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Filling Space At The Quick & The Ed

| 4 Comments

The use of interns is a delicate thing, which is why by and large I've limited the ones I've worked with to morning news roundups and describing events they attend -- extremely useful tasks but not ones that presume any inside knowledge or policy chops. Not so The Quick & The Ed, which is letting interns post commentary like this recent post, which begins "Flipping through my 10th grade U.S. history text book..." Who has their 10th grade history text nearby? A junior at Brown does. Which is fine -- it's just not something I'm expecting to see published by a relatively new organization that's trying to be taken seriously.

4 Comments

I like the EdSector blogs as a rule, but one thing really irks me: the lack of a comments area. Seems like a copout - the internet's supposed to be about conversation, isn't it?

good point -- i've bothered andy rotherham about this several times but he doesn't believe in comments and claims there are all sorts of unsolvable logistical and liability problems.

maybe the interns could monitor the comments.

Not only do I have my 10th grade history textbook within an arm's reach, I have scores - literally - of textbooks on dozens of topics on my shelves. Some of them were my grandparents' and some, like the 1912 edition Bagster-Collins' "First Book in German" [Teachers College, Columbia] I can't attribute to anyone past or present. These sit on the same shelves as newly-released texts.

I use old textbooks regularly to gauge changes in the presentation of content. Few processes are more instructive in curricular analysis than pulling several texts and seeing how the same content changed [or hasn't] over generations.

While it took quite a while [~84 years?] for the scharfes S to change in the German textbooks I'm looking at, Ms. Goldberg finds herself in a position to contrast a proposed curricular change to the particular curriculum to which she was exposed. Her circumstance is unique enough to give a perspective that others like myself can't provide.

That you find the direct comparison of texts irrelevant explains a great deal - I've long thought that your education writing is heavy on politics and light on scholarship. You'd do well to pick up a few habits of productive scholars. Your policy analysis could only be sweetened by a stronger commitment to knowledge of curriculum.

Please, though - calling out an intern at Q&tEd is petty, childish and, in this case, entirely unwarranted. I'm an education blogger who's more acerbic than most, but I always make sure there's 1) a legitimate reason for criticism; 2) analysis of why the content is problematic; and 3) a solution better than what I've read.

Here you've failed to establish grounds for the first condition and ignored entirely the second and third. Why does it matter that the author is an intern? What, specifically, is wrong with her points? What would she have to do to write something of value on the subject?

If anything, this post shows me that Q&tEd is more in touch with the practical consequences of education changes than most blogs.

And, since you've lowered the bar of discourse here, I'll hop over it with flair: I do hope The Quick and the Ed. gets to the point where they can post about "Power Couples" in education and still be taken seriously - or, dare I say, whose "hottie" is hotter?

thanks for your post, matthew --
your sentiments are shared by others, i'm sure. however, i'm not calling out the intern but rather those who are supervising her, and i feel like like what's lowbrow in this blog is earned from 20 years in the field and years of blogging. still, you and others may disagree and that's fine. thanks again for writing.

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