A shadow and a candle

by Arjun Janah, July 2013

As the long, dread shadow of Detroit falls over the cities, a flickering candle is lit in Bridgeport, Connecticut.Will we allow it to be blown out, as Arne Duncan and so many who have power, wealth and access to the media would wish?

The requirement that a school superintendent should have basic education credentials (not to speak of teaching experience) appears to be common sense — but not in the bizarre world we have entered.

Let us salute the parents of Bridgeport and the Working Families Party.Let us remember that the ones who got rid of Mayor Fenty and Michelle Rhee in D.C. were not the “social progressives” nor the elites of Washington, but the middle class and poor, mostly African Americans, who were most directly affected by what was happening in the schools and saw the problems most clearly.

This is not to say that the situation prior to Rhee in D.C. or that in Bridgeport prior to this superintendent was not grave. But should cancer be treated with medicine fit for toothache — or vice versa?

Before beginning or continuing any treatment, the validity of the diagnostic hypothesis — judged by the observational and experimental evidence for and against it, needs to be seriously considered.

— Arjun

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