This article introduces us to the Mastery Transcript Consortium, which was launched with 54 independent (aka, private) schools. "Six months later," we read, "the MTC's roster has more than doubled and includes some of the world's best known prep schools." Why start with private schools? "To minimize complications and streamline the early stage development." But it's also important to note that, as the author writes, "the transcript shapes the very education it hopes to measure and represent." If this is done in the orivate sector, then it is being done without the advice and consent of the public as a whole, and this is problematic. I personally think the idea of mastery transcripts is a great idea. But it should be separated out from the very political issue of private schooling, and given the public review and sanction it requires before it proceeds.
Privatization and private investment are often seen as key to the creation of educational opportunities in the devleoping world. This article (4 page PDF) is a useful and fairminded look at some such initiatives in Liberia. It shows there are grounds for scepticism about the claims being made. "After one year, public schools managed by private operators raised student learning by 60 percent compared to standard public schools. But costs were high, performance varied across operators, and contracts authorized the largest operator to push excess pupils and under-performing teachers into other government schools." The question here is: could the same result be obtained by public, or state-sponsored, schooling. Yes and no. Probably yes, if the conditions were the same. But the state doesn't have the liberty to simply demand more money, nor to exclude a population of students from schooling. We need to remember that gains realized by privatization always come at a cost, and that the people being asked to pay are often those least likely to be consulted.
According to the study reported here (22 page PDF), banning hate speech works. Not that it will eliminate hate from the world; hate will find its own nixious corners. But if you don't want hate on your platform, banning it works.
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.