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Comment Re:OMG! (Not) (Score 2) 278

I'm going to go ahead and share these again, since people can't be bothered to do any research.

Here's one example: Texas.

6 days of testing per semester. Sure, amortized that is 48 hours out of 720 (90 * 8), and it seems like a pretty small number... Remember that because of the teachers/schools getting punished for poor grades, they teach to the test to ensure the kid in the corner eating glue can remember how to add.

Comment Re:20 hours? That's nothing. (Score 1) 278

That must be a typo. Not your math, the 20 hours number.

Here's the Albuquerque tests schedule for Elementary School. Notice here they have 6 different standardized tests for 4-5th grade. Even if each one only took 1 day (they don't... though I can't find hard numbers to support that), that's still 48 hours of tests. PARCC (Common Core, best I can tell) is 2-3 days by itself.

In Texas, they have no fewer than 6 days per semester. That 20 hour number is total B.S.

Out of a typical 180-day schedule, Texas students really only get 168 days of education. Many of which likely go to teaching to the test, instead of educating the students. So lets say it's a 1-for-1. We're trying to get 180 days of education into 154, that's over a month spent on testing and prep for the standardized test. Why? Because the teachers and schools are the ones that get funding cuts and reprimanded. Nevermind that not every kid will be an astronaut.

Comment Re:CS Educators? (Score 2) 152

Thinking along the same lines, I've heard CS students referred to as "poor misguided applied mathematicians." In some ways that's entirely true, since a good deal of my undergrad was focused on word problems, algorithms and complexity analysis. Granted learning to code is a bit different, but a majority of the knowledge comes from that understanding of Math. If we can teach people the applied portion, teach them how to think and reason about the problem, then we'd be most of the way there. It's not a huge leap from breaking down a problem into a series of steps then coding those steps into a computer. I'd argue the former is much more valuable.

Comment Re:Well, sure, but... (Score 1) 295

I'll add this in too: Other foods that humans have modified... Though these are through selective breeding. Humans have been manipulating our food sources ever since we took to farming. Sure, they may not have done it with a chemistry set (or lab), but that corn sitting on your plate is not a "naturally occuring" plant.

Comment Re:No child gets ahead either (Score 1) 132

I have a friend that is a 5th grade teacher in New Mexico, and the standardization is killing the education system. The no child left behind nonsense meant that if some (very small) percentage of students within a school failed a standardized test, then the whole school failed and was put into remediation. Students fail again, teachers get fired. On top of the Federal requirements, there were state standardized tests as well. Last number I recall, out of 180 school days in the year, something like 15-20 of them were now reserved for standardized tests.

So, you have this lethal combination of getting 180 day curriculum into 90% or less of the days, on top of making sure the dumbest kids are able to scrape by in the tests.

Sorry, not every kid gets to be an astronaut... And for those parents whose kids eat glue? Well, they can rest assured their kid is getting the attention. The smarter children are sitting around bored, listening to the same equation for the 20th time.

If you want to give your kids the best chance to excel and grow, consider a private school or be ready to (gasp!) be an active parent and work with them in the afternoons.

Comment Re:Impressive... (Score 2) 150

I'll share an anecdote with my story from Microsoft.

Way back in 2007 I bought a Microsoft bluetooth keyboard and mouse to replace my Logitech that kept dropping connection and "sticky key"ing (connection drop, last key hit was repeated until I could reconnect). For some reason, the driver install would complete, but it wouldn't actually pick up the keyboard and mouse. Then I read it needed Windows installer 3.0 (I think?), but I had 2.something. Uninstall/reinstall a few times, nothing. So I call tech support and get an Indian listreader. Nice enough guy, but stuck to his script, and I uninstall/reinstall/reboot a few times. Then he asked a couple pointed questions and said he'd arrange to have an OS guy talk to me 'tomorrow', so we set up a time.

Tomorrow hit, I did get a call from the same guy, and he patched in one of the MS OS guys. The OS guy sounded like he was from the West coast. He runs me through a couple things, gets me to boot into restore mode and gives me this arcane command line to try to force remove or update of the Windows installer. No such luck. He then tells me "you know what I'm about to tell you, don't you?" "Yup, reinstall and patch up the OS" "Do you have a backup?" "All my files are on another partition" "I do that to!!". Turns out you need Windows installer to add, remove, or update windows installer. And if windows installer goes tango uniform, you're S.O.L. and J.W.F.

So yea, at least in this story they start with the lowest common denominator, but they were able to get the right level soon enough.

Comment Re:I'll bite (Score 5, Insightful) 265

Im of the opinion that it takes all of about 8 hours to learn to do the majority of things you would want to do in powershell (partly because thats about how long it took me). You just have to take some time to sit down and learn it, and then make an effort to use it instead of GUI administration tools. It is far, far superior to old windows command prompt and vbs,

I think the same can be said about any *nix shell. Having used powershell a few times, it really just feels like a kludged attempt to bring CMD.exe to something closer to bash.... 20 years later. Now the question becomes just because you can use it, does it mean you should? Last I checked, Windows still has a lot of protections from even the simplest modifications. I much prefer being able to see /etc/fstab than working with some nebulous class with functions that barely make sense.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose