One more example of The Way We Are: Will the Smithsonian ever open a wing called The Cherry-Pick Hall of Fame?
Probably not! But if the museum ever does open that wing, we now have an op-ed piece which could be the featured exhibit.
We refer to this op-ed column in today’s New York Times. Adding to Baltimore’s recent shame, the piece was written by Jal Mehta, a 36-year-old meritocrat who came up right here in this city.
Or rather, a bit outside it.
Mehta is the perfect contemporary meritocrat. Here in Baltimore, he graduated from the Park School, where mother apparently served as Associate Head of the School. From there, it was on to Harvard, first for an undergraduate degree, then for a PhD.
Not that there’s anything wrong with it! Today, Mehta serves as an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Those used to be known as advantages. In Mehta’s case, it all led up to today’s op-ed column, which he starts by cherry-picking information in a way which would have made Professor Harold Hill blush. Completing the circle of devastation, this is the sort of piece the New York Times loves to publish.
The Times is our nation’s paper of record. Its relentless cluelessness keeps defining The Way We Are.
We’ll look at this column starting on Monday. But good lord, what resonant work! In its shameless cherry-picking, the column gives us our latest look at The Way We Actually Are!
Ten thousand men of Harvard: As mother always used to say, “We sent him to Harvard for this?”
Try to believe that Mehta wrote the highlighted statement, and that the New York Times published it. Not that it’s actually “wrong:”
MEHTA (4/13/13): In the nations that lead the international rankings—Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Finland, Canada—teachers are drawn from the top third of college graduates, rather than the bottom 60 percent as is the case in the United States. Training in these countries is more rigorous, more tied to classroom practice and more often financed by the government than in America. There are also many fewer teacher-training institutions, with much higher standards. (Finland, a perennial leader in the P.I.S.A. rankings, has eight universities that train teachers; the United States has more than 1,200.)Wow! Finland has only eight universities that train teachers! No wonder its kids are so smart!
Finland also has only 5.4 million people. Ten thousand men of Harvard smell some shaky statistics today!