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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Those damned options

What's Mallard raving about today?


Always interesting when fiercely anti-education Mallard Fillmore brings his proud-to-be-ignorant mind to bear on Education issues.

Today's episode is particularly fascinating insofar as:
  • "c" is not really borne out by reality (but let's not let that get in the way of our talking points)
  • "Spending More on Education" is not among the available options.
You also know your in for an intellectually lazy experience when "Mr. {Something I Don't Like}" makes an appearance.


GeoX said...

Shorter Tinsley: I can't think of a punchline, so I'll have my strawman say a line of gibberish of the sort that I imagine the librul elitists that I've heard about on Rush's show like to say! Genius! That eighty hours of research totally paid off!

Even Shorter Tinsley: We have to destroy the school system to save it.


Ducky is Right! said...

Ducky is correct: the obvious solution to the problem is to put restrictions on teachers, which would result in fewer teachers working for less pay. Students will REALLY thrive under the 1:45+ ratio!

The solution doesn't lay in actually funding education so that schools aren't crumbling, inadequate, depression zones. Or maybe rethinking policy away from the emphasis on sports, and more on education. Or in maybe a sizable portion of society stop attacking 'college' or 'education' or 'knowing things' as snobby, Un-American, elitist crap that no one needs.
No, no, we need to privatize the education system, thus finally guaranteeing that quality education will be reserved for the already wealthy.

Also, REALLY?! YOU'RE going to bitch at someone else saying that's 'elitist'? Holy crap, how much do you have top drink before you can do that with a straight face?

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Ducky...once Bruce Tinsley accused Barack Obama of being a fear-monger, we were officially well through the looking glass.

The real solution is so obvious: HUGE classes! America should have the BIGGEST classes in the world! BIGGER is always BETTER!! Look at Limbaugh's ass!

And we can always waterboard the underachievers until they shape up.

Kudos to Tins for working "tax credit" in there. Remember, that's coming from a devotee of The Laffer Curve, that fantasy formula by which, the smirking quacker breathlessly informs us, "cutting taxes results in greater Federal revenue!!"

Ducks suck at math, clearly.

Michael said...

Ha ha! Yeah! That is exactly what education professionals say!

fuckreagan said...

I hate this for so many reasons.

-Vouchers are scams, used to prevent the poor from entering private schools, lower tuition fees for the wealthy, and remove funding from publiz szhools.
-charter schools have low standards, thus, Obama is trying to help them. Tinsley is lying about these institions, despite the great need for proper education, simply, to spite Obama.
-Tinsley is angry at professors who hate elitism and foreign zountries ut he hates those things.
-Tinsley would rather support vouchers than ezourage the training of teachers.

Mallard Fillmore hurt brain fvdfsdgfdfvz.m.jtfgxvm.m.vzvm.

Verification Word-retin, more retarded than a cretin, for example, Tinsley.

12xuser said...

How about (f)- Banish the science-hating Republicans and their fundamentalist religious base to the ash heap of history.

We have charter schools here in Minnesota; it's no fabulous success story. They are supposed to follow the same curriculum and standards as the rest of public education. Fairly often, they fail and are gone. Occasionally they get into trouble when they get caught promoting religion.

I love that he's got the elitist diploma-hat guy calling something elitist.

12xuser said...

Where does the US rank, compared with these advanced nations, in health care? In the percentage of people who accept evolution? In religious belief? In education spending? Why isn't Mallard suggesting that we adopt the methods of the advanced nations of Socialist Europe?

rewinn said...

The single most significant predictor of student performance is real family income.

You want students to do better in school? Raise the pay of their parents.

Maybe if parents don't have to work two jobs each to stay afloat, they might have time to help Johnnie and Jeannie do their homework.

Iron Dragon said...

Education is a major issue with me so this is going to be a long response (fair warning). The problem is that virtually none of his methods actually do anything useful. Merit based pay is impractical on multiple fronts as we can't even come up with a reasonable way to determine what scale we should use. Do we base it on standardized test scores? If so then we are going to have teachers teaching exactly to the test to ensure that they get high pay, the problem is that we're more likely to see rote memorization than actual attempts made to ensure the students understand it. If we base it on grades, then we're going to have grade inflation something awful. Even discounting those, what do we do to compare the special needs students and the advanced ones to the regular ones? Will the special needs teachers be paid less, advanced paid more, if so then we do a massive disservice to the students who need the most help and also are less likely to see challenging courses for the advanced students.

Voucher programs and tax credits lead to questions about what schools do we allow for the list? Do we only allow private schools that are secular or do we add religious schools, and if so then aren't we violating the idea of the state not funding religious institutions? Besides that, private schools also aren't subject to oversight and standardization the same way that public schools are. Meaning that they can experiment and organize classes differently and avoid standardized tests. Not to mention that private schools are, by their nature, exclusive. They can throw people out and restrict access, mostly rich kids or very intelligent kids that get in on scholarship, of course they'll do well, they either have a lot of the raw talent or the resources backing them. Public Schools can't turn people away the same way that a private institution can and their class sizes are going to be larger, as well as fewer resources per student.

Charter schools face problems with religion entering the curriculum. To say nothing of the fact that many of them are unproven. Sometimes they work, sometimes the don't. In some cases it works more because the states educational system is sound, but the charter school just helped reduce strain. But by and large, charter schools don't really do enough. I just wish that the people who want to help education weren't helping it in the same way that you 'help' an injured horse.

Michael said...

DaveyK, the link is broken.

wv: conetam - What Rastafarian Coneheads wear.

CW in LA said...

You can still get to today's masterpiece by clicking on the link for the past day or so and shifting to today's date in the little space below the cartoon.

Anyway, I'd like to propose testing and merit pay for cartoonists. I'm sure Tinshley would totally love that.

rewinn said...

CW - we sort-of have merit pay for cartoonists, in the form of books reprinting their comics.

Not that there isn't some market manipulation; ideological books get huge advance sales to the Heritage Foundation-types, who then give them away free as a promotional item. But if the market values content, it gets into print pretty quickly. Let's look at some cases:

Amazon lists
* Garry Trudeau ("Doonesbury" ...technically, a mainstream title) over a thousand titles

* Ted Rall: 42 books

* Tom Tomorrow: 23 books

* Darrin Bell ("Candorville") four titles, starting in 2003

* Bruce Tinsley: 2 books.

One from 1995, the other 1996; clearly the market decided the cartoon stinks.

No merit pay for ducky!

Anonymous said...

Tell us how screwed up Minnesota actually is. You elected Al Franken as a U.S. Senator...send in the clown.

A few years ago you elected a professional wrestler as the Gov. of your great state.

Many liberals such as yourself hate America. If the quality of living in other countries is so much better and the U.S. sucks, may I offer a suggestion? MOVE! And do not come back. This country does not need your sorry ass.

You obviously want socialism, go for it. In another country, I do not want to continue to take care of the losers. You are a drain on the country.

Brilliant! "Raise the pay of their parents. Maybe if parents don't have to work two jobs each to stay afloat, they might have time to help Johnnie and Jeannie do their homework."

Maybe if Johnnie and Jeannie's parents would have done their homework they would not have to work two jobs.

Tell us how many families do you know where both parents work two jobs? From what orifice did you pull that?

GeoX said...

Yeah, it's crazy how screwed up Minnesota is. The only thing worse would be if a state somehow elected TWO dimwitted former actors as governors. Fortunately, that would never happen.

And yeah, Rewinn, from what orifice did you pull that so-called "fact?"

I know it's been said before, but it bears repeating BOY IS ANONYCOWARD STUPID!

CW in LA said...

The only thing worse would be if a state somehow elected TWO dimwitted former actors as governors.

Hey, I resemble that comment...

Otherwise, ya gotta love people people who profess to love America, only somehow that "love" entails hating most of the people who call it home.

Wait, did I say "ya gotta love"? I think I meant, "Ya gotta throw up on".

Ducky is Right said...

Just about every family I can think of, both parents worked. And I grew up upper-middle class.
Say, maybe both parents worked BECAUSE they did their homework? And didn't grow up being taught that God wants them to have the exact number of kids they end up having? And that maybe by staying at their jobs, they could provide more income, and thus provide a better future for themselves and their families?
I know working off the income of one beer-delivery truck driver might work in the middle-low bracket of the so-called Heartland (if it's so great, why do so few people live there?), but in the productive parts of the country, that's not going to cut it.

You seem to want absolute social Darwinism and laissez-faire market no matter the consequences. May I suggest Somalia?
Or maybe you don't care that, at any given moment, 20%+ of Americans could be ruined by an accident or sickness. Clearly, you don't care about national security, since 1/5, and rising, of the population is at risk of being compromised at the drop of a hat. Gunna be hard to fight of the Chinese Communist Nazi Iranian Sharia Hitlers with 1/3 of the country sick in bed. HMMM?!

exanonymous said...


Top performers include Finland. You know that education as far as you want to take it (and are able to academically) is considered a right and not a privilege?

The thing is, when a system works better than your own, you don't dig your head in the sand and insist that continuing on a failed course is the best thing to do out of childish stubborn pride. You look at it critically and use the parts to make your own more effective.

And as a patriotic liberal, I'm not moving, I'm voting. A small group of elitist neocons do not decide what is American. Americans as a whole get to decide that. And yes, if you want to kick people out or remove them, you are elitist.

Patrick said...

I like that all of the "solutions" were either unworkable or actively bad ideas.

Iron Dragon said...

I find it interesting that the first attitude is always that if you don't agree with someone that you 'hate the country' and 'need to leave.' Let's try an analogy, if you're a parent and your child attacks another kid what do you do? If you say "Look, what you did was wrong, you're going to be punished and you're going to apologize, and you AREN'T going to do anything like that again." Then you're being a good parent who loves their child and wants them to do what is right and proper, as well as taking responsibility.

If you say, "My kid didn't do anything wrong, my kid is perfect, your kid must have done something to deserve it." I'm a bad parent and my actions are likely going to cause further bad acts. Not to mention that if my child doesn't develop a proper sense of right and wrong then they could cause harm to others.

However, if we replace parent with citizen, and nation with child, apparently we 'hate' the child and only properly love the kid when we let them get away with anything.

Loving a nation doesn't mean that you think whatever it does is right. Loving a nation is wanting it to be successful, and caring about its ideals. If our nation burns to ash while it stood for the principles it was founded on, I call that worthwhile. If we last until the end of time, and sacrifice the ideals of freedom, personal liberty, mutual respect, a free and critical media, and open discourse as well as criticism of government, then we have murdered our nation and put a pretender in its place.

wavydavy said...

Anonymous @ 4:07AM --

Well, actually the Laffer Curve DOES work in certain circumstances.

Of course, those circumstances, based on statistical modeling, require an *average* tax rate (not the marginal rate) of at least 65%, and more likely 80% (or more). (As a point of reference, our current maximum marginal rate is 35%. Imagine how much higher taxes would have to be for the *average* rate to be at least 65%.)

Now, just because that is a circumstance that has never existed anywhere at any time on this planet -- and probably (as in, say, 99+% "probably") never will -- doesn't mean that the wingnuts and their enablers can't use it to describe the real world.

I have always believed that everybody makes at least one correct, irrefutable point during their lifetime, no matter how stupid and/or clueless they are most of the time. In this regard, Poppy Bush's moment was labeling this as "voodoo economics".

I couldn't agree more.

Faldone said...

What I like is that it's OK to call someone an elitist when he eats arugula and puts Dijon mustard on his hamburgers but it becomes a bad thing to say when it comes out of the mouth of one of your straw men.

rewinn said...

I note that Anonymous Coward is too chicken to address the simple fact that the single strongest indicator of school success is family income. His torrent of abuse merely makes clear he cannot bravely face the problem.

As for Jesse Ventura: he's a Navy SEAL.

Set aside the massive disrespect Anonymous Coward shows for our troops. Vemtura has a deep voice, is very strong and speaks plain truths that Anonymous Cowards don't want to hear. This Tinkleys of this world conclude that he must be stupid; that would be a terminal error if Ventura was in the habit of swatting flies.

Ventura, like all SEALS, are highly intelligent and care nothing for Anonymous Cowards. What are they gonna do to him anyway - make him die laughing?

If you're in a tough spot, whether physical or otherwise, and you need a buddy to help you out, who are you gonna call - Tinshley or Ventura?

Marion Delgado said...

The closest to any of those is Japan's teach-to-the-test culture (I lived in rural Japan for years, and it was something the teachers lived with but did not much like). But their tests weren't made in the most benighted province (I can't think of one as stupid as Texas, on average), it wasn't made by a relative of the PM, and it wasn't otherwise random and ad hoc and filled with special interest pandering.

Also, in fairness to the Japanese, the Confucian educational culture it came out of has been perfecting tests for thousands of years.

In general, though, the nations that outdo us are the opposite of teach-to-the-test, unfunded mandates, giving teen's information to the military, endless after-school jobs to pay for gas and non-school lunches, costly fights over God vs. science, witch hunts and Red scares, abuse of teacher's unions, vouchers, parochial schools, nutbar fundie schools, etc.

The ones most similar to what Mallard wants for teachers (weak unions, rigid standards, teach-to-the-test, etc.) were in communist countries before the fall of the Berlin Wall.