I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Stronger Than The Swarm

Regular readers have probably noticed two things about this blog:

1) Lately, the posts are longer and much more likely to be filled with statistical stuff.

2) I've had it with arguing with reformy hacks.

This is probably something I should have said as part of a New Years post, but what the hell... I had a lot of time to think today while pushing the snow blower around, and it's become increasingly clear that I want to change direction in 2016:

As I said before: the reformy side really has nothing. If the best response you have to charter skepticism -- which is not, by the way, the same as saying there is no place for choice or charter schools in our education system; it's actually saying that the claims of vastly superior results in the charter sector are largely nonsense -- is to make thinly veiled accusations of racism, you're really running on fumes.

If the best response you have to the legitimate concerns of parents who, among other actions, opt their children out of standardized tests is to say that they are merely coddling their kids, you really have nothing to contribute to the conversation about America's schools.

If you spend your days beating up teachers unions while ignoring the serious problem of inadequate and inequitable funding for our schools, you're not someone I want to waste my time on.

So this blog is, I hope, entering a new phase. Or maybe it's more accurate to say I'm going to try to spend more time writing things I myself would like to read: evidence-based, rigorous, serious discussions about American education, using publicly available data and other forms of evidence to fight off the tired, ignorant platitudes that have come to dominate the conversations about this nation's schools.

Reformsters: if you want to "swarm" me while I do this, go ahead. At this point, I really couldn't care less. I am not going to waste my time debating you on your facile meandering. If you want me to engage, step up; otherwise, you're just not worth it.

Let's start by spending the next week or two looking at the New Jersey suburbs, and why almost everything you've heard about school "choice" is probably wrong. Stand by...

Help is on the way...

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