Tuesday, August 20, 2013
I've long admired NY Times columnist Paul Krugman. During the insanity and excesses of GW's reign, he was a voice in the wilderness, a voice of reason, experience, and science. He always knew why things worked and did not work, and gave copious example to support his economic ideas. I found him incredibly persuasive.
But yesterday he wrote a rather unbelievable blog in support of Bill Keller's Common Core ad posing as a NY Times column. Apparently the right wing is bad, and anything they say is therefore also bad. It doesn't matter if they happen to be correct, and judging by both Keller and Krugman, we ought not even to delve one centimeter below the surface of governmental assertions. Of course this was different when Bush was in charge. But now that the government is run by Democrats, whatever they say must be correct.
I fail to see how this differentiates them from the Tea Partiers they ostensibly deplore. I fail to see how this differentiates them from Rush Limbaugh's dittoheads, who accept whatever preposterous nonsense he spews. In fact, I fail to see how people who think like this measure up to what Common Core claims to wish to instill in our students--critical thinking. It's kind of amazing that an alleged government drive to promote critical thinking entails telling journalists how to cover the story, but that's America in 2013.
I posted a response last night, which so far has not been approved by Krugman's crack blog team. Forgive me for twice mentioning that Common Core has never been field-tested, but when you see fit to impose a program on millions of American children, it seems like a fairly basic precaution. Of course, neither Keller nor Krugman bothered researching such frivolous details. Here's what I told Dr. Krugman:
As a longtime reader and admirer, I’m very disappointed that you know so little about Common Core, which has never been field tested or researched. I’m even more disappointed that you’ve done so little research about who funded and pushed it. It’s not educators. I see no evidence you’re familiar with Common Core, or even the Obama agenda for American education. I suggest you read experts like Diane Ravitch or Linda Darling-Hammond rather than taking the word of Arne Duncan, who failied miserably in Chicago and is taking his program nationwide.
I suggest you think very seriously about high-stakes testing, which invariably closes schools in high poverty neighborhoods, and that you think very seriously about whether test scores tell the whole story about education. I suggest you look into the science behind value-added rating of teachers–because there isn’t any. I suggest you examine the way Common Core was researched and field tested–because it wasn’t.
I respectfully suggest that Obama has taken GW Bush’s education programs and not only extended them, but made them worse. You may argue that right-wingers oppose Common Core because it’s the program of Barack Obama, and you may be right.
However, I must tell you that whatever may motivate them, many of their arguments are correct. I expect much better from you, Mr. Krugman.
What would you like to tell him?