State Of Play

Conor Williams with a good look at where things stand on ed policy in D.C. right now. And Politics K-12 writes-up the leadership transition at NLNS.

15 Replies to “State Of Play”

  1. Great comment on Conor’s column:

    efavorite wrote:
    What Conor Williams didn’t say:

    I’m a Teach-for-America alum who got my college loans and a Masters in teaching partially or fully paid by the government for teaching 2 years in a disadvantaged school.

    Now I’m working on a PhD in Government at Georgetown. According to my listing* there,
    My research interests include:
    “pluralism, the history of liberal institutions, American political thought, American pragmatism, foundational and anti-foundational political rhetoric, intersubjective ethics, tensions between multiculturalism and localism (also the role of elites in liberal politics), emerging democratic societies, and the proper role of religion in political regimes (especially democracies). I am also interested in such thinkers as Michael Oakeshott, Alexis de Tocqueville, Reinhold Niebuhr, G.W.F. Hegel, Martin Heidegger, Jim Ceaser, William James, and John Dewey.”

    Please note that “education” is not mentioned once here, and only the very last “thinker” mentioned, John Dewey, distinguished himself in the field of education.

    After using government resources to fund my own education, I’m now using my influence as “America’s Next Great Pundit” (the second one to be a Teach for America alum – Rhee’s ex-husband was the first )* to pressure the Mayor, whom I voted against, to bribe me to stay in DC so my commute won’t be so bad when I get a think-tank job upon completing my Ph.D.

    * references in the order mentioned above

  2. Chris Smyr Says:
    January 7th, 2011 at 7:41 pm
    efavorite succeeds at misinformed ad hominem proving nothing. You need better role models, Phil.

    I’m still mad at the Marlboro Man for calling me an asshole.

  3. I’m glad that once more Phil has called attention to an important travesty. Actually, in this case, two travesties. First, the government providing financial assistance to teachers who choose to teach poor children. What a terrible, terrible thing. Shame!

    Second, the Washington Post publishing columns on its op-ed page from doctoral candidates in political theory with a broad base in philosophy. What are they thinking? This is why I get my news from Terre Haute.

  4. No problem, edconsumer.
    You left off the bit though that a perfidious montebank like Conor would become the state secretary of education.

    PS I’m glad I know a few TFAs and Teaching Fellows.
    Otherwise, observing Chris, Conor, Michelle Rhee, Kevin Huffman, Wendy Kopp et. al. would lead me to believe that they are the stereotypical liberal know-it-all. The nattering nabobs of negativity as Patrick Buchanan prompted Spiro Agnew to quip.

    You don’t find them in Terre Haute.

  5. The epithet about nattering nabobs was coined by Bill Safire, who later regretted it, at least on stylistic grounds. No word on that from Pat or Spiro.

  6. So I point out you’re an idiot, and that makes me a know-it-all? If it were that easy! I’ll go ahead tell my orals committee that I already know everything, and that we can skip the exams.

  7. I’ll vouch on your behalf, Chris.
    I’ll let them know that you know it all, if you know what I mean.

    BTW, are you heading out this way for the 20th anniversary of Teach For Awhile.
    Wendy plans a big shindig.
    She even has Justin Beiber making an appearance.
    I guess that’s to keep up the teaching is sexy movement.

    However, I don’t think Wendy will have her alum show their noblesse oblige by doing a teach-in at any of the poor performing schools in DCPS or the nearby suburbs.

  8. Thanks, Art.
    Pat Buchanan hosted Crossfire with Tom Braden on the local WRC radio back in the late 70s and early 80s. I remember the p[hrase being mentioned, and I recall Pat taking ownership.

    Here’s a few of their other quips:
    “pusillanimous pussyfooters”,
    “hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history”

  9. I did think the op-ed was tin-eared. After all, what DC readers are going to care if this TFA alum threatens to not live in DC. TFA, for all its strengths as a program, has a built-in “love you and leave you” aspect, so this article only reinforces that transience. We never thought he’d stay, so it’s no big loss.

  10. ^ The first criticizing comment that doesn’t sound completely nutso. Thanks.

    I thought that the article was more about Gray and the edu-climate in DC than Conor’s given example of where he should live. It’s not like he is the only one pondering questions of how Gray will perform or if schools there will get better.

    Also, I disagree with your take on TFA’s transience. Isn’t that true of all young folks who take up a job in a new place, and more specifically for new teachers?

  11. The former urban educator now plans to be a former D.C. resident if the mayor disappoints him on one issue?!?! Grow up. We don’t need those sorts of wimps in schools serving kids who have really suffered.

  12. RE: John Thompson-

    Reading and math teachers now plan to be former reading and math teachers if one portion of their evaluation is based on a measure of their impact on children?!?! Grow up. We don’t need those sorts of wimps in schools serving kids who have really suffered.

  13. John:

    1) That “one issue” will reflect generally on district/school/teacher performance. Hopefully not more needs to be said in explaining to you why this is important…

    2) He’s definitely not the first one to choose where to raise a family based on the availability of good schools, so give the guy a break.

  14. Phil, Michelle Rhee is a liberal? So weird. Her detractors keep writing she is a conservative. Same with Wendy Kopp come to think of it. This place is so confusing! I can’t even keep track of why I’m supposed to hate the reform crowd any more.

    Though I get the Conor piece, John. God forbid that people who live in major cities start deciding whether to buy homes based on whether the schools are good. If those wimps start caring too much about one issue, like whether schools are good, the next thing you know, they will start asking questions. Ugh, I hate questions.

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