Has Anyone Checked This Guy's IQ?

The author of the Half Sigma blog put up a post that makes me seriously question his "intelligence". His March 22, 2006 post entitled "A better way to fix education than with vouchers" left A LOT to be desired! He made several very arrogant claims within his post that are purely false. He was bold enough to claim that the most destructive students are those that lack intelligence, and that poor students are worsening the state of education for others. Students who require discipline are suffering more from a lack of parental direction and structure than any deficits in intellect. Also, poor students don't lessen the quality of education, biased legislators do. The author's solution to these and other problems came in a package that suggested testing students, and clumping "intelligent" students together, away from their intellectually inferior co-students. I think this is a lame idea. Who's to say that some standardized test is a measure of someone's intelligence, and is worthy of determining who goes to a great school, and who doesn't? My brother is extremely bright, and just happens to have autism. He learned "differently" than many of his peers, and I can tell you that his performance on a standardized test may have not been stellar, but would that have been a fair representation of his capacity? I think not. Despite paying taxes year after year, for public education, my brother was never a recipient of a public high school education. My mother opted to combine a private high school and home schooling to help my brother succeed, ultimately enabling him to earn a high school diploma, which may have never happened, not because he lacked intellect, but because his different learning style was not conducive to our public school system. I agree that the current state of public education is less than perfect, but this solution is a poor attempt to better the situation.

1 comment:

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Blake's post for a bad link.

"Big Mike" of Half Sigma is plenty intelligent: BA from Penn, MBA from Arizona State, and a number of successful online businesses and blogs.

On the other hand, he called one of the posts on my blog dumb the other day ... so by all means let's tear him up!

I tend to agree with Blake on this one. As I understand it, Half Sigma's suggestion sounds like the French educational system. This, like industrial policy in other countries, is based on picking winners. My gut feeling is that this isn't going to work.