Comparing coffee with gemstones

There’s a couple of posts going around about another post comparing Ta-Da with Bla-Bla Look, folks, this isn’t comparing the two languages: this is comparing different coding styles, that strangely enough value different things!

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Ah, so that’s the problem with the American education system.

The NY Times has an article on .”>problems with the US education system

The author, Diane Ravitch, points out the following:

It is hardly fair to blame high schools for the poor skills of their entering students. If students start high school without the basic skills needed to read, write and solve mathematics problems, then the governors should focus on strengthening the standards of their states’ junior high schools.

So that’s the problem: the US expects senior high schools to teach grammar school subjects. And Ms Ravitch thinks the solution is to get junior high schools to do it instead…

If a student can not adequately read, write, and perform arithmetic by the end of grammar school (primary school here in Oz), then either keep them there or flag them as a special needs student. Heck, if they can’t do it by grade 4 there’s an issue.

Earlier in the article:

Only a minority of students – whether in 4th, 8th or 12th grade – reach proficiency as measured by the Education Department’s National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Big surprise: if they’re not proficient at grade 4, a student is unlikely to become so in grade 8. This is really simple: if a student starts to slip behind, they need to be caught fast – the longer you leave it, the less likely they’ll ever become proficient.

Heavy or light: it’s all relative

On the XP mailing list a discussion has been going on recently on how a student at a presentation commented that XP seemed to be fairly heavy. Now, I know that “heavy” and “light” are rather passé terms for describing methodologies these days, but you know, the student was right – for a certain point of view. In the immortal words of Ben Kenobi, “many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.”
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There’s more to managing an economy than lowering taxest

Interesting article in the New York Times on how GW Bush is looking to reshape the American tax break.
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