Today's Arkansas Times has a great piece of reporting by Doug Smith. Smith reports that Jay P. Greene, lead education propagandist for the Manhattan Institute, the conservative think tank, has been pegged to head University of Arkansas at Fayetteville's new Department of Education Reform. It seems that Greene's previous self-published "research" to pump school privatization through vouchers will now have an actual university to sponsor the junk studies and "working papers" that have been widely cited in the Washington Times, the New York Sun, the National Review Online, and other non-academic, non-peer reviewed outlets--all of them fair and balanced, of course.
This is all interesting enough, but what make it really interesting is, as Smith points out, the money for financing (20,000,000 dollars) the new department (and its endowed chair) comes from Arkansas's other favorite son, Sam Walton and the Walton Family Foundation. Now we are talking serious money, enough to lure Greene from his Manhattan Institute digs (located somewhere outside Orlando, Florida, by the way).
One must wonder if Greene will take along his fellow academic researcher and co-author, Marcus Winters. There must be something a chief researcher can do at UA Fayetteville with a bachelors degree in political science.