Monday, November 29, 2010

Education, Global Governance & Development

A couple of interesting links here. One on education, the other global governance.

Althouse commented on an NYT op-ed, which was calling for less emphasis on testing. Instead, Ann commented that we're seeing a debate on teacher's pet vs testing. With so much testing, we're finding out that American teachers have been giving good grades to the "good" students, who behave in the classroom and do what the teacher says. And the testers had been losing out, until recently. Obviously we need to do both. Teaching compliance as well as learning skills. As the Far East has shown, teacher's pets will study hard and test well, if that is the new metric. The key objective, as ever, is to foster creativity. Although people impugn the US education system as good at creativity, it's not certain that is the case. With so little testing, what is left is creativity, so that's what you see. But you can take it to extreme, and it underserves the disadvantaged students, which is what had happened.

Ken Anderson remarked on the Climate Change movement from the global governance and "development" perspective. It dovetails nicely with the current Playboy's article on Vulture Funds, which demand full payment for the bonds of insolvent states. The Playboy article is from the perspective of the "development" community and the subject states, but it does highlight the corruption exposure Vulture Funds do in getting paid. It turns out that, if you expose corruption in, say, Congo, they will pay you to stop doing that. As John Reed would say, a state does not need to borrow money to function.

Anderson highlights that third world countries see Climate Change as a way to get paid. Over the past 30 years, international development had been trending away from states, because of the blatant corruption in 60s and 70s. Climate Change offers a way to go back to "state-centric" development, where bureaucracies and rulers can skim off the top, again. For the UN bureaucracy, it is also a way to increase its power over the world. Climate Change advocates often ignored this aspect of the Climate Change movement, which led to gross distortions of the carbon regime.

Anderson also looked into why the BRICS, and China in particular, opted out of the Copenhagen/Cancun rounds, even as the advocates dangled more incentives. It is an interesting thought on the boundaries of Chinese behavior.

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