Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I Don't Understand Education, but I Know What I Like

I don't much read the Washington Post, but every now and then someone sends me or links to another Jay Matthews story and I marvel at how someone so uninformed can make a living writing about education. This week Jay is happy that unions are slowing their opposition to charters.

Perhaps no one told Jay that the UFT runs several charters. Perhaps no one mentioned to him that the UFT was actively partnered with Green Dot Schools, bringing one of its no-tenure, no-seniority rights sweat shops to the Big Apple. In that case, it's understandable that he can make the preposterous suppostion that part-time AFT President Randi Weingarten's openness to charters is something new.

Another thing that wowed Jay was the revalation that the union would associate with Eli Broad. Perhaps he's unaware that a few years back they made a deal on merit pay (the one the UFT claimed was not merit pay). Perhaps he's unaware that Broad gave UFT charter schools a million bucks the preceding year.

Certainly Jay's readers are unaware of all these things, as they make the egregious error of depending on him for information. Jay thinks Ms. Weingarten and the "reformers" are natural enemies. Odd, then, that they've been partying together for years.

Jay is highly impressed that Ms. Weingarten would take money from corporate billionaires, and well he should be. It's not easy to be an education columnist who knows so little about teachers and education. It certainly makes it easier when there are folks who know as little as he does tossing around billions to support their caprices.

More remarkable, though, is that in these times, Americans think folks like Matthews, who doesn't care for job protection, reasonable working hours or unions, know what's good for their children. Matthews can't be bothered to do the most perfunctory research on what he writes columns about. As long as Americans follow his lead, they'll find his ramblings utterly credible.

Still, you gotta give the guy credit for riding that gravy train while fools like us actually have to go to work.

Thanks to Norm
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