Where Does the Man End and the Legend Begin?
Further insightful commentary on the situation at Maxfield School is provided by Prof. King Banaian of SCSU Scholars. Excerpts:
The debate over textbooks or reading materials misses a key point -- books themselves do not produce education. They must be complemented with other inputs. Textbooks must be complemented with teachers (and could well include parents working with kids at home, but down that road lies homeschooling, something I'm sure Coleman would not support.) Reading materials for students to take home require a parent to be sure the material is read.
Here's the question then -- what is Coleman assuming in thinking a book drive for extra books for kids to take home will accomplish? If the parents do not supervise, if the child's social pressures are such that academics is denigrated (Bill Cosby, call your office!), and if teachers cannot find creative ways to use those books, they may simply collect dust. Again: Just handing a child a book to take home and read does not guarantee better reading scores. A book requires a structure within which it is read, understood and discussed to help with comprehension, and along with it the development of a culture of learning. Otherwise it's no more effective than free condoms.
An endorsement of the Scott Johnson "your homes are burning" thesis. To which we can now add the King Banaian, "your condoms are burning" corollary (which illustrates why King is known as the penicillin of the Northern Alliance).
King also had this keen insight to offer about the NARN show last Saturday:
I thought Brian "Saint Paul" Ward of Fraters had said something profound in ...
"In" what really doesn't matter. When the chairman of an economics department at a major state university calls you profound, you accept it as just that. He is tenured, after all.
Another noted academic (South American comparative politics), Margaret Martin of Our House, had this observation from a recent Keegan's outing:
Last night was the weekly Trivia at Keegan's ... and we finished a miserable 13/25. But Team Fraters, with St. Paul and occasional blogger Nihilist in Golf Pants did the best of the evening, paired as they were with the Swedish Bikini team. (I don't know the score with that team combination.) David did his best to run Brian down to the bevy of blondes as we were leaving but David was rebuffed. We now know that Brian needs no one's help to find dates.
I wouldn't go that far Margaret, one can always use a good reference, especially when it comes to Swedish bikini models. My rule for them is identical to the rule in Irish Catholic families. There's always room for one more.