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Why Mrs. Bush is Wrong About No Child Left Behind (bad analogies part 2)

In a USA Today article Mrs. Bush defended the No Child Left Behind act. Apparently she didn’t read my blog post about not using bad analogies. In the article she says, “We would never go to a doctor and say, ‘I’m sick, you can’t try to diagnose me … you can’t use any kind of test.”

What’s wrong with this analogy? Nothing, so long as you don’t mind the fact that in the analogy the students are the doctors and the eduction system is the sick patient. But actually, this is accidentally a pretty good analogy in some ways. The testing system does treat education system as sickly and makes the students work to diagnosis it. The question then becomes, why are the students the ones with qualifications, and why is the education system so unqualified? And is that even true?

Mrs. Bush explains how the US education system is failing, saying that “poor kids… make it to the fifth grade and can’t read, or make it to the ninth grade and drop out.” But what does this really say? For one it says we already know the problem. Why make the patients into the doctor, forcing them to relentlessly test the system. If we are to believe Mrs. Bush’s assessment then the issue is clearly underfunded school systems in poor communities. Well, that along with a host of other economic class related issues.

It seems most people would agree that the education system in the US needs to improve and we know where and how it is fail to live up to its potential. What remains unclear is how testing achieves that.

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Why Do Gun Control Arguments Boil Down to Silly Analogies

I read a quote on Casey Bisson’s blog of a quote from Andy Skelton’s blog. It went like this: “Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.”

A more proper analog would be that gun control is like trying to make it harder for drunk people to drive cars. Or even better, gun control is like trying to make sure people can drive safely before giving them a driver’s license. Of course that doesn’t sound so crazy so it is a lot harder to make gun control seem like a bad thing.

Personally, I think that gun ownership is stupid. Guns don’t stop crime and all it takes is looking at other countries with strict gun laws to see what the result is. It isn’t defenseless families killed by maniacs, but a safer country to live in with less violent crime. If people insist on owning guns then that is their choice, but as a country everyone in the US should take a stand and say certain people should never be allowed to buy guns: over the internet, if they have any history (ever) of mental sickness, or if they have ever been arrested. These three rules alone would likely decrease violent crime. What I find most interesting about the analogy is that it hits on something I believe people should consider, and that is that gun ownership should be a privilege just like a driver’s license is.

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