"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, December 05, 2008

David Brooks Offers His Arne Duncan Mytho-mercial

David Brooks took advantage of Paul Krugman's absence at the NYTimes today to plug Arne Duncan for Secretary of Education, whose work in Chicago has shown that he truly came to replace public education, not to improve it. Duncan definitely has a lean and hungry look, and this week he has turned up in DC having coffee with the overstuffed Margaret Spellings, while smiling a lot.

David Brooks's idea of a bold education reform is more of the same testing insanity that has made the testing-technology complex deliriously rich in the past eight years, while making anxious American public school children less able to think and more interested in anything but school.

If Mr. Obama is committed to moving backwards to a time when the most that public schooling could do was to "rake a few geniuses from the rubbish," as Jefferson would have it, then the continued stupidifying corporatization of public education is just the ticket--and either Arne or Joel is entirely capable of leading the charge. We see what the geniuses of Wall Street and "market mechanisms" have done for the market, specifically, and the economy in general--just imagine what they might do for a field of endeavor such as education for which they have even LESS understanding and capability.

If, however, Mr. Obama is interested in making the Obama-Biden Plan worth more than the monitor I am reading it from, then he should choose a Secretary from among the candidates who had the foresight to put together such a plan--and not from the usual suspects of tired politicians and distracted empire builders who know almost as little about schooling as David Brooks.


  1. Anonymous11:58 AM

    Arne Duncan is just another grinning Edu-Nazi with a Final Solution for Public Education.

    That is not an exaggeration, because it is literally and Empirically true.

    And for Ms. Spellings, I recommend
    an "Ann Coulter Creme Brulet".

    Just kidding ofcourse (just like Coulter was).

    Who needs Public Schools anyway--Surely
    not Americans?!


  2. I still remember when David Brooks had to wake up his family to see Sadam Hussein's statue come down. I still remember this though I don't think David Brooks does any more. I also liked his book about what the red America thinks. I find it impressive how one little elite in the middle of blue Manahattan can write so authentically about real red America. He's just one more disgrace of the New York Times which continues on its descent to catch up to the New York Post.