Month: June 2018

“Schools that Work”

spottedtoad

A few different readers (and friends and family members) have sent me this David Leonhardt essay about the efficacy of Boston charter schools, based on yet another Josh Angrist study demonstrating this efficacy, and asking what I think about it.

I think the Boston charters are good for three reasons:

  • Lots and lots of smart people in Boston to staff them
  • Competition from a relatively high-functioning urban district.
  • Liberal/union politics that constrain them from growing and expanding too fast.
This is more-or-less what I tried to argue here. Freddie DeBoer, whom I don’t exactly always agree with, made a similar argument about Success Academies.
The question, then, is whether Angrist’s findings generalize to the rest of the country apart from Boston, and to charter schools’ ability to ameliorate inequality in different settings or in places where the students and parents haven’t deliberately selected into an extra-intensive schooling system.

View original post 1,678 more words

“Schools that Work”

spottedtoad

A few different readers (and friends and family members) have sent me this David Leonhardt essay about the efficacy of Boston charter schools, based on yet another Josh Angrist study demonstrating this efficacy, and asking what I think about it.

I think the Boston charters are good for three reasons:

  • Lots and lots of smart people in Boston to staff them
  • Competition from a relatively high-functioning urban district.
  • Liberal/union politics that constrain them from growing and expanding too fast.
This is more-or-less what I tried to argue here. Freddie DeBoer, whom I don’t exactly always agree with, made a similar argument about Success Academies.
The question, then, is whether Angrist’s findings generalize to the rest of the country apart from Boston, and to charter schools’ ability to ameliorate inequality in different settings or in places where the students and parents haven’t deliberately selected into an extra-intensive schooling system.

View original post 1,678 more words

“The Case Against Education”

spottedtoad

Bryan Caplan, the libertarian George Mason University economist, has written an important but flawed book, The Case Against Education, arguing that the problem with education is that it teaches you little but effectively separates high and low, sheep from goats.  Education is a race, which effectively and accurately sticks winner and loser labels on kids and adults. Because employers will pay for the distinctions education elucidates between dumb and smart, lazy and hard-working, “one of the crowd “and a free spirit, parents and kids will pay in blood and treasure and time to get a diploma or a degree or a doctorate. But school doesn’t actually teach kids much, and school isn’t much good for the society or the world. A sensible government will discourage this pointless rat race by subsidizing education little or not at all: no public schools or government-supported financial aid. A sensible government will encourage kids…

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Ontario Ousts Renewables Obsessed Government: Wind Power Subsidies ‘Gone With The Wynne’

STOP THESE THINGS

No, Ontario has a plan for you: it’s called ‘political history’.

One modern myth is that political annihilation awaits any government devoted to reliable and affordable power.

The meme has it that 100% of voters are 100% in favour of 100% renewable energy.

They just might be. But, when faced with load-shedding, statewide blackouts and rocketing power prices, their purported fervour for nature’s wonder fuels tends to wane.

South Australian voters relegated its wind and solar obsessed Labor government to the political dustbin, in March this year. Then Premier, Jay Weatherill went to the election promising to deliver on a ludicrous 75% RET.

Now, Ontario’s similarly embattled households and businesses have done the same.

The Progressive Conservatives have snatched power from an arrogant and out-of-touch Liberal government, headed up by the malevolent Kathleen Wynne.

The parallels with South Australia’s Labor government in its dying days are uncanny.

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Aussie Animal “Rights” Activists Kept Puppies in Unsafe Conditions

Green Jihad

Three King Charles cavaliers and two ruby cavoodle puppies stolen from the family-run dog breeder establishment Banskia Park Puppies in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia on June 23rd have been found by police in poor health and unsanitary conditions. According to The Weekly Times, the puppies were not well and had to be treated for diarrhea and dehydration before being returned to their seriously distressed mothers.

Banskia Park Puppies has been the target of animal rights groups in recent years and prior to the puppies disappearance, owner Matt Hams said he remembered seeing two two women and two children browsing near the young dogs. While the police’s case is on going and no charges havevbeen filed against the perpetrators yet, Banskia Park has excellent facilities for the care feeding of animals they breed.

None the less, Banksia Park Puppies was targeted because the animal rights group Oscar’s Law hated the…

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Judge Posner on Financial Reform and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Truth on the Market

Judge Posner offers his thoughts on financial reform, mostly negative, at Bloomberg.   The thrust of the essay is that the financial regulation produced by the political process has, at best, a poor nexus to the actual causes of the economic crisis, and that what we are left with is primary reorganization and reshuffling to look busy.  Judge Posner discusses the political advantages to reshuffling as a response to government failure:

Reorganization is a favorite response to a governmental failure because it is visible, easily explainable, and can be done without ruffling too many feathers among interest groups and bureaucrats. It also buys time, since no one expects such reshuffling to be effective immediately.The new financial overhaul bill is about 2,300 pages long, and though they are pages of large print and broad margins, I defy any single person to claim to have read and understood it all. So far as…

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Jones v. Harris and Some Ramblings on Burdens of Proof, Empirical Evidence, and Behavioral Law and Economics

Truth on the Market

Much has been made about the importance of Jones v. Harris as a battle in the ongoing war between behavioral economics  and rational choice/neoclassical framework (see, e.g. the NYT).   If the case if to be about the appropriate economic methodology or model for assessing legal questions, it is definitely an interesting turn to have Judge Easterbrook representing the rational choice economists while Judge Posner (who is simultaneously taking some flack for fast and loose and incorrect uses of macroeconomics) defends the behavioral view, considering that the latter wrote an important critique of the behavioral law and economics literature (here is an excellent summary of Posner’s opinion from Professor Birdthistle).  Professor Ribstein frames the issue of Jones v. Harris and the New Paternalism nicely with a prediction:

I suspect that in this day and age the Supreme Court will side with Posner. Such a decision would be a…

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Learnt a new phrase today: benevolent sexism