To deserve treatment like this: What did America’s children do to deserve treatment like this?
Needless to say, we refer to Gail Collins’ appearance on Monday night’s Maddow Show.
Unfortunately, Collins has written a book about Texas. After wasting time with some stupid shit about last week’s Texas primary, Maddow gave Collins about four minutes to discuss the new book.
Collins didn’t get much time. But she had enough time to say this:
MADDOW (6/4/12): One of the things that had not occurred to me before reading the book is that part of the reason that Texas is very influential is not just because of the sort of mind-meld hold it has on Republican politics, but specifically because of its population and its booming population, which explains so much of what’s going on in Texas economically, but does also explain why “as goes Texas, so goes the nation.”To watch this dreck, click this.
But you’re saying that birthrate is a product of Texas policy failure.
COLLINS: Yes, even then as the rest of the country, on behalf of the rest of the country, I said, “OK, Texas, if you’re prepared to spend a bunch of money educating many, many, many, many of these babies really, really well, then maybe we have no reason to complain.” But they’re not.
They’re cutting back on education. The school scores are terrible. The SAT scores are among the lowest in the country. That’s 10 percent of the future workforce of America because of the size of the state and the birthrate.
So stuff like that really matters to the rest of us. And if Texas, which is going to be a majority Hispanic state within the next decade or so, if Texas can’t get a grip on these problems, then it goes in places that it’s not good for us to be going as a country.
Many states have been cutting back on education, including the state from which Collins writes. That said, are test scores “terrible” in Texas?
Actually, no—they are not. The student population in Texas is heavily black and Hispanic. Due to the tragedies of American history, this tends to bring down overall scores in the state, although Texas outscored the nation in math on the 2011 NAEP.
Texas outscored the nation straight-up.
But all three major groups in Texas—white kids, black kids, Hispanic kids—outscore their nationwide peers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. And how odd! Just two weeks ago, Collins referred to the NAEP as “the best national assessment we have available.”
Breaking scores up by group is known as “disaggregation.” Given the tragedies of our history, this is the only sensible way to compare test scores from state to state. (As everyone knows, SAT scores tend to be a lousy way to make such comparisons.)
Collins has heard about “disaggregation.” She mentioned the term in the same column where she praised the NAEP. Of course, she was telling a joke about Bush at the time, so maybe she doesn’t know what the term actually means.
Collins has an awful history when it comes to discussing public schools—a history built on kissing the ass of a billionaire mayor while rolling her eyes at those stupid dumb teachers who were messing up all his great plans.
Within discussions conducted by our elites, groaners like this from Monday night are common when public schools get discussed. In fairness, Collins’ misstatement did allow Maddow’s “liberal” viewers to roll their eyes at red-state Texas while feeling all northern and smart and superior.
On the other hand, we all got misinformed about public schools once again.
Texas is full of deserving children. What did American children do to deserve “intellectual leaders” like this?