Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Young at Heart

Gary Cartwright catches a glimpse of that rarest-of-species -- the Texas liberal -- in the wild with his profile of Waco Herald-Tribune editorial page editor John Young in the latest Texas Monthly. He annoints Young with the weightiest of mantles: "perfect nominee to replace the sadly departed Molly Ivins as the bee in the Texas establishment’s bonnet."

My favorite paragraph:

If Young has a signature issue, it is standardized testing in schools, which is universally despised by parents, teachers, and students but is a favorite of politicians. “Test scores don’t measure excellence,” Young told me. “They measure competence. I didn’t send my kids to school to learn competence.” Massive amounts of teaching-to-the-test have failed the public schools, Young observed not long ago, and now Governor Rick Perry wants to impose the same burden on college students. “If education’s quest is to roll out drones who, when drilled under threat of retention, will do certain state-assigned tasks, maybe ‘accountability’ is a success,” he wrote. “But we all thought higher education was, well, higher.”

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