School District Unification, Guest Post by Dawn Geisler

So one of the ballot measures where I live, is to decide whether the school district where I reside should agree to a neighboring school district’s request that my school district step in and absorb the neighbor, who has been having some financial difficulties.

Fred, whose political analysis I often respect, has written a pretty neutral, short piece on the situation. You can find it here:

Another friend who lives in the neighboring school district, shared this meme that apparently tries to look non-biased, but the bias can be seen in the wording and even in the font size: <see above>

Imagine a situation where you can choose between two leaders. One will let you wallow in a decrepit situation, but at least they’re not trying to change anything. The other will make positive reforms that will help you, but you’ll have to obey some laws. The first leader might say, “That other guy! He’s trying to control you!” Spin is like that. (Hint: the first guy is also trying to control you.) That is why one has to try really hard sometimes to get past that first gut reaction (“OH NOES DON’T YOU TRY TO CONTROL ME!!”) and actually look at the situation to see the benefits *and* the cost. Maybe you’d like to see your kids packed into failing schools because: freedom, but what if that prevents them from getting a decent job later in life, for example? Is that less freedom in the long run?

I am not yet decided on how I will vote in this matter. I’d like more information. But as someone who likes to know decent information about a matter I must help decide, I actively resent twisty memes like that one. That’s why election season sucks. You all have to make some important decisions coming up, yet people have to go out of their way to get decent information to make good decisions. I think most people prefer the gut-reaction less-thought road, and that is the one catered to by most interests who are making “information” easy to get. Think about that when making your decisions.


Misleading about Common Core Math

This is misleading because while showing this method on the blackboard takes a lot of room, it is intuitively easy for some people. It was the way most cashiers used to figure change, before computers took that job over.

h/t Susan Fred Schmerling

Wholly Misleading Half Truth about Education

The text that is attached to the meme says: “All German universities will be free of charge when term starts next week. SHARE if the US should follow Germany’s lead!”

Except that the German education system has a different understanding of the purpose of a university education. Students are classified when they are ten years old, with only about 30% going to the track that typically leads to university. There is no “no child left behind” ideology, and no desire to get as many kids as possible to college.

This means they don’t need to weed out unmotivated people with “do you really want to pay for this”.