Skip to main content

Easier said than done

A friend of mine who used to be a journalist now refuses to read op-eds or blogs. I understand why. The author can say anything he or she wants without suffering any consequences for what happens later. Also, the author can call for an overhaul of entire systems and industries without worrying about how to get it done.

That's why a staff editorial in today's Korea Times is so refreshing. The KT staff outline many of the problems with "elite" schools that recruit top students.

The KT staff then concludes in staff editorial style:

"Therefore, policymakers and educators are required to overhaul the entire education system and the college admissions policy in order to hammer out more comprehensive measures to free students from private tutoring and narrow the education divide."

Oh...and the staff also added..."
It is easier said than done"


* * *

By the way, whenever I read staff editorials by newspapers advising politicians and citizens about what they should do, I keep in mind that many newspapers have closed down, are printing their papers in red ink, and are struggling with circulation declines. According to a recent story, U.S. newspaper circulation down 10.6%.

Seems that if newspapers want to fix problems that they'd start with that. But I guess, to quote the Korea Times, "It is easier said than done."

* * *

Andy Smarick has a well-researched and pretty smart piece arguing that the attempts to improve low-achieving schools has failed and continuing with the policy is misguided. He goes into some detail about it, but the main points are that (1) instead of trying to reform failed schools, it would be better to close them down and (2) to reopen closed schools as charters.

Wow! Talk about being easier said than done! I'd prefer to start my own newspaper!

* * *

I have been having an ongoing argument with a libertarian friend of mine. He opposes vouchers, tuition tax credits, charters, just about any form of school choice. What does he want? To blow up the whole public school system and start from scratch. We've argued about this over the phone, over lunch, on the radio, and probably in his dreams. I tell him that even vouchers scare many people, why in the world would they be interested in the complete unknown of starting over again.

I wish I had thought to tell him, "It is easier said than done."

* * *

Arguments for completely starting over sound good. They may even be correct most of the time. After all, whatever has been going on probably hasn't been working, that's why some people are calling for reform. There are interest groups embedded, making money off the way things are currently being done. Everyone may want a better mousetrap, but not if you are the mouse.

Just think about the teachers and administrators in the current system. They may love the hypothetical new jobs that they'd have in the hypothetical new system, but I bet they love their current jobs even more than hypothetical jobs. It is hard to pay for lunch with a hypothetical salary. It is hard to impress a woman with your hypothetical car when you're late for dinner.

I reminded my libertarian friend who wants to blow up the school system that after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision overturning Jim Crow that there were black educators worrying about what would happen to them! The entire system was going to be overhauled, segregation was being made illegal, black children would (theoretically, at least, for a decade) be able to attend local schools...and some black educators were wondering, but what about us?

* * *

Calling for overhauling systems is appealing, in the way it was during the 2008 presidential campaign when candidate Barack Obama was making pretty speeches saying that he was for change. He even had a pretty slogan, "Yes, we can," to go along with it.

It is hard to be against change in theory. How has that been working out for president Obama? Apparently, change was and is easier said than done, whether if you're a blogger, journalist, researcher, or president of the United States.


Popular posts from this blog

Forgery or conspiracy? Memorandum 46

Here's an article I co-wrote that will appear in the Sunday Outlook section of the Washington Post . We'll be updating this page over the coming days. So check back for updates. Memorandum 46 timeline , as compiled by us. Audio from our last show on XM 169 before we got fired. That audio is divided into segments, this one is one large MP3 . Who says Memorandum46 is true? Former rep. Cynthia McKinney presents Memo 46 to the United Nations and defends it in a speech . Joe Madison presents Memo 46 at the annual Congressional Black Caucus gathering. Former D.C. delegate Walter Fauntroy, on the Joe Madison show on XM 169 (audio available, upon request) and on Michael Fauntroy's site Boyd Graves (see Exhibit 10 of his lawsuit against the government) The Final Call, with Brzezinski's name misspelled . Len Horowitz Millions for Reparations Various discussion forums or discussants, such as: Greekchat , Jahness , Who says Memorandum 46 is a forgery? Brzezi

Park Jin welcoming remarks to FSI (and Casey Lartigue)

  National Assembly member Park Jin makes the welcoming remarks at FSI's conference featuring North Korean diplomats. Park Jin | Greeting message to FSI and Casey Lartigue mention - YouTube

The Casey Lartigue Show

Guests scheduled for May NOTE: Check here for updates on Memorandum 46! Future Shows Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution This is my first attempt at putting together my own promo , it was rejected because of the sound quality May 19 edition of the Casey Lartigue Show We had a great show yesterday, probably the best so far. The topic: Malcolm X. The occasion? Anniversary of his 82nd birthday. Eliot Morgan and I had a great time talking with the callers. Deneen Borelli called in on our special guest line. You can download the file here. We posed the question: What did Malcolm X do? We contrasted the viewpoint and legacies of Malcolm X and Thurgood Marshall. The one mistake I made was not to focus on the question that Marshall asked: What was the one concrete thing that Malcolm X did. In segment 3, callers begin to get personal with us. May 12 edition of the Casey Lartigue Show Featured guest: Don Boudreaux of George Mason University Promo for the May 12 show May 5 edition of the C

2016-11-03 Who is Andrei Lankov?

Disclaimer: NK experts, please don't read this, there will be no rabbits pulled out of a hat. * * * Every couple of months, I meet up with Andrei Lankov to discuss various things. I first met him back in 2011, shortly before he spoke at an event I organized with the Center for Free Enterprise. I have read his articles for years, he has spoken at about four TNKR events over the years. When it comes to analyzing NK, he is one of the leading experts in the field. Last March, I was one of the organizers of the first (and perhaps last) International Volunteers Workshop, we had 227 RSVP in advance. I asked them all as part of the RSVP: "The keynote speaker will be Andrei Lankov. Had you heard of him before hearing about this event?" No: 133 Yes: 94 Even within those 94 "Yes" responses, I am sure there were various levels of awareness--such as some may have seen his name, others may have read some articles, and a few experts may have the Andrei La

2014-07-01 Happy Birthday, Joo Yeon Cho!

Can it be true? I have known Joo Yeon Cho for less than 9 months? Incredible! But I guess that's the way it is with Joo Yeon. I'm not surprised to see so many birthday messages coming from all over Korea and the world. She works for a company that could crush me and everyone I know, but she still calls me "Boss."^^ I checked my emails, she first emailed me back on October 14, and I was surprise d to see it was 2013, not 2012 or even earlier. She wanted to join as a volunteer at the Mulmangcho School. I quickly recognized she was a special lady. She didn't know it, but I had already decided that she would help me with a special project I had planned with Praise Ju that I was going to launch two days later. They hit it off, and the project took off! We are collaborating again--she started off as the first Academic Adviser in the Teach North Korean Refugees Project, and she is now our first External Coordinator. As I posted a few days ago, she regularly blows u