Teaching Controversy Has Always Been Controversial

Just in time for you Thanksgiving dinner table debate – it’s the new episode of Have You Heard! When a brawl breaks out over the bird this year, don’t just blame politics—blame the schools. You see, coping with contention is a learned skill—a skill that our schools have been actively avoiding for over a century. In this episode, we talk with historian Jon Zimmerman about the teaching of controversial issues: past, present, and future. It’s Have You Heard, episode #30! Note: full transcript coming soon.

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Is Education Reform Like Crack for Columnists?

Columnist Nicholas Kristof on the phone with a representative of EdReform, Inc.

Much of the the reporting on the Chicago teachers strike has been of a surprisingly non-idiotic quality—especially by journalists who took the unusual step of going to Chicago and interviewing people who teach, send their children to public schools or attend such schools themselves.

But what to do if one is a prominent national columnist who is unable to leave one’s desk due to the extremely large number of followers to whom he must tweet throughout the day? Such was the fate of one Nicholas Kristof, who, apparently unable to make time even to Google “Chicago education reform, history of,” (try this experiment yourself at home, bold reader) managed to produce a column at once staggeringly misinformed, condescending and inane. Continue reading →