The ordinarily thoughtful New York Times opinion writer Nicholas Kristof today joined a relatively long list of columnists who tend to leave much of their reflectiveness at the door when they write about school issues (see Students Over Unions). His piece is riddled with errors and misconceptions, as I’m sure many education researchers and others will soon be describing (and I’ll add links to their posts here). Of course, I also have many “The Best…” lists offering ample evidence contradicting his main points (especially on value added assessments and the Myth Of “Five (Or Three) Great Teachers In A Row”).
I’ve written about this problem before — Why Do So Many Ordinarily Thoughtful Columnists “Lose It” When They Write About Schools?
But the must-read post on this topic is the one that Robert Pondiscio wrote in reaction to that post that I wrote. Check out When Bad Ideas Happen to Good Columnists.