If you haven't read the Huffpo blog of the Bill-Maher-Endorsed-Alan Grayson (otherwise known as the Proud Progressive (TM)), we highly recommend it as a humorous lesson in how the crazed liberal mind makes emotional leaps over logic to settle upon the absurd.
In his latest post, Grayson decries the state of math education in the United States. He cites a paragraph from the UK-based Economist magazine (which he calls conservative, and there is some debate about this)...
“Despite rising attainment levels,” [the Oxford study] concludes, “there has been little narrowing of longstanding and sizeable attainment gaps. Those from disadvantaged backgrounds remain at higher risks of poor outcomes.” American studies confirm the point; Dan Goldhaber of the University of Washington claims that “non-school factors,” such as family income, account for as much as 60% of a child’s performance in school.
Rather than read the rest of the Economist article, Grayson instantly "knows" what the problem is:
So because America has the fifth most unequal distribution of wealth in the entire world, America also has some of the worst math scores in the entire world. It’s as simple as 2+2=4. No wonder the 99% is angry; it’s getting to the point where a lot of us don’t even know what “99%” means.
Why should we be surprised that the poor can’t count? In Mitt Romney’s America, they don’t count.
Honestly, we can’t go on like this.
P.S. The highest math scores in the world were in China. Communist China.
Maher-Grayson ignores key points in the Economist article, and lazily concludes that the reason our children can't count is lack of unequal distribution of wealth. This, of course, ignores the fact that societies with 100% equal income redistribution suffer from such minor ailments as mass malnutrition and slave labor (North Korea, Cuba, China, and soon, Venezeula). That's a math equation we can do without in the United States.
Is Maher-Grayson implying that we should follow the example of Communist China? He certainly seems to be suffering from some "red envy." Perhaps we can find a mountainous Buddhist country to conquer and tyrannize so that Maher-Grayson feels less envious of the Chinese Horde.
Perhaps Maher-Grayson should have read the rest of the Economist article, which states, in part:
So what are the secrets of success? Though there is no one template, four important themes emerge: decentralisation (handing power back to schools); a focus on underachieving pupils; a choice of different sorts of schools; and high standards for teachers. These themes can all be traced in three places that did well in McKinsey’s league: Ontario, Poland and Saxony.
What's this? These sound like conservative educational drumbeats. And the Economist says that they work? How did Maher-Grayson miss this?
He also missed this:
Of the four chief elements of schools reform, diversity of supply is by far the most striking. From New York to Shanghai to Denmark, schools free of government control and run by non-state providers are adding quality to the mix.
Grayson misses the fact in the article he sites that choice and freedom from government control is the most striking element in student performance. It seems that Grayson is pro-choice and for individual freedom only when the choice is the killing of the innocent.
He also omits:
What is clear, however, is that the shiniest new academy will struggle without decent teachers. America has experimented at state level with merit pay and payment by results, but often in the teeth of opposition from the teachers’ unions.
It is clear that Grayson misses the point that the teacher’s unions that he supports is in direct conflict with quality education and the math scores he bemoans. Grayson should admit the progressive plan of education has been a failure or at least cite articles that do not prove his ideas wrong.
In an earlier article, called "Iowa: Just Hand Out the Prozac," Grayson attempts to chide Republicans over their nomination process and declares all Republicans insane (perhaps he wishes to put them all into re-education camps, as the Chinese do to their political undesirables). At one point, Grayson drags in one of the greatest science fiction authors of the 20th century...
By the way, I'm not the first person to notice this about the other side. Noted Nixon-hater Philip K. Dick actually wrote a novel about this in 1964, called Clans of the Alphane Moon. Except that Dick placed that story in outer space, not Iowa. Minor difference.
Grayson apparently suffers from a lack of reading comprehension as well. While Dick indeed did disdain Nixon (and I can not at all disagree with his disdain; beyond all of his well-documented failures, Nixon also enacted such decidedly anti-freedom legislation as price controls and wage freezes), Dick also had a decidededly deep distrust of all things Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (see: Man In the High Castle). One can argue that his work also exhibited disdain for the inhumananity of any tyranny, even socialist and communist ones. At any rate, to pigeonhole a genius like Dick to being a "noted Nixon-hater" is quite the cultural disservice.
I also think it's a tad ghoulish for Alan Grayson to posthumously co-opt a great writer to his "side" in order to make a political cheap shot.
Courage For Liberty,
- Mark Oxner
P.S. Maher-Grayson should perhaps consider attending some refresher courses in math, as he was once the unwitting dupe of a Ponzi scheme. Someone so desperately challenged perhaps shouldn't be making suggestions on how best to improve the math education for our children.