Links I liked…

venn matters

  • As far as intellectual crushes go, I am a huge fan of Bill Easterly – listen to his EconTalk podcast on benevolent autocrats
  • The richest 300 people in the world have the same wealth as the poorest 3000,000,000 (3 billion) – absolutely illuminating and truly scary 3 minute infographic video
  • Sad day for LGBT rights in Nigeria as President Goodluck Jonathan bans same-sex marriage in the country.
  • Political prophet Alistair Sparks writes an insightful piece on what another 5 years of Zuma means for the ANC and South Africa.
  • Chart showing Africa from an LGBT rights perspective. Just another way that South African is different to the rest of Africa – it respects the rights of minorities irrespective of the size of the majority.
  • US parents are 2.5 times more likely to ask Google “Is my son gifted?” than “Is my daughter gifted” – NYT article showing the ongoing legacy of gender inequality and patriarchy.
  • Causal evidence that secular education reduces religiosity among girls in Turkey – no surprises there folks (see NBER paper here).
  • SAFM Forum at 8 – the podcast from my radio discussion on “Back to School
  • Given the jamboree around the matric 2013 results I found myself on TV a few times this month 1) School dropout in South Africa: 550,000 – eNCA, 2) Teacher content knowledge in South Africa – News24, 3) Mathematics literacy in South Africa – News24. Fun times!
  • Mweli Mathanzima (acting DDG for curriculum) wrote a response to my article (ANA results are not comparable), his article titled “No ANA mess, they’re a success.” I’m still contemplating if I want to right a reply to his reply but I think I will wait for the inspiration to hit. The main criticism I have (encapsulated in the title of my article) is that the Minister should not be claiming “improvements” using ANA changes year on year – something that Mweli does not address. The question is pretty straight-forward, does he agree or disagree with the Minister that the ANA results prove that things are improving? The short answer is that they CANNOT be used to show improvements or deterioration because they aren’t psychometrically calibrated to be compared year on year…anyways I’ll probably write a short reply sometime.
  • The DBE has called for comment on its new policy “Incremental introduction of African Languages Policy” and asked for comment. If you feel strongly about the potential upsides/downsides then the call for public comment closes on the 12th of Feb.

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