A Mediocre Debate

The Post’s Answer Sheet blog today has a short piece concerning a recent live chat at the paper dealing with education issues, featuring three state governors.  At one point during an interview, the moderator asks them “how America became “so mediocre” in regard to educational outcomes”

The governor of Mississippi1 started by blaming parents. Specifically he said that our troubles began when both parents started working outside the home: “And the mom is in the work place.”.

Ok, that makes for a nice, sensationalistic headline that draws traffic, links, and comments (almost 2000 the last time I looked).

However, the real story here is not that yet another regressive politician yearns to return to a black and white, Ozzie and Harriet2 view of American life that really only existed on TV screens.

This is the state of discussion these days.

A reporter declares the American education system to be universally mediocre (or broken or failing or [insert negative phase here]) without ever explaining the claim, everyone nods in agreement, and a panel of politicians proceed to generate sound bites blaming teachers, tests, Finland, video games, moms in the work place – basically anything other than than their own antiquated policies.


1 Certainly a shining center of academic excellence in this country…

2 Look it up, kiddies.

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