Education Reform, Cont’d
October 6, 2009

I don’t know much about Secretary of Education Arne Duncan except that he’s from Chicago, he has a reputation as an effective superintendent of schools there and a good guy, and he plays basketball. I watched yesterday’s interview with him on the Colbert Report, and I didn’t learn much more about him than that. So my opinions on education policy aren’t the most informed opinions around. I did notice, and decided to point out, that he seems to agree with me about education policy, and particularly his comment around 5:45 in the video with respect to schools becoming community centers. His other ideas seem good as well.

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10000 Hours
July 25, 2009

It’s an old rule of thumb that it takes 10000 hours of work to master a discipline. This sounds about right to me. A medical student takes four years to graduate, and can probably expect to work about 50-60 hours a week to reach their 10000 hours. A PhD student might take six years and work only 40 hours per week. This also implies law students should have to work upwards of 75 hours a week in law school, and I’m not sure how many law students actually do work that hard; maybe that’s why we have such substandard lawyers in this country (ha ha). Note that I’m defining “work” here as something beyond a liberal arts education, under the assumption that the latter primarily helps to build an emotional and educational foundation from which one can begin to start learning a trade. So it makes sense that engineers are working 50-60 hours a week in college to master their craft. Also, I should mention that the 10000 hours applies to non-academic pursuits too, such as sports, music, art, or automobile repair, but I don’t feel qualified to comment on these in more detail.


Education Reform
March 3, 2009


This seems to be a good time to try my hand at a post on public policy. I don’t have a lot of experience writing about policy, so I’d really appreciate comments and criticisms so I can get better at this stuff. I’ll start with education reform, since it’s a subject about which I’m not that well-informed and so I’m putting less of my ego on the line in presenting an opinion. And besides, what’s the fun of being a blogger if you can’t make grandiose statements on subjects you know nothing about?