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Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 774

Liberals want an improved education system handed down from on-high at the level of the department of education.

Complete bollocks. That's how libertarians like to demonize liberals, but that's not the truth of the matter. Most liberals aren't happy with common core - I certainly found it ridiculous.

The main issue libertarians make a big deal of, as I say before, is having to pay taxes at all, at any level. You can look through all the comments on this article, and you'll find a dozen libertarians saying taxation is theft, with no distinction between federal taxes or state taxes.

Stop trying to claim principles for yourself that are not exclusive to you.

Show me a liberal that advocates for states rights and I'll accept your "bollocks".

I'll not deny that there's a segment of libertarians that are anti-all government. I'll not deny that libertarians are generally anti-tax as well, because taxes feed the size of government.

Imagine a corporation that could simply decide, despite it's inefficiencies, that it needed more money to operate or that it's employees all really deserved raises despite almost 2 months of paid vacation, almost no fear of job loss, excellent retirement packages and the best health coverage...so they simply choose to make everybody may them more money. That's what government does every single day and that's where the idea that "taxation is theft" comes from. Government is the only part of the economy that doesn't have to get more efficient as technology improves. The salaries remain comparable to private sector but the benefits on top of them are dramatically better. It used to be that choosing to be a "public servant" warranted all of those protections and benefits at the expense of private sector comparable salaries.

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 774

"country from an on-high dictate "

Also, I'm aware states "chose" it. But they chose it based on having money dangled at them from the federal government for choosing it. That's how the federal government elicits control over states and it's been going on since Reagan started the trend with highway funds being tied to raising the drinking age. Reagan set the playbook for Federal control which is something that a lot of conservatives aren't comfortable hearing.

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 774

Libertarians have no issue with paying for education.

The majority comments from libertarians on all issues is "tax is theft" - indicating they don't want to pay for public education.

What libertarians want is a more scientific approach to education. 50 experiments. 50 states, competing with each other to provide the best possible education that they can for their citizens.

So do us "liberals". The difference between libertarians and liberals is libertarians don't want to pay for public schools and want them to compete for survival. We can have competition, but libertarians want to go the extra step of introducing some form of social darwinism - that for whatever reason some kids can't go to a better school, tough luck to them as though their situation is entirely in their control and therefore their own fault.

Liberals also want an improved education with room to experiment with ways of teaching. That libertarians try to claim ownership of that desire is ridiculous.

Liberals want an improved education system handed down from on-high at the level of the department of education. Libertarians want education localized enough that people can decide what the educational needs are for their area. Some people advocate for private schools or school choice and there are certainly good arguments for that, but the best argument for private schools is simply allowing them to make their own decisions based on their own research.

I was curious so I actually toured a private school in my area recently where the cost per student is $1000 more per year than the cost per student everywhere else in the county. The differences were staggering though. The administrators actually had to justify WHY their school was the best place for my children. They provided numbers. They provided programs that teach principles I wish were taught in public schools. They have 3rd graders doing BUSINESS PLANS. The music program is amazing...every kid learns an instrument. The build the entire curriculum around teaching life skills with every single lesson at every single level. If you're going to learn information you're going to learn a skill while you do it. Despite all of the hullaballoo around the common core approach to math, they actually settled on using it...but it wasn't forced on them. They researched programs. They studied them for a few years. Then they presented them to their teachers and got proper training for all those teachers on HOW to teach it. Additionally, they developed strategies for teaching it to kids at different levels who hadn't started out in those methods.

Contrast that with how common core was thrust upon the country from an on-high dictate and the ensuing chaos that resulted from it. With a school choice program in place, I could take the entire "cost per student" amount and send my kids to that school, only having to come up with the $1000 difference per year. As other schools in the area saw parents flocking there, they would find out what was being implemented that worked so well and follow suit.

I see this as a way of applying competition to education but not in a sense of number crunching. You can throw out numbers all day long, but the real success of a business is word of mouth and repeat customers. People choosing to use that business. That's the aim of school choice programs and certainly, it's a really interesting solution.

Wouldn't it be something if a state could decide they were going to try that while another state could stick to the current approach but watch curiously to see what happened? We'll never know under the current system.

Taxes are necessary as a society. Federal taxes and policies are not.

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 774

And intelligent and rationality requires education on mass, which libertarians also don't want to pay for, making libertarianism a self-defeating system.

Libertarians have no issue with paying for education. Libertarians have issue with CENTRAL education at the federal level. The FEDERAL Department of Education that's constantly throwing out blanket changes across the entire country and making us live with an educational system that cannot adapt.

What libertarians want is a more scientific approach to education. 50 experiments. 50 states, competing with each other to provide the best possible education that they can for their citizens. Learning from each others successes and failures to continually improve. What libertarians do not want is one blanket system in place at the federal level that you're stuck with because it's nearly impossible to change anything at that level.

That is the Libertarian approach to just about EVERYTHING and I'm hard pressed to understand how anybody could view that as a bad idea. People like to talk up the education system in Finland (population 5.4 million), which has been extremely successful. What if Finland had to stick to some set of European Union regulations that prevented them from making the education system work the way it does? Instead of being a shining example they would be a blip on the map in a blanket discussion to fix all EU schools. Instead, Finland is free to make it's own decisions and policy regarding education and that autonomy led to a level of success that others wish to emulate.

Except in the US, nobody can emulate it regardless of how badly they want to...because that's the system we have. Finland's population is roughly the size of a smaller state like Minnesota.

Comment: Re:It's Ruby and here's why (Score 1) 466

If by basically nowhere you mean:

Twitter, LinkedIn, Github, Yellow Pages, AirBnB, SlideShare, Shopify, Cruncbase, Groupon, Bloomberg, Indiegogo, SoundCloud, Square, The City, Heroku, Zendesk, Hulu, Pivotal Tracker, Basecamp (of course), Urban Spoon, Puppet, Chef, Vagrant, Foreman....

That's just off the top of my head. But yea, basically nowhere....

I put Rails on my LinkedIn profile after getting about a year of experience with it at a company after doing mostly Java, PHP and Perl for the prior 15 years. My phone started ringing off the hook with full relocation package offers to Austin, LA, San Fran, and NY. The demand is insane right now.

Comment: It's Ruby and here's why (Score 2) 466

There is no language that seems to have more web relevance these days. The community and available libraries are amazing. For rapid web dev you have Rails, pretty much "the" web framework.

It's great for quick shell scripts. It's excellent as a DSL language (think Vagrant, Puppet, Chef, Capistrano, Rails).

It's extremely flexible too. Just about every web start up that you've managed to hear of is a Rails shop. Rails programmers are in "write your own ticket" levels of demand too.

JRuby is under extremely heavy and active development, giving you access to do everything you can do with Java as well. Thanks to jRuby you get access to native threading, best of breed garbage collection, the insane library of Java tools that are out there and Java's JIT compiler. You can deploy to servers anywhere Java can too which even makes it viable for many enterprise shops and means you'll have access to excellent database drivers for...anything.

Lastly, thanks to RubyMotion you can write Ruby to code apps for iOS and more.

People love to hate on Ruby, but it's everywhere for a reason.

Comment: Re: This will hugely backfire... (Score 1) 422

by MillerHighLife21 (#47232899) Attached to: FWD.us: GOP Voters To Be Targeted By Data Scientists

Fairness is impossible. You send 1000 kids to the same school, some will excel, some will hang in the middle, some will end up just scraping by, and others will fail. It happens in every single school.

The differentiating factor in most cases is the kids home life, as described better here: http://slashdot.org/comments.p...

And regarding the typo response, there wasn't an edit button and the internet has trolls. That you felt a need to comment on it and summarily go after my level of "disconnect" without actually proposing a single solution yourself says quite a bit more.

Comment: Re: This will hugely backfire... (Score 1) 422

by MillerHighLife21 (#47232863) Attached to: FWD.us: GOP Voters To Be Targeted By Data Scientists

One other consideration, is that the parents have to care. To care, they need to value education. Many parents who did poorly in school, do not value education. This is a problem not easily solved. Vouchers just aren't a panacea.

I agree. In my opinion parents caring is the defining factor. All things being equal, if parents want to find a way to give their kids a leg up...they will find a way. If parents provide a stable home environment, that goes a long way on it's own. My wife used to work in a public school. She had kids that didn't know if they were going to be sleeping INSIDE a lot of nights because mommy might have a "friend" over. That's 1 part "parents not caring" and another part "school doesn't seem that important by comparison to making sure I have food and shelter".

You see all aspects of the spectrum:
- Parents trying to create an advantage.
- Parents simply providing stability.
- Parents not caring.
- Parents creating a disadvantage.

It's the simple reality.

There's not a feasible way to create "fairness" short of taking kids away from their parents and putting them in boarding schools with uniforms. That's the only way that you can control all circumstances for all students.

The next best thing that we can hope for is public school choice OR school vouchers (or a combination of the two) because that way if a kid has parents who care but lack the financial means to relocate, at least the parent will have the ability to make the best decision to enable that child.

For children with parents who do not care or are creating a disadvantage for them...those are the more complicated challenges to solve and usually involved social services in some way.

Comment: Re: This will hugely backfire... (Score 3, Insightful) 422

by MillerHighLife21 (#47231983) Attached to: FWD.us: GOP Voters To Be Targeted By Data Scientists

Or think of it this way - besides being born well off, in what way did those kids "work hard enough to earn" a nice school?

The kids didn't. Their parents worked hard enough to make sure they could put their kids in a nice school. Parents work hard to put their kids in a position to succeed. That's why houses with zoned for better schools are worth more, because the parents buying them are willing to pay more to make sure their kids have access to it.

Involved parents that care that much also lead to the schools themselves being better by donating to fund raisers, volunteering to help with school events, taking an interest in their kids school work and making sure it's getting done. Having your kids around other kids who care about their education because it's been instilled in them creates a culture of success (and vice versa).

As a parent, if you're kids are zoned for a school that you don't feel is doing as well you can do one of two things if you want to better enable your children:

1. You can get involved with the school, school board, organize parents and get the entire community more involved to make the school a better place for kids to succeed.
2. You can send them to another school where people already are involved.

The ironic thing here is that the school voucher policy favored by conservatives would actually make it more feasible for people to send their kids to better schools without having to move for zoning reasons. This allows parents to cast a direct vote related to the quality of a school, because if it's bad parents will simply choose to send their kids elsewhere.

Comment: Re:Who Cares? (Score 1) 354

Actually, they're only made for killing if you pull the trigger. From a standpoint of self defense, the threat of deadly force is the deterrent. The entire basis of guns for self defense is to make an attacker/burglar decide whether whatever they are about to do is worth dying for. That's a significantly higher risk factor that presented by alternative weapons for self defense and that's the entire point. Contrary to popular belief, people don't buy guns with the intention of shooting other people.

300,000,000 guns in circulation in the US proves that point. If people bought guns with the intent of killing, we'd all be dead. Instead non-lethal gun ownership accounts for 99.9999% of them and 99.99% is statistically perfect.

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