Here's Jonah Goldberg approaching self-parody:
Yes, yes, the horrid state of American education is an American problem, and to that extent we're all to blame in some abstract sort of way. But is there another major area of American public policy that is more screwed up and more completely the fault of one ideological side? Which party do the teachers' unions support overwhelmingly? What is the ideological outlook of the bureaucrats at the Department of Education? Which party claims it "cares" more about education and demagogues any attempt by the other party to reform it? Who has controlled the large inner city school systems for generations? What is the ideological orientation of the ed school racket? Whose preferred teaching methods have been funded and whose have been ridiculed?
You know the answer to all of these questions.
And yet to listen to the debate this week, you would think this is all a bipartisan problem because Republicans share the blame for refusing to fund schools enough.
There are two problems with this canard. 1) Bush and the GOP congress massively increased education spending and 2) the problems with our education system have almost nothing to do with how much money we spend.
There is much truth to his criticism of the left and its approach to education, although Obama's break from orthodoxy on teacher accountability is ignored (even Rupert Murdoch gives Obama credit on that). But Goldberg begins the passage by insisting that problems in American education are completely the fault of the left... and concludes by noting that the GOP, when it last controlled the White House and the legislature, massively increased education spending without actually improving the system. And this is offered as a defense of the Republican record on education!
As for ideologically conservative follies in education, Goldberg should read up on "intelligent design," and ponder the education systems in locales like Alabama and Mississippi, perennially among the worst performers relative to other states. But that would force him to acknowledge and criticize the religious fanatics in the GOP base, and that he cannot and will not do - for purely political and partisan reasons.
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