Competition vs Excellence in Schools

One of my favourite commentators is back on his hobby horse again this morning. I am referring to Dr Kevin Donnelly’s piece Give academic excellence in state schools a sporting chance in The Age this morning.
Dr Donnelly opines that

“Competition and excellence in sport is acceptable; unfortunately, the same incentive for academically able students is sadly lacking [in Victoria].”

One of the consistent fallacies in Donelly’s diatribes is the equation of competition and excellence. (He also likes to measure excellence on a single measure – graded assessment – and deny the opportunity for excellence to all but a small percentage of students who fit the academic mould.)
Rather than promoting absolute excellence, competition in academic endeavour almost always discourages it.

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Making Progress

This is really therpeutic – or else it’s just plain addictive.
Whichever way you like to look at it, chriscurnow.com MkII is making progress.
I’ve tweaked the templates and the style sheet. It’s getting more and more like I want it to look all th time. It’s probably about time to change the styles anyway. So I’ll be having a look at some other sites to get ideas.
None of the sub blogs (Soul Stories, Photos etc) are working yet but I’m working on that.
Next thing is to focus on security.
You could think this was a free kick to spammers [but they never read this site anyway] but here is a guide to combatting comment and trackback spam (thanks to Six Apart – publishers of Moveable Type).
Looks like I’ve still got some work to do. (I had about 20 trackback spams this morning after having the new site up for one day!!)
But hey, it’s fun.

chriscurnow.com upgrade

Whoa,
If you are seeing this it means I have finally succeeded in upgrading chriscurnow.com!
It started with a new iMac G5 to replace the ageing Titanium Powerbook which I was beginning to become concerned about. A couple of times it didn’t start up neatly and I just had that feeling that one day it just wouldn’t start up at all.
The next part of the plan was to upgrade to MT 3.x. I wasn’t even going to bother installing MT 2.x on the new machine. So, as you can see, that is running.
Before that thought there was some under the bonnet stuff. I had decided I was going to run the Mk II on mysql rather than the standard Berkely db that comes with MT. It was a couple of days work to get mySql working properly with MT. Installing mySQL was a breeze, but then there are the Perl drivers. That took a bit longer and didn’t work straight off.
In fact, I’ve had problems at every step of the way. I’m sure it was mostly because I was upgrading through a non-conventional upgrade path.
I just went to import the old entries from chriscurnow.com and MT told me it couldn’t find the import script?? Oh well, back to the FAQ and the support forums.
I’m sure all your favourite posts will be back within a couple of days.
Also, have no fear, all your favourite links and sub-blogs will be back as well. Hey, just give me some time.