Wonks: The Limits Of Dispassionate Policy Analysis
There's a curious chronic avoidance I sense among education pundits to taking on or even linking to the posts of top DC policy wonks Ezra Klein (Washington Post) and Matthew Yglesias (Slate), who cover many things including occasionally education policy. And so it's worth noting the publication of a curious piece in In These Times, if only to raise the topic (Programmed for Primetime).
The ITT piece is a bit mocking, as you might expect given that neither Klein nor Yglesias are particularly progressive - or at least they aren't any more. "At some point, Klein and company stopped being liberals. They even stopped being human. The wonks had become robots, ready to force enlightenment down our partisan throats."
Obviously, there are some hurt feelings here related to Klein and Yglesias's absence from the field of battle in the most recent progressive resurgence. But the piece makes a good point over all -- that objectivity and number-crunching only get you so far, that policy debates are often eclipsed by political and ideological ones, and that mainstream wonkery may make it hard to retain progressive roots.
Now if only someone could explain (or disabuse me of) my notion that the two are under-noted in the online education debate that swirls around so uselessly every day. Image via CCFlickr