Apr
30
2012

What No One Said About NCLB Profiteering (Except the People Who Were Saying It)

New York Times columnist Gail Collins had a good critique of standardized testing and the No Child Left Behind law (4/28/12), weighing in on the "Pineapplegate" controversy about a bizarre question that appeared on a New York English exam. She writes: We have turned school testing into a huge corporate profit center, led by Pearson, for whom $32 million is actually pretty small potatoes. Pearson has a five-year testing contract with Texas that's costing the state taxpayers nearly half-a-billion dollars. Indeed. But then comes this: This is the part of education reform nobody told you about. You heard about accountability, […]

Feb
15
2009

Brooks Renames Indispensable 'Lobbyists: Experts'

Salon critic Glenn Greenwald's look (2/14/09, ad-viewing required) at the journalistic powerhouse that was a recent New York Times David Brooks-Gail Collins Internet "conversation" yields the Greenwald observation that "Brooks did an excellent job of explicitly demonstrating most everything that is relevant–and destructive–about the mentality of the standard Beltway journalist." Greenwald quotes Brooks being "really annoyed by… the withdrawal of Tom Daschle" and providing an alternate "word for lobbyists: experts. Some are sleazy and many are quite admirable, but the idea of trying to run Washington without them is absurd." Greenwald's response: To David Brooks, lobbyists are nothing more than […]

Feb
12
2009

The Tragedy of Gail Collins

New York Times columnist Gail Collins is really kind of a tragic figure. She used to write for the Long Island paper Newsday, finding a way to cover New York State politics from Albany in a way that was both informative and funny–no mean feat. Then she went to work for the Times and has never been the same since. Today she's got a piece about how an old dog won a dog show and how a number of people in public life are old. She used to be a writer whose work could be compared to that of Molly […]