James Pethokoukis and Dunning-Kruger

James Pethokoukis used to post at NRO about the economy and that’s where he first got my attention. He tended to write things that stupid say when they wish to sound smart. I looked him up and sure enough, I found a journalism major. I look at journalism majors in the same way I look at communications majors. That is, these are people who were not smart enough to real college work or they were simply too lazy to do real college work.

In short order it became clear he was a fake nerd in the Ezra Klein mold, but maybe not as good at working the bit. Klein puts a lot of effort into the fake nerd routine. Pethokoukis seems happy to be a clueless lunkhead that thinks he is the smartest guy in the room. Thus, the reference to Dunning-Kruger. As an aside, I love how is called a “fellow” at AEI. These agitprop houses love bestowing scholarly titles on one another.

Anyway, I saw this gem today and thought it was a great excuse to take some cheap shots at someone.

One big difference between America’s K-12 education system and that of other nations is where our teachers come from. McKinsey has found that top-performing nations recruit their teachers from the top third of college students. As one report notes, school systems in Singapore, Finland, and South Korea “recruit 100% of their teacher corps from the top third” of the academic class vs. just 23% in the US.

The other big difference, the one that makes all the difference, is the schools in Finland, Taiwan and South Korea are full of Finns and East Asians. When you compare US schools to those around the world, you have to make that adjustment. Once you do that, you find out that our Finns do as well as Finns everywhere. Our Koreans do better than those in Korea. But, thinking like that is hard and lunkhead can’t be bothered with that.

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james wilson
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james wilson

Increasingly, the problem with American education is that it is a system. One system. If jimmy carter had, after creating the Department of Education, made General Motors the sole automobile provider for the US, what is it we think we would be driving now?

grey enlightenment
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That display of logic and critical thinking cannot be acquired in a journalism class.

Z
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Z

School is like a factory. Garbage in means garbage out. We could improve the public schools by eliminating he troublesome students and teachers, but not enough to move anyone to do it.

UKer
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UKer

Journalists being experts in their chosen areas of self-thrilling? Oh no… Could it be too that a lot of signatories to the IPCC ‘reports’ on global warming are not only uneducated in science but are simply journalists who like typing big words like ‘catastrophe’ and ‘armageddon’?

Say it ain’t so.

Member

@z Finally someone else said it — “eliminating the troublesome students and teachers”. My spouse has 27 years teaching in Miami – Atlanta ghetto schools. About 15-20% of “students” in the classroom have no interest in learning but are adamant about disrupting the class and inhibiting the ability of the rest to learn. There are a few other factors worth noting; Many minority children arrive at kindergarten already behind the curve. They do not know how to use utensils, sit in chairs, follow directions, etc. It takes 6 mos. to a year to get them up to institutional levels of… Read more »