February 27, 2008

social science research

1. A lovely article by someone I'm reading in my grad school ed policy class about the limits of social science research: to wit, the data are unreliable and crude, the rules and structures governing the system don't stay the same across place and time, and randomized field trials are usually impossible. And yet I still want to get a Ph.D. in social science.

2. A consequently unreliable social science article about the correlation between socioeconomic segregation and achievement. I'll read it in more depth and perhaps have more to say about it later. On an anecdotal basis, I think that at my school the high concentration of people who expect little mainstream economic success and thus little need for academic success works to reinforce a prevailing norm of underachievement. The same students, in an atmosphere where most of their peers were focused on achievement, might behave very differently.

Being sick apparently makes me write.

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