‘Why Is American Teaching So Bad?’

Jonathan Zimmerman, writing for the NY Review of Books:

Computers have a much wider range than these earlier machines, of course, and some American teachers have obviously put them to very good use. But the countries that are outpacing us at school, like Japan and Finland, are noticeably low-tech in their classrooms; they recognize that it’s the teacher that counts, not the technology. In America, by contrast, we’re always looking for the next gadget to improve—and, one suspects, to supplant—our beleaguered teaching profession.

Reading about teaching just makes me depressed these days.

‘Barbie F*cks It Up Again’

Pamela Ribon, on Gizmodo:

Despite having ruined her own laptop, her sister’s laptop, and the library’s computers, not to mention Steven and Brian’s afternoon, she takes full credit for her game design— only to get extra credit and decide she’s an awesome computer engineer! “I did it all by myself!”

Flip the book and you can read “Barbie: I can be an Actress,” where Barbie saves the day by filling in for the princess in Skipper’s school production of “Princess and the Pea.” She ad-libs and smiles her way through her lines, and charms the entire audience. Standing ovation, plenty of praise. At no point did she need anybody’s help. She didn’t even need lines! Just standing there being Barbie was enough for everyone in attendance. See, actors? It’s not that hard. Even Barbie can do it.

Holy fuck. I, honestly, cannot believe how horrible this is.

It’s like how truth is scarier than fiction, and somehow the truth is that someone actually wrote all the shit in this book.