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Comment: I buy books (Score 1) 430

I spend a lot of money on books. O'Reilly, Packt, etc. put out some very useful books documenting FOSS tools (and for statistical computing in R, both Springer and CRC publish a lot of really excellent books, although they can be very pricey). These books are mostly written by people who can really write and edited by people who can really edit.

And when I spend my money buying this kind of documentation, it supports a culture of good technical writing and ensures that good technical writers to get paid for their work.

It might be nice if there were a similar quality of documentation available for download under CC, but absent that it's nice that there is a thriving industry providing good, useful documentation in books.

Comment: Re:name the states, please (Score 1) 157

by Phronesis (#46914275) Attached to: Kids To Get the Best CS Teachers $15/Hr Can Buy

I'm sorry, but there are people on slashdot who are desperate to figure out who I am. If I give away what state I currently live in, and the other state I have seen this policy in, that would make it that much easier for them to figure it out. I will only say that the 1,000 mile distance is mostly in an east-west direction, with very little north-south movement.

If you are afraid to give evidence to back up your assertions, then why are you making those assertions in the first place?

If you were serious about contributing to this discussion, you could have said that there were two states that had this policy and linked to evidence of that policy, without ever saying that you lived there. But instead, you were more interested in making it a personal thing about "I experienced that and I am so important that if I told you what state I live in I would have to shoot you."

Get over yourself. You are not so important that someone is going to track you down and hurt you on the basis of a /. comment that reveals indirectly what state you live in.

Comment: Re:name the states, please (Score 1) 157

by Phronesis (#46914227) Attached to: Kids To Get the Best CS Teachers $15/Hr Can Buy
I'm not going to defend damn_registrars because that post said a lot more (the masters had to be in education and a Ph.D. didn't count as "equivalent coursework), so what damn_registrars said might well be BS. But if you look at the text on p. 85 and figure 79 on p. 87, it looks to me as though the masters is required not for tenure, but to get a mandatory teaching license. Did I misunderstand that?

Comment: Re:name the states, please (Score 1) 157

by Phronesis (#46909481) Attached to: Kids To Get the Best CS Teachers $15/Hr Can Buy

Ooops. I misread the GP post, so my answer did not address the real question of whether they would reject a Ph.D. as being equivalent. Sorry about posting an irrelevant answer.

One thing I will say is that getting a Ph.D. prepares a person for research, but most Ph.D. programs don't include anything about how to teach the material to high school students, so it's reasonable that a state would want to know not only do you know the technical material, but also do you know how to teach it, maintain classroom discipline, work with students who have learning disabilities, etc.

It's nice to be drawn to secondary teaching after getting a Ph.D., but there is an important step in actually getting training in how to teach before that Ph.D. will be useful to most high schools.

Comment: Re:name the states, please (Score 2) 157

by Phronesis (#46909451) Attached to: Kids To Get the Best CS Teachers $15/Hr Can Buy

You've been asked twice already to say where this policy supposedly exists. What states are you talking about? I don't want to call BS on your post if some stupid state where liberals don't think about the consequences of their policies actually did something so dumb.

Since the commenter won't answer your question, here goes: Google points me to the National Council on Teacher Quality's 2013 State Teacher Quality Yearbook, which says that: "Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, New York and Oregon all require a master’s degree or coursework equivalent to a master’s degree" (p. 87).

Comment: Re:Value of a degree to the employer (Score 2) 489

by Phronesis (#43371201) Attached to: Getting a Literature Ph.D. Will Make You Into a Horrible Person
So I'm curious: Since you have contempt for the way college educates kids, do you hire a lot of employees straight out of high school and provide the kind of real-world on-the-job learning that you extol? Or do you think that's just something OTHER employers ought to do?

Comment: Re:A variant of this happens in Nevada (Score 1) 313

by Phronesis (#36247750) Attached to: China Alleged To Use Prisoners In Lucrative Internet Gaming

Actually, no. If a machine hits jackpot twice even like that, they would yank the machine from the floor.

Why? Wouldn't a machine that happened to hit multiple jackpots in a row be a huge draw for customers? My impression is that Casinos want flashy payouts to get more people to come play because they damned well understand the law of large numbers.

Comment: Re:Early Development (Score 1) 382

by Phronesis (#34802290) Attached to: College Students Lack Scientific Literacy

Fascinating. We're talking about teaching scientific reasoning, yet this comment, its parent and its grandparent all infer principles about how to get better qualified teachers into a classroom on the basis of personal anecdotes.

No one cites systematic research on what produces effective teachers. None even says, "this is my experience, but it would take systematic research to tell whether it can be generalized." Instead, each one falls into exactly the fallacy identified in the article in the OP: using informal reasoning and thinking that it's principle-based scientific reasoning.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra