Posts Tagged ‘education’

Oh, those jobs!

February 8, 2009

A friend sends me this article, stating that the University of North Carolina system expects to cut courses and roughly 1700 jobs, due to a state budget shortfall.

Happily, however, those 1700 people will ultimately be able to keep their jobs, since the stimulus bill includes education funds to the states.  Oh, wait.  That money was cut out of the bill by the senate.  Seems the GOP said it was spending, not stimulus, and had nothing to do with creating jobs.  They were going to filibuster it.  (More on that, shortly.)

Thank heavens for the GOP, eh, 1700 people?

And speaking of the inauguration and thinking…

January 24, 2009

Here’s a small — and as yet unreviewed and unreplicated — study that seems to show an “Obama Effect” on African-American test takers:

Researchers in the last decade assembled university students with identical SAT scores and administered tests to them, discovering that blacks performed significantly poorer when asked at the start to fill out a form identifying themselves by race. The researchers attributed those results to anxiety that caused them to tighten up during exams in which they risked confirming a racial stereotype.

In the study made public on Thursday, Dr. Friedman and his colleagues compiled a brief test, drawing 20 questions from the verbal sections of the Graduate Record Exam, and administering it four times to about 120 white and black test-takers during last year’s presidential campaign.

On the initial test last summer, whites on average correctly answered about 12 of 20 questions, compared with about 8.5 correct answers for blacks, Dr. Friedman said. But on the tests administered immediately after Mr. Obama’s nomination acceptance speech, and just after his election victory, black performance improved, rendering the white-black gap “statistically nonsignificant,” he said.

If it holds up, it’ll be the most important thing Obama’s presidency will have achieved, no matter what else he does.