education correlation

Dave Long
Tue, 28 Jan 2003 10:10:16 -0800

If these are the questions:
> Were your parents married when they had you?
> Were they over 20?
> Are they still married?
> Did they complete High School?
> Do you see your father read at home? [0]
> Do they tell you that you live in a world where your own efforts make a
> difference?

of which only the last has anything to
do with one's own efforts, then I guess
we'd be in a world where one's parents'
efforts make most of the difference. [1]

If we have been fortunate in our choice
of parents, we might support Bracknell:
to mischoose one parent may be regarded
as a misfortune, but to mischoose both
looks like carelessness.

>                                          Educational performance doesn't
> track money spent on education or class size within very wide bands.  It
> does track things like -- did the child have two parents who were
> married?

I'd be interested in the class size
argument.  I used to wonder why money [2]
seemed to correlate well with school
success, when I couldn't think of any
reason why there wouldn't be severely
diminishing returns to spending; then
I ran across a study which indicated
that small class sizes were the key,
and certainly more money hires more
teachers.  (The claim was the benefits
dropped off considerably past a dozen [3]
or so students, so if one grows up in
a situation like I did, post-prop 13
California, thinking that a 30 person
class is a small one, then it wouldn't
be a surprise to see no effect within
wide bands, say 20-40 students)


:: :: ::

[0] do I get to blame my vice of reading
during meals on Charles Ryder's father?

[1] if these were the questions, would
there be any point to public education
beyond state-provided daycare?

[2] here, the money of the people living
in the school district, not necessarily
the budget of the school itself.

[3] based on face time.  Two tutees get
a lot.  A dozen students get very little.
More than a dozen reaches the long, low,
flat part of the curve.

:: :: ::

>                                        The problem
> has always been one of retention.  How do you retain
> the best and brightest with as little as possible. 

Anyone have an etymology for "best and brightest"? *

When I run into the phrase these days, people seem
to mean "and" to be an intersection, but it could
also be interpreted as a union.  By following the
strategy of composing a portfolio as a mix of safe
and risky assets, admissions committees might seek
the efficient frontier with:

  "we admit only the best [able to increase the
   endowment] and [then take a few long shots on]
   the brightest"

(think "commoners and scholars", or, closer to
home, the Pro-Am tournament format)

* aristou, phronimotatou, dikaiotatou?