David Brooks asserts that ‘America Should Be in the Middle of a Schools Revolution’.

Political Observer checks Mr. Brooks’ sources

Mr. Brookes begins here:

“The coronavirus caused by far the biggest disruption in the history of American education,” Meira Levinson and Daniel Markovits wrote in The Atlantic last year.

Things have not reverted back to normal as Covid has gradually lost its grip on American life. Today’s teachers and students are living with a set of altered realities, and they may be for the rest of their lives:

The essay by Meira Levinson and Daniel Markovits is behind a Pay Wall, so unavailable to most readers. And Mr. Brooks declaims the bad news in the starkest of terms, it might even be named hysterical.

Mr. Brooks 319 word synopsis of the problems follows: I have taken liberties!


fell by 1.1 million student

New Stanford-led research finds that 26 percent of that decline…

the National Assessment of Educational Progress…

Researchers calculated that the decline in math skills alone will lead to $900 billion in lower future earnings over the course of students’ lifetimes. …

According to one preliminary estimate, 16 million students were chronically absent during the 2021-22 school year…

In New York City, about 41 percent of public school students were chronically absent that year…. 

Surging inequality. As Robin Lake and Travis Pillow write in a Brookings Institution article, “American students are experiencing a K-shaped recovery, in which gaps between the highest- and lowest-scoring students, already growing before the pandemic, are widening into chasms.”

This last entry might be comic, if Mr. Brooks wasn’t a War Mongering Neo-Con, anxious to burnish his non-existent notion, of caring for the welfare of any human beings , as this essay demonstrates:

‘The American Identity Crisis’ of July 15, 2021, is pure War Mongering: featuring Public Moralizing, by a man who has never served, nor fought in a War: but is utterly enthusiastic for others to make that sacrifice, to American Exceptionalism, even as it reaches the point of absolute failure.

Then came Iraq and Afghanistan, and America lost faith in itself and its global role — like a pitcher who has been shelled and no longer has confidence in his own stuff. On the left, many now reject the idea that America can be or is a global champion of democracy, and they find phrases like “the indispensable nation” or the “last best hope of the earth” ridiculous. On the right the wall-building caucus has given up on the idea that the rest of the world is even worth engaging.

Many people around the world have always resisted America’s self-appointed role as democracy’s champion. But they have also been rightly appalled when America sits back and allows genocide to engulf places like Rwanda or allows dangerous regimes to threaten the world order.

The Afghans are the latest witnesses to this reality. The American bungles in Afghanistan have been well documented. We’ve spent trillions of dollars and lost thousands of our people. But the two-decade strategy of taking the fight to the terrorists, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, has meant that global terrorism is no longer seen as a major concern in daily American life. Over the past few years, a small force of American troops has helped prevent some of the worst people on earth from taking over a nation of more than 38 million — with relatively few American casualties. In 1999, no Afghan girls attended secondary school. Within four years, 6 percent were enrolled, and as of 2017 the figure had climbed to nearly 40 percent.

More of Mr. Brooks’ sources

as Nat Malkus pointed out in National Affairs, by 2022

National Affairs is Neo-Conservative.

This first sentence of this paragraph ‘This moment of disruption should be a moment of reinvention’ reeks not of any Neo-Conservative, except when she is attempting to misrepresent Carl Schmitt as one of their own?

This moment of disruption should be a moment of reinvention. It should be a moment when leaders rise up and say: Let’s get beyond stale debates over charters, vouchers, gender neutral bathrooms and the like. We’re going to rethink the nuts and bolts of how we teach in America.

There are no ‘stale debates’, just debates. And note the mechanistic frame of the last sentence: ‘We’re going to rethink the nuts and bolts of how we teach in America. Education is a humanist endeavorlook to Plato, Socrates, Aristotle ? It is not, nor can it ever be mechanistic- in his ideological frenzy Brooks, doesn’t loose his way, but is mired in the mechanism of his own construction!

Let me end my comment here on the question of EdChoice :

EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, is an American education reform organization headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was founded in 1996 by economist spouses Milton and Rose D. Friedman. The organization’s mission is to advance “school choice for all children” nationwide.

School Choice = Charter Schools, as the means to destroy the very power Teachers Unions!

Political Observer


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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