Wednesday, March 20, 2013


repeat: Henry Farrell, four days ago.
Farrell: "Dani Rodrik published a piece arguing that economists needed to pay less attention to interests, and more to ideas."
Today he links to two economists who "…have new paper arguing that economists need what some of us would call a theory of politics..."

I made a comment under my own name, asking Henry which we should choose, adding that of course experts and academics don't share the interests of the working class, but that democracy, as formalized performance and ritual exchange, is made for handling that discord. It's not a scientific process and focused more on means than ends so therefore unpopular with technocrats, and “science would tend to support democracy, as it supports redundancy rather than ‘efficiency’ in systems.” The comment was gone in minutes but part of it reappeared, quoted by someone else.
I also included a link
Educators around the globe are curious about the consistently high test scores from students in Finland, as measured by OPEC [OECD?]. “Compared with the stereotype of the East Asian model – long hours of exhaustive cramming and rote memorization – Finland's success is especially intriguing because Finnish schools assign less homework and engage children in more creative play,” reports Anu Partenan for the Atlantic. Americans are not particularly receptive to Finnish conclusions about their success: no private schools, no tuition for higher or lower education, no standardized testing except for one test at the end of high school. In Finland, the teaching profession leads to “prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility”; the career is competitive, and a master's degree is required. The Finnish education system focuses on cooperation rather than competition. Finnish experts suggest that giving every child equal opportunity strengthens society and prepares citizens for a new global economy that can no longer rely on manufacturing. 
Some tension in that paragraph:"...the career is competitive"; "...system focuses on cooperation rather than competition".
The Atlantic
During the afternoon that Sahlberg spent at the Dwight School, a photographer from the New York Times jockeyed for position with Dan Rather's TV crew as Sahlberg participated in a roundtable chat with students. The subsequent article in the Times about the event would focus on Finland as an "intriguing school-reform model." 
Yet one of the most significant things Sahlberg said passed practically unnoticed. "Oh," he mentioned at one point, "and there are no private schools in Finland." 
This notion may seem difficult for an American to digest, but it's true. Only a small number of independent schools exist in Finland, and even they are all publicly financed. None is allowed to charge tuition fees. There are no private universities, either. This means that practically every person in Finland attends public school, whether for pre-K or a Ph.D
more confusion and drift from Henry.

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