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 people 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 it. 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. Thinking like that is hard and lunkhead can’t be bothered with that.

5 thoughts on “James Pethokoukis and Dunning-Kruger

  1. @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 behavior, if at all.

    In generations past, smart women were limited to teaching and nursing professions. Now smart women choose from the universe of professions and the talent pool is watered down.

    Affirmative action , diversity etc., has placed individuals in administrative positions for which they have no ability. Most schools have to create positions for capable middle aged white women who do the real work in administration while the diversity crowd go to “meetings”, and hold the titles.

    The parents of children who can, remove their students from public education and enroll them in private, Christian, ethnic schools. Not surprisingly these students are educationally, culturally advantaged and their departure from the public schools lowers the test scores dramatically for public education.

    Curriculum is forced on school systems and teachers from cultural “elites”, eager to promote the latest social memes. See: sex ed for grade schoolers, anti-American history, feminist centered policies to diminish masculine development in young boys, etc.

    In America everyone is required to be educated in school until their 16th birthday. Only a few other white countries take on the task of educating everyone in their population.

    Thanks for listening to the rant.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

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