The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

A Kinsleyan Gaffe?

Posted on | May 20, 2011 | 5 Comments

Michael Kinsley once defined a gaffe as when a politician accidentally tells the truth. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

“Unfortunately there are some parents who just come from — they never had a formal education, and they don’t understand the value of education.”

Which is certainly true of “some parents,” although it is unclear whether this observation justifies the closure of 22 poorly performing schools in New York City, which is the argument Bloomberg was trying to make.

I think it might be more accurate to say that people who haven’t had much formal education are ill-equipped to judge whether or not their child’s school is doing a good job. And I think it is also true that poor people don’t have many options if their local school is doing a lousy job.

Furthermore, I’ll say this: Education is an individual achievement. You teach a class, but learning is always up to the individual student.

Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg should consult with Herman Cain, who was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in the Archer High School Class of 1963.


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