Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The Zero Rs.

It is often said that federalism is a laboratory that allows States to try their own solutions to assorted domestic problems. 

If that's the case, the Beaver State is brewing up a bold concoction: 

Students no longer have to demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing and math to get a diploma.


Equity is a jealous god:

The governor’s deputy communications director said that dropping the requirements “will benefit Oregon’s Black, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.”

The hard bigotry of no expectations has returned.


  1. Well, they do not value actual accomplishment, only credentials. Credentials are conferred by persons such as themselves on their clientele. They stoke among the clientele a confusion between indicia of accomplishment and actual accomplishment. The indicia are status-markers and to with-hold the status markers is to disrrespect the clientele (who contain many people who are concerned with displays of deference in lieu of being concerned with actual skills).

    Note, the operations of labor law put severe restrictions on the franchise of employers to administer tests and sort their applicants according to test scores. They risk liability if they don't hire according to credentials while at the same time the social process which generates the credentials renders them worthless. Note also, that conceptualizations such as 'disparate impact' also threaten employers with liability risk in regard to promotions and dismissals for cause.

    Its all a recipe for the abuse of the productive sectors of the economy and massive economic inefficiency in the service of lawyers, the courts, the regulatory agencies, and the educational apparat.

    1. Well said.

      Note there is a distinct parallel between what is being done to grades and what is being done to marriage. It is in the interest of the state to promote what is true over what is false; many politicians, on the other hand, do not find this to be in their personal interests or in the interests of their chosen agendas.

  2. "We’ve seen this in so many liberal school systems by this point that it’s almost becoming routine ..."

    Or maybe not.

    There was that young dude at the AmCon who thinks school is a waste of time and kids need to be put to work. It doesn't look like the American disdain for real education is anything less than across the political spectrum.

    1. Honestly, Todd, you don't have to offer sophistries in response to every inconvenient datum or bit of embarrassment. Give it a rest.

  3. Two things here. First, Oregon isn't vanishing the requirements that you have to take the courses. Maybe its educators aren't giving in to the conservative urge for kids to prove what they've learned. I don't see the difference in an unmotivated student forgetting algebra the day after the test or the day after ninth grade or the day after the standardized test.

    And then there is that AmCon dude who thinks school is a waste of time for kids who should be in the workforce. I wouldn't identify anti-education as a liberal value as much as a libertarian one.

    1. A remarkably weak flex, but that confirms there's not much to defend here.

      Your argument would hold a few drops if it were, say, Texas, and not Oregon. But it's not. And if the stated reason wasn't straight from the catechism of the Church of DEI.

      DEI, Dei--huh. The jealous god bit works better than I thought.

      And yes, yes, you still have to take the courses, but whether you can actually read or calculate is something else entirely. Letting favored groups audit basic literacy and numeracy will surely bring the jubilee.

      And when it doesn't, clearly literacy itself will be declared to be the superstructure of white supremacy.

      And on it will go. And the apologetics will become ever more clever, if not more convincing.

    2. Well, I just don't believe in the efficacy of standardized testing. Nor do I buy this narrative of liberals dumbing down the US. They certainly know there's a general tilt toward conservativism in people with less education.

      Still, it would be interesting to delve a little deeper into the story. It doesn't seem to make much difference if an unmotivated learner forgets her or his stuff after the unit test, the first day of summer vaca, or the moment they step onto college campus or line up for trade school

    3. Well, I just don't believe in the efficacy of standardized testing.

      What you gonna do to evaluate mastery, use a dowsing rod?

      The problem with standardized testing as far as these people are concerned is that it is impersonal and does not allow them to build patron-client relationships, which can only be done when standards are kept opaque.

    4. Art, maybe. On the other hand, testing isn't real world stuff. Grades earned in class work, essays, and yes, information spouting tests is important. Personally, I found oral exams challenging, but they helped me to express in person to my board my competence in my field. In most jobs there is some kind of relationship, not necessarily patron-client. But that's where effectiveness is best realized. Not in the theoretical realm of paper, oval box, and #2.

    5. On the other hand, testing isn't real world stuff.

      Neither is school in general Todd.

    6. School, not always. But schooling, in any setting, is a part of growth

  4. And another reductio ad absurdam of 'disparate impact' reasoning:


  5. And another:


    Worst political class in history.

    1. Interesting, but I thought this was about the uselessness of standardized testing, which has been under consideration at least since I was in college. Seems to me that if you got A's in all four years of required English in Oregon, you might have a good shot as a student of writing. I think school transcripts, and letters of recommendation are likely enough for adolescents. Honestly, though: I thought conservatives *didn't* want to steer kids to college. Trade schools and the military make better Republicans, or so the thinking goes.


Be reasonably civil. Ire alloyed with reason is fine. But slagging the host gets you the banhammer.

Down with covid.

  That's both a confirmed-PCR diagnosis and my general feeling about the situation. Anyway, my case and that of my eldest son are the wo...