Monday, November 10, 2003

Things to Read

The Times has an interesting article on home schooling. It's not just for the Religious Right anymore. At least 850,000 kids nationwide. (I know one of the parents mentioned in the article.) One author attributed this trend to a standards backlash. Also, a "rebellion in middle class culture" to spend more time with their kids and more women opting out of their careers.

The salaries of college presidents are sky rocketing. 4 presidents were paid more than $800,000. How about throwing some of that extra cash towards the adjuncts? (The Invisible Adjunct beat me to the punch and has a post and comments on the topic. Go there.)

For all two of you out there who are interested in political science methodology, an article from Wilson Quarterly sums up the debate. I really don't want to get involved in this topic on the blog. Spent too much time talking about it in real life. Well, I will wonder how often quantitative researchers come across findings that fly against their biases. How often do pro-voucher researchers uncover (and publish) results from their data that shows that school choice has no impact on learning or results in creaming? Got to wonder how really "scientific" those numbers are. Got to wonder what scientific methods can be used to determine the initial questions.

UPDATE: Melissa said that she came back from the American Evaluation Association conference, and the theme was methodology.

One of the great things that made it a good and educational conference was that both "strains" of research, qualitative and quantitative were well represented. However, what made it a great conference was that the attendees were practioners (even the academics) who evaluate programs and policies for a living. Their sentiment, which I echo, is that you can't have one without the other. The qualitative portions of the evaluation give the necessary context and storyline to the quantitative outcome and output measurements. An evaluation only having one or the other would eliminate a whole side to the story.

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