of performance? charters are both better at the median and at the tail? 




2 thoughts on “Sentences to Ponder – Nocera Edition

  1. Mike G

    Yep. Many of the public schools on the list are openly selective. Exam schools, magnet schools, “public” schools in communities where there is no housing available for even the middle class. The usual commentariat will say: fine. Nothing to see here, move along. Then there’s the open admission charter schools. Ah! They are “creaming.”


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