Millions of Americans play a game of financial roulette with their meager wages, a game called “The Lottery.” Even though 82% of all lottery tickets are purchased by low-income minority men, these low-income players continue to buy tickets. And after years and years of buying tickets, some of these people finally get their wish and win their millions. However, over time, the money doesn’t stay around. 65% of all lottery winners go bankrupt in less than 15 years. It is a sad reality that so many poor people play such a statistically foolish game, and furthermore, those who win the game still end up loosing.
The problem is that these people thought money would fix their problems. They thought that if only they had more money, they could finally “make it”. But in reality, money didn’t fix the problem. Adding more money only proved what had already been demonstrated: they were not good at keeping money around. They didn’t understand how money behaved, and unless they got their act together, the sudden influx of money, ultimately, was destructive.
With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an extra $80 billion will be appropriated towards education in just a few short years. Education in America has just won the lottery. And that concerns me. Read more »
I wish more people understood the simple fact that all measurement is approximate. Everything we measure has an inherent amount of error, a degree to which the measured value floats around the actual value. Furthermore, people need to understand that this actual value can never be known. Thus, you may tell people that you are 5 feet, 9 inches tall, but this is only an approximation, and furthermore, there is no tool in the entire universe that can determine your actual height! Sure, you can reduce the amount of error in a measurement by getting better tools, and you can use this super-advanced tool to find that you are 5 feet, 9.00342 inches tall, but even with its advanced technology, there will remain a degree of error in that measurement.
Unfortunately, your intelligence cannot be measured in the same way that we measure your height. Your intelligence is a "latent trait" which means it can't be seen or touched, so we create standardized tests to measure this latent trait in the same way that a ruler is used to measure your height. What is problematic is that many people seem to think that this measurement is definitive and static, but nothing could be further from the truth. Read more »
I know people who use their weight as the lone indicator of their health. They want to be “healthy”, and in order to reach “healthy”, all they look at is their weight. They focus on just a number, their goal weight, and they do everything they can to attain that weight. These people are “health nuts”, but instead of becoming healthy, they become some of the most unhealthy people that I know. The problem is that they have an inherently flawed vision of health and their goals are distorted from the beginning. They equate “health” with some arbitrary value of “weight”, and they only consider themselves “healthy” when they are at this arbitrary weight. Focusing solely on some arbitrary number, they completely neglect their cholesterol, blood pressure, mental stress, and their relationships. They become obsessed with the number but subsequently fail to attain their ultimate goal in the process.
What does this have to do with standardized tests? Read on… Read more »