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.