We all know that over a quarter of all children in the US do not graduate high school, and of the ones that do, fewer than one third go on to graduate with a college degree. Do the math; about a quarter of all children end up with college degrees.
The painting is described thus: "Ludwig van Beethoven was recognised as a child prodigy. He worked at the age of 13 as organist, pianist/harpsichordist and violist at the court in Bonn, and had published three early piano sonatas. This portrait in oils is the earliest authenticated likeness of Beethoven." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Knowing this, would it be better to just test for the brightest 25% of kids in preschool, and then focus our resources on them?
Doesn’t that very idea send shivers up your spine?
Yet, according to an article in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Educational and Instructional Studies in the World, this is exactly what a number of nations are doing in order to push national development forward.
In their article, Drawing for Early Education of Creative Thinking of Children of Different Cultures, Dr. Ghazi Chakroun and Dr. Lina Abu Safieh point to the tests used in Saudi Ariabia, Egypt, Tunisia, and France “as a strategic bet for a better future.” According to the article, tests are increasingly able to distinguish the cognitively talented at a very early age, independent of language, gender, and culture.
Imagine a national policy to give up on 75% of a country’s five year olds.
The second item is just as scary, but in a different way.
At the NY Technology Meetup this week, there was a really cool demonstration of Tripl.com. You sign up for the service, which is free. Tripl then goes through all your Facebook friends’ Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, and Instagram pictures and posts (and possibly other social networks) to generate travel logs. You can follow their trips on maps with markers for all their pictures, you can see links to historical information about where they’ve been, and you can read their posts about the highlights about the trips. The site then aggregates the data about those travels so that it can be sold to advertisers.
This means that if a friend of yours signs up for the service, your data is accessed and then sent to Tripl clients. And if one company has figured out how to do this, doesn’t that mean others have and/or will? And what control do you really have over how that data is used?
One attendee asked the founders of Tripl, “What if we don’t want our data shared or sold this way?”
And the answer, “Don’t use social networks.”