Wednesday, May 12, 2010

ENRON : Ask Why .... etc.
Parallels to RttT

I just watched the Alex Gibney documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

a.k.a. Black Magic,
Enron: Ask Why,
Enron: Rise and Fall

There are monster parallels with the recent Wall Street mortgage meltdown.

ENRON = lack of regulation, cooperation from major banks, and other financial service folks; accompanied by lack of any empirical analysis.

Large numbers of folks, as in magazine writers, financial analysts etc., were not asking the questions that needed to be asked. Ask questions and get fired was the rule. Enron had even Merrill Lynch ensnared in their web of deception. Yes, Merrill Lynch had one of their analysts fired as Enron was offended. Merill Lynch was rewarded with another $50 million in Enron business for that move.

What must not be missed is "The Smartest Guys in the Room" are sometimes incredibly interested in gaming the system. It seems that some "Investment Insiders" like making political campaign donations and some politicians like receiving donations from these folks and then doing or not doing whatever is needed (without referencing the needs of the electorate).

You must see Zig Engelmann's 38 minute interview (2008) in which Zig puts the facts on the table and asks: Why does much of the Sham Nonsense of the last 40 years in Education continue and often expand?

Go here:
and select the first video:
• Conversation with Siegfried (Zig) Engelmann (2008)
Zig’s long time friend and colleague, Geoff Colvin, asks Zig questions about episodes in Zig’s 45-year career in education. Zig’s responses are frank, sometimes poignant, sometimes funny, and often entertaining. The conversation was filmed before an audience during the 2008 annual Direct Instruction Conference, Eugene Oregon.
Time: 38 minutes. Filmed and produced by Jon Palfreman.

Zig, in his 70s, hates losing and still thinks that empirical truth should trump "Nonsense".
Zig gives a quick history of Project Follow Through and the last 5 minutes of the conversation really aims at education school baloney and the school administrations that buy it.

Now "The Smartest Guys in the Room" visit Education USA through RttT and the New Venture Fund etc. As you listen to Zig notice the giant disconnect between what works and RttT.

Education has problems but RttT is not an effective solution. More money needs to be effectively and efficiently spent on education. We already have "waste a plenty" and RttT will add enormously to that waste. --- Courtesy of the smart Billionaires that donated to Obama etc.

(note I have no political preference as both major parties are equally good at ignoring public interest to get elected)

from -- “Spending is not stimulus,”
-------------------- by Daniel Mitchell, Cato Institute
Many factors influence economic performance. Monetary policy, trade policy, taxation, labor markets, property rights, and competitive markets all have some impact on an economy’s performance. But one of the key variables is government spending. Once government expands beyond the level of providing core public goods such as the rule of law, there tends to be an inverse relationship between the size of government and economic growth. This is why reducing the size and scope of government is one of the best ways to improve economic performance. Unfortunately, policy moved in the wrong direction during the Bush years, and proposals for so-called stimulus indicate a continuation of those failed policies during the Obama years.

Title XIV of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 HERE

My Beef with Race to the Top HERE

So who is asking the probing questions about RttT?
Diane Ravitch, Ohanian, Orlich, me etc. ... but few are listening as most are just looking for the money.
Charter Schools fail test ... but Race to the Top pushes them.
"Whatever Secretary Duncan chooses to do with the good advice offered by Millot, I have a prediction to make: As hundreds and possibly thousands more charter schools open, we will see many financial and political scandals. We will see corrupt politicians and investors putting their hands into the cashbox. We will see corrupt deals where public school space is handed over to entrepreneurs who have made contributions to the politicians making the decisions. We will see many more charter operators pulling in $400,000-500,000 a year for their role, not as principals, but as "rainmakers" who build warm relationships with politicians and investors."
-- Diane Ravitch

Why not use what works?

No comments: