Liam Julian

Kevin Carey's latest post is about affirmative action, and most of it is sensible. I'm unsure if what you'll read here are positions that Carey has previously espoused on this topic, and I'm not going to traipse off on some fishing expedition to find out. Suffice it to say that Carey, who is a good sport for joining our podcast last week (and who has, a little Gadfly told me, even befriended ["friended," as the kids say] Thomas B. Fordham through facebook), is at least this morning on the blog-related up-and-up. But wee problems remain. He writes:

I'm in favor of racial preferences in college admissions as long as the goal is to help minority students who come from substandard K-12 schools and have to live with legacy of historical racism along with discrimination that still exists today. But somehow affirmative action has gotten turned around so that the primary justification is now that it's good for white people. [emphasis mine]

Now, look. Affirmative action hasn't just somehow changed, somehow morphed, into a policy by which privileged whites can expiate past wrongs and rid themselves of guilt. Nor has affirmative action been somehow warped such that now??its justification...

While the Washington Post's editorial page is spot-on about education reform issues, some of its reporters can't help but beat the "pity the poor little hard-working suburban over-achieving children" line. I suppose it's possible that American kids could be pressed to work too hard, but it strikes me that we're a long, long way from that being a widespread epidemic. Just ask our Education Olympics competitors.

Photo by Flickr user onurkafali.

Liam Julian

Teacher quality in Texas is "inequitable" (poorly??constructed headline, Houston Chronicle).??Mike says: Who cares?

Liam Julian

The Wall Street Journal highlights how the NEA spends its members' money. Mike Antonucci has more.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has announced a new job board on its website. MarketWatch thought it newsworthy, and so do we.

Liam Julian

Fordham is seeking a fall intern. What's it like to spend a semester with us? Our summer intern, Amy, has approved the following message, which I wrote:

My time at Fordham has been revelatory. The people are grand, the ideas are never-ending, the work is invigorating. I've had opportunities to write in the Gadfly and for this blog, and to contribute to big, important projects, such as the forthcoming Education Olympics. The office is new and fantastic: lots of glass and lime-green paint (and roof deck!) just scream "The Google of Education Think Tanks." I implore you, my peers: Don't miss out on this opportunity!

There you have it--unfiltered praise, straight from the source. Get information on interning with us here.

I was reading the Washington Post on Saturday when I came across this little piece by Democratic strategist Carter Eskew about the presidential campaign and its suddenly negative tone. Note this insight:

I once asked a famous commercial advertiser why he didn't attack his big rival, a competing laundry detergent--say that it "ruins your washing machine!" or "causes hives!" His answer: "Because I might gain temporary market advantage, but I'd devalue the whole category. Sooner or later, people would stop buying soap." That may be the main difference between political and commercial marketing: The political marketer is all about temporary advantage--the field of politics be damned.

Could the same be true of education? Is it possible that our field's endless squabbling is turning off the public? People often wonder why education is so low on the list of voters' priorities this election year. Yes, the fragile economy and war in Iraq have a lot to do with that. But I also suspect that Joe Sixpack is suffering from "education fatigue." Every election, politicians promise to fix the school system, particularly in the inner city, and as far as he can tell, nothing ever gets better. I suspect...

Liam Julian

Checker talks about his new book, Troublemaker, in a very chic-looking, new media-ish video interview.