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August 28, 2004


Vinayak Nagaraj


I hope you sent the Times this response. Sounds like they need a good wake up call. Responsible journalism just doesn't seem to exist anymore. Perhaps the man needs a kick in his ***, and a copy of "Economics" to set things right.

Uhm Mr. Freedman...

That the California schools closed down is a good sign that the market forces are indeed operating just the way they should be.


Exactly, Vinayak. People in this debate who don't know what a market is always think the closing of some specific charter school (or 60 schools, in Freedman's quote) spells disaster for the very idea of charter schools. But the real problem with failing traditional public schools has been that **they don't close.** Ever.

This is the whole point.

Example: It took the better part of a decade for public schools in California to realize theat the "whole word" reading method wasn't working. Huge numbers of kids weren't learning how to read. It went on for years and years. If competitive pressures had forced administrators to acknowledge this problem more quickly, things would have turned out much better, even if that meant some schools had to close.

Alas, I have been told that the Times almost never publishes scathingly critical letters like mine, whether they have merit or not. But at least there's the blogosphere. I'm hoping that this post (and critiques elsewhere online) will get some play.

It's getting harder and harder for major newpapers to pass off pretentious posturing and plain old bullshit as "analysis" without being exposed.

Here's to the bloggers...


Phil, if you pen a good letter I'd be happy to sign my name to it. Probably wouldn't help you very much but this sort of idiocy drives me nuts.


Go get 'em, boy. I used to read the NYT every day when I lived in NY, feeling kinda smug about the intelligent language I was reading while folks in Kansas City were stuck with a daily 7-word summary on Europe. Now that I have been on the Internet, I wouldn't ever buy the NYT if it weren't for their excellent crossword puzzle. They, perhaps of their "newspaper of record" status, epitomize the hypocrisy of believing oneself an objective reporter entrusted with delivering truth to the public. I don't know how to make reporting better, but I do think that editors should pay more attention to obvious bias figleafed by regurgitated spin [metaphors in a blender, sorry], as you pointed out so well.



Glad to hear it annoys all of you as much as it does me. I did look into writing a letter to the Times, but get this: They allow a maximum of 150 words. (My post above is about 2000 words.) Can't begin to tell this story in 150 words. Back to blogging...

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