Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

The Left’s Line On School Choice Is A Joke From The 1800s

April 29, 2014 by Andrew Quinn

In the classic Charles Dickens novel Bleak House, the reader meets a woman named Mrs. Jellyby. Mrs. Jellyby has an ordinary family, but no time for them at all. This woman has her eyes fixed on something more important.

Her real calling, she feels certain, is overseas charity work. She opines constantly about the tragic conditions in Africa. She throws herself into dubious missionary efforts that are both offensively paternalistic and completely ineffective.

The question of real-world impact hardly seems to cross Mrs. Jellyby’s mind. She derives so much purpose and pleasure from the act of meaning well that actually doing good appears irrelevant. The suffering of others is chiefly a means to self-satisfaction, not a problem to solve.

And she is blind to the pain her fixation causes. Her neglected husband is miserable. Her children run wild. Her home is a disaster. But the matriarch ignores her family’s struggles. Who has time for such worries? There are foreigners to pretend to save!

Dickens heaps scorn on this character’s crazy priorities. The reader is meant to laugh at her disinterest in the efficacy of her work and her inattention to her family.

Updating the parody
What if Dickens were rewriting this story today? The object of Mrs. Jellyby’s concern would need to change. Christianizing Africa is hardly the trendy topic du jour. He’d need another subject on which a self-appointed social justice crusader would feign expertise. Let’s say he picks public education.

How would modern Mrs. Jellyby approach American schools? We can be sure of two things. First, her own sense of self-righteousness would get priority over actual results. And second, her duties to her own family would take a backseat to her grand plans for society.

In short, a comedic case study in how not to help people would look exactly like this op-ed from the New York Times.

Professor Gautney starts by claiming that school choice exacerbates inequality. She backs up this allegation with one study that looks at the racial makeup of schools in New York. The report doesn’t cite a single student outcome. Its sole concern is old-school ethnic arithmetic.

read full article: http://thefederalist.com/2014/04/29/the-lefts-line-on-school-choice-is-a-joke-from-the-1800s/

culture, diversity, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, pandering, political correctness, public policy, racism, regulation

Advertisements

Filed under: culture, diversity, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, pandering, political correctness, public policy, racism, regulation

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: