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Tag: education

Where In The World You Can Find The Best Schools — And The Happiest Kids

Where In The World You Can Find The Best Schools — And The Happiest Kids

This is a great little “picturized” article about education that was posted by the ever stimulating Buzzfeed. It compares happiness and test scores, and considering the idea that these 2 factors seem to be the main measures of a successful community it seems that we might want to consider what it means for our nation that we are neither competitively high performing, or relatively the happiest. What do these charts make you think we should do about reforming our education? Maybe think about it and tell somebody. As someone who isn’t simply the biggest advocate of standardized testing, and there seeming not to be a strong indicator/measure or alternative measures or learning/creativity, I don’t fully know what to think. So, feel free to tell me what you think.



The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s triennial international survey compared test scores from 65 countries. Happiness was ranked based on the percentage of students who agreed or disagreed with the statement “I feel happy at school.” Test scores were ranked based on the combined individual rankings of the students’ math, reading, and science scores.



Infographic: Is Your State’s Highest-Paid Employee A Coach? (Probably)

This post is not intended be a downer to all of my Oklahoma friends and family who live and die by sports, traditionally football alone, but thanks to the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball is a part of the conversation. Now, even though I don’t want to be a downer I think that it’s time we look at this and ask ourselves if this is how we think it should be…

I wouldn’t be surprised if this picture and article is upsetting so some of my friends, but it is what it is, and I thought it was worth reading. One love my friends.




Infographic: Is Your State’s Highest-Paid Employee A Coach? (Probably)

You may have heard that the highest-paid employee in each state is usually the football coach at the largest state school. This is actually a gross mischaracterization: Sometimes it is the basketball coach.

Based on data drawn from media reports and state salary databases, the ranks of the highest-paid active public employees include 27 football coaches, 13 basketball coaches, one hockey coach, and 10 dorks who aren’t even in charge of a team.

So are my hard-earned tax dollars paying these coaches?

Probably not. The bulk of this coaching money—especially at the big football schools—is paid out of the revenue that the teams generate.

So what’s the problem then? These guys make tons of money for their schools; shouldn’t they be paid accordingly?

There are at least three problems.

  1. Coaches don’t generate revenue on their own; you could make the exact same case for the student-athletes who actually play the game and score the points and fracture their legs.
  2. It can be tough to attribute this revenue directly to the performance of the head coach. In 2011-2012, Mack Brown was paid $5 million to lead a mediocre 8-5 Texas team to the Holiday Bowl. The team still generated $103.8 million in revenue, the most in college football. You don’t have to pay someone $5 million to make college football profitable in Texas.
  3. This revenue rarely makes its way back to the general funds of these universities. Looking at data from 2011-2012, athletic departments at 99 major schools lost an average of $5 million once you take out revenue generated from “student fees” and “university subsidies.” If you take out “contributions and donations”—some of which might have gone to the universities had they not been lavished on the athletic departments—this drops to an average loss of $17 million, with just one school (Army) in the black. All this football/basketball revenue is sucked up by coach and AD salaries, by administrative and facility costs, and by the athletic department’s non-revenue generating sports; it’s not like it’s going to microscopes and Bunsen burners.

But wait. I looked up my coach’s pay in a state salary database and he wasn’t on top. What gives?

Most of these databases include only the coaches’ base salaries, which are drawn directly from the state fund. This is how you could be led to believe that Virginia’s offensive coordinator earns more than its head coach.

Far exceeding these base salaries is the “additional compensation” that almost all of these coaches receive, which is tied to media appearances, apparel contracts, and fundraising. While this compensation does not come directly from the state fund it is guaranteed in the coaches’ contracts; if revenue falls short, the school—and thus the state—is on the hook to cover the difference. Plus, even it doesn’t come directly from taxpayers, this compensation is still problematic for all the reasons listed above.

Beyond salary and additional compensation, coaches earn money from bonus incentives tied primarily to the team’s performance. This analysis ignored those bonuses and focused on guaranteed money, as it’s impossible to guess at whether a coach will hit his benchmarks. And we’re not even touching the ridiculous amounts of money coaches can get if they’re fired before their contract ends.

[Update, June 18: We’ve fixed one mistake in the map, which was pointed out to us by our friends at Harper’s Magazine. The highest-paid state employee in New Hampshire is now the UNH president. It’s no longer the hockey coach, as we’d originally indicated (using data that turned out to be from 2008). The map has been updated.]

Regarding the asterisks on the map:

* Penn State is technically “state-related” and not truly public, and as a result the school does not receive as much state funding as a typical public school (leading to higher tuition) and does not have to disclose as much information about its employees. You can read the details here.

** It’s difficult to track down salary information for employees at Ole Miss and Mississippi State, but the highest non-coach salaries we could find top out at around $500,000. While we can’t prove that nobody at these schools earns more than Dan Mullen’s $2.65 million per year, we think it’s very unlikely.

Noam Chomskey on Education

While I sincerely believe in educating all people I can understand the sentiment behind this. It’s discouraging when you witness some of the more intelligent people you know go so underutilized by society, and not always because they are lazy bums.


Redshirting: Holding Kids Back From Kindergarten – 60 Minutes


This report combines several things that I love, but mostly it starts a conversation about the premise of my favorite book Outliers. I think the part of the report that I find most interesting/telling is when Mr. Gladwell talks about how the people who take advantage of “red shirting” are the people who least need that competitive edge due to other circumstances.

Seriously, read the book “Outliers“.

Khan Academy: The Future of Education? – 60 Minutes


As someone who has very profound feelings about education, and yet has struggled in some educational environments, I find this segment to be very awe inspiring. I am excited to see how technology improves education while not isolating students too much from peers. I found this video inspiring, and I hope that programs like this can move us toward an educational system that doesn’t allow so many intelligent people fall through the cracks in a learning environment.

Three Million Open Jobs in U.S., But Who’s Qualified? – 60 Minutes

Three million open jobs in U.S., but who’s qualified? – 60 Minutes.

As we have this widely contentious conversation about jobs in America this is a pretty interesting report. It is actually kind of a swipe at the American workforce, and maybe it’s time we start having a more comprehensive conversation about how we prepare our workers in this country. People do have a lot of freedom to excel in virtually any industry, but maybe we need to educate our students better about their aptitudes and what kind of jobs are to be expected from certain educational backgrounds. I’m not advocating any kind of policy with this post, just a better conversation. Maybe the platform for that conversation is still just somewhat lacking, and someone like TED Talks could help us explore new avenues to have these conversations… I don’t know, but I hope that you find this segment useful.

Ohio Is A Test Case For The U.S. Economy – Steve Rattner

Ohio is a test case for US economy.

If you read my blog with any regularity you by know are aware that I love Steve Rattner… He is a very smart, and also thoughtful person. I think that he nailed with pinpoint accuracy what citizens of this country should have an understand of, so that we can learn how to face common obstacles together.

At the end of this post I am post a video that is a few years old that I think pertains to what he is talking about… The apparent leakage of our nations power is attributed to so much, and identifying the importance of education is but one way that we can maintain growth and influence in the world (which is obviously of great importance to anyone who considers our nation to be founded on outstanding ideals).

Ohio is a test case for US economy

Learning How to Teach Ourselves: Great Video!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Can We Learn How To Teach Ourselves How to Learn More Efficiently?…

That might seem like a weird question, but I think that it is so incredibly important. I decided to write this because I saw this video that my friend (John Hendrick) posted online:

I think that this video is absolutely amazing… Growing up I took medicine for ADD, and still through college took it off and on. My grades would go up and down, along with my confidence, and my sense of capability and personal value. I would always tell my friends and family that I didn’t plan to take the medicine for the rest of my life, and that I was planning to just take it through the end of college… So far that’s been the case. Now that I have more freedom to choose my environment I have little to no desire to take that medicine again. I remember at times being put on medicines that did things like cuss out my teacher in high school, who was in the wrong, but that was just not my character and hated what was happening… I felt like I was being pushed through something, through which I didn’t fit. I felt like the blob shaped object and didn’t fit through the square hole.

Now that I’m not taking medicines I still have my ups and downs in regards to feelings about my overall capability, but I will say that I would much rather be in a learning environment with this frame of mind than the medicated one… I was told that they weren’t really sure whether or not I had ADD, but I was still prescribed the medicine for nearly 13 years… That’s a long time, and it felt like it. I have learned that I am a very auditory learner, and with that I need to hear myself say things as I’m learning it to digest the information. If you know a child who struggle to pay attention, just as an experiment try talking to them about the information that they need to learn instead of instructing them, but make sure that they don’t feel mocked, or like it’s obvious that they have trouble paying attention (it can be really frustrating).

With all of that being said I decided to post one of my favorite papers that I wrote in college, from one of my favorite classes, taught by one of my favorite people in the world (Jim Halligan). The class was called “The History of American Higher Education” but it was almost entirely about different style of higher education from different cultures, in different time periods. He complimented me on this paper, and that meant a whole lot to me. I hope that you enjoy it, if you read it that is :-).

I know that this post was mostly about my experience, and it doesn’t reflect the entirety of the video above, but I just felt like sharing a little piece of my story and what it looks like in regards to that amazing video. Thanks for reading my post.

Oh, and here’s that paper that I was talking about:
Learning is Loving

If that doesn’t work try this one:
Another link to Learning is Loving


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