Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Learning Disabled Education Expert (Kozol)

I've expressed my views that Jonathan Kozol is a liar,menace and a crackpot many times before (see: and, so I won't repeat them and will instead let The Education Gadfly and the article it links to (below) say it for me:

Kozol review

Gadfly was still a bit groggy from the holidays when this fine piece about Jonathan Kozol appeared in the Weekly Standard. The article traces Kozol's development, from failed novelist (an excerpt of his book Fume of Poppies: "The white of her belly was lovely and gay. The fire beat at us."), to teacher in an affluent Boston suburb, to Communist sympathizer, to angry old man. It's a sad story, really, about someone who has talents but simply squandered them, preferring to rail against private schools and those many decent people he perceives to be racists than to actually help improve the squalid state of inner-city classrooms. (Others have of course noted this before.) Is he still on that partial hunger-strike, or whatever it was?

"The Learning Disabled Expert," by Jonathan Leaf, Weekly Standard, December 31, 2007

Here's the summary of the article:

As we have seen, Kozol dislikes the current public schools, is against choice and competition among schools, disdains vocational instruction, and sees state-mandated testing of students as misleading, unhelpful, and biased. He is a deeply frustrated man. We live in a prosperous society that rejects his goal of radical social reform, and so Kozol spends his life promoting resentment. Confronted by facts and evidence that stand contrary to his ideals, he seeks to poison the wells of argument by throwing in intellectually dishonest terms like apartheid and by emphasizing half-baked notions for which there is no consistent evidence.

A wealth of research now exists arguing for school choice, and decades of failure by a unionized, monopoly public school system presents a clear message about what needs to be done to improve our schools and to better the lives of those rich and poor who attend them. But Jonathan Kozol, like so many true believers, is past examining the facts. Ironically, he is an education expert incapable of learning.


 The Learning Disabled Education Expert
Jonathan Kozol's crusade to prevent school reform.
by Jonathan Leaf
12/31/2007, Volume 013, Issue 16

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