The job of school officials have become increasingly impossible in the last year, as culture warriors have made education a new focus of their efforts.

New from me, consider subscribing…
Research on public organizations shows that it becomes harder to successfully perform tasks when stakeholders disagree over goals, and when the public loses confidence in the profession of public officials. These trends are worsening for schools.…
Here are examples of some of the ways that demands on school officials are making it impossible for them to do their job.…
Contrary to culture war narratives, in recent decades schools have become *more* subject to democratic control and teachers to more intense surveillance, in the name of the mostly bipartisan focus on academic performance via laws like NCLB and ESSA.…
Some insights from studies public sector performance:
*We ask public orgs to take on multiple & conflicting goals
*The more autonomy we give them, the better they do
*Forcing them to react to culture war moral panics will undermine performance…

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More from @donmoyn

9 Oct
The expanded child tax credit is working to reduce poverty and is popular. Work requirements would make it less effective. There is not much debate about that, but its amazing how Manchin and a handful of right-leaning think thanks have contrived to make it a debate.
See this thread by @HilaryHoynes on why a new paper fueling this debate is very much an outlier making assumptions most researchers think are unrealistic.
See this thread by @besttrousers about why the Meyer paper, even if you take the findings as reasonable, doesn't offer quite the clear evidence to push for means-testing its proponents say it does
Read 5 tweets
8 Oct
So I did a tweet that some people liked, and some people didn't and I ended up being featured on Fox and the College Fix.

And then I got a bunch of angry, profane and harassing emails. Which is part of the point of this media ecosystem.…
As I wrote here, the central purpose of the "campus craziness" ecosystem is to discredit faith in higher education. Donors like the Kochs or DeVos that fund outlets like College Fix and Campus Reform view higher ed as at odds with their interests.…
There is a predictable pattern where coverage by the "campus craziness" media ecosystem generates harassment. But faculty of color face a more intense version of this, and untenured faculty are more vulnerable to losing their job.…
Read 4 tweets
7 Oct
It's not just policymaking by other means; it is using administrative burdens to both deny a clearly expressed democratic preference while also restricting the right of people to vote.
It is anti-democratic in both process and effect.
It so not just the compliance costs of petitioning for restitution and paying to do so. It is the learning costs of navigating a labyrinthine process to do so.
This is a description of Catch-22's, where the government has designed a system that makes it impossible for citizens to reclaim the rights of citizenship.
Read 4 tweets
6 Oct
Same energy ImageImage
The underlying ethos here is Jacksonian populism: the idea that public work requires no special expertise or discretion, and must be subject to close political control.
This is the ethos that ushered in the spoils system, mass corruption and incompetence.… Image
The problem with the Jacksonian view is that public work is actually hard (simple tasks get privatized).

Teaching is complex, and to be done well requires professional expertise. For expertise to improve performance you have to give teachers discretion to use it.
Read 8 tweets
5 Oct
US Chamber of Commerce:
Sat - We are the biggest boosters of the infrastructure bill. Should have been passed 6 years ago.
Tues - We oppose the infrastructure bill.
The fact that the Chamber of Commerce will abandon its publicly announced position in order to stay aligned with Republicans says much about its supposedly nonpartisan status
There isn't much of a difference between the Chamber of Commerce and the GOP. Look at its executive leadership: stacked with people with deep Republican connections without a countervailing Dem influence.…
Read 4 tweets
2 Oct
The CRT moral panic is built on a mixture of deliberately obtuse language (in other words, bullshit) and misleading branding.

New post from me, consider subscribing:…
One irony I didn't have room to include is that the anti-CRT advocates connect CRT theorists to diversity training as a big gotcha. But actual CRT theorists are themselves either doubtful of such trainings (Crenshaw) or certainly didn't model them in their own teaching (Bell).
Bullshit performs different tasks:
*conveys sophistication, a reassurance that “this is a smart man, an intellectual"
*establishes conspiratorial beliefs
*provides coded language that signals in-group membership.
*denies any simpler alternative explanations
*enables branding
Read 4 tweets

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