Two Three columns today about how Sandy Hook has turned into a peg for all sorts of unrelated cultural, political, and policy agendas from Governor Huckabee and the Tea Party on the right to Karen Lewis and Diane Ravitch on the left: Carl Cannon in Real Clear Politics here and Campbell Brown in Daily Beast here. [Update: WSJs David Feith here*]
I honestly don’t know what to say to someone who doesn’t appreciate how inappropriate all this is. In our part of the world it’s not the specific issues (charters, Teach For America, teachers unions and so forth), reasonable people can disagree about them. It’s the rush to turn this tragedy into just one more talking point about this or that having nothing to do with what happened that’s so sad. And sadder still that people are so wound up these various battles they can’t even step back and see that. Yesterday a colleague asked me what he should say to an employee, whose family is directly involved in Newtown, who was very upset by what Karen Lewis and Diane Ravitch were doing with the tragedy. I don’t have a good answer.
Speaking of answers, arming teachers or putting armed security in schools isn’t a good one to what happened at Sandy Hook. Michele McLaughlin of Knowledge Alliance, and before that the American Federation of Teachers and Teach For America discusses that at TIME with Deborah Gorman-Smith.
*AFT President Randi Weingarten statement in the column: “Tragedy can bring out emotional excess, which is regrettable, but understandable. At the same time anyone engaged in perpetrating the education wars rather than focusing on the families in Newtown is wrong. Can’t we all agree on a moratorium on the fight until we bury our children and teachers?”