Friday, February 13, 2009

Studying World Languages

In case you needed another reason to study languages,

Long Sequences of World Language Study Significantly Better
Research data bear out that in order to achieve equity for all students, increasingly longer sequences of study are essential to the acquisition of second language proficiency. As part of the 2002 AP French, AP German, and AP Spanish language exams, survey data support a strong connection between the length of study (in years) and students’ scores on the corresponding AP Examination. Students who had engaged in long sequences of language study (e.g., beginning in grades 4-6) performed significantly better on the corresponding AP Exams and positioned themselves to be granted advanced placement and/or receive academic credit when entering college. (Baum, Bischof, & Rabiteau, 2002)
World Language Study Translates to Higher SAT Scores
In the College Board’s report, 2004 College Bound Seniors: A Profile of SAT Test Takers, students whose profiles include long-sequences of world language study consistently demonstrate higher scores on both the math and verbal portions of the SAT than do their non-language studying counterparts.  The gains are incremental; the more years of world language study, the greater the gains on the SAT Test. These data continue to corroborate previous research confirming the correlation of world language study with higher SAT scores.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I thought it my be time to revive my neologism for when one feels particularly disappointed after trying really hard, being really thoughtful and considerate, and all for naught.  For example, "I can't believe that guy shot down our proposal in a faculty meeting, especially after we all worked so hard to make a balanced document!  That was totally disappointless."  Or: "Wow, we started off with that compromise of 300 billion in tax cuts that actually don't do that much for most Americans just to appease those people and those very people still went around whining like babies and making disengenuous arguments.  That was truly disappointless."

Monday, February 09, 2009

Cheerleader Journalist vs. Analysts: Inane vs. Sane

Here's the picture, via tpm, students: Nouriel Roubini and Nassim Taleb had a 3-hour long line to get into their talk at Davos.  Who was waiting to get in?  Folks like Bill Gates.

Roubini is "famous" now, so CNBC invites him and Tasseb on to the channel.  The problem is that either these journalists are too isolated, stupid or brainwashed to understand what Roubbini and Taleb had to say, or they are selling a product (unlimited growth, DOW 50,000!) that just doesn't exist right now.  They seem to think there is some sector that will give their portfolios a miracle cure, which is silly.  Our problems are systemic.*  It's not just banking or insurance or production or demand.  It's all entangled and until the finance sector clears its bad assets and can clearly put value on real, physical production (as opposed to circulating mathematical-model hedge funds that relate to no real-world products) then the system will not work.  It's really fascinating to watch these clueless people who seem to think that a little cheerleading is going to get everybody through this.  (Oh, and they also think that all bankers are geniuses and deserve high salaries for crashing the system.)

Video link 

*Of course, there will always be some stock somewhere that makes money.  The point is, Roubini and Tasseb are not talking about isolated stocks, but about a whole (screwed up) system.