Arne Duncan’s Emily Litella Moment. “Never Mind.”

Years ago the late Gilda Radner played a hilarious character on Saturday Night Live named Emily Litella. Emily would appear on Weekend Update and read a passionate editorial against something or the other. The joke was that she got the issue all confused.

She once ranted against those who were opposed to violins in schools, only to be corrected. The issue was violence in schools.

“Never mind,” Litella would say.

The New York Times’ Sam Dillon reports on Arne Duncan’s Emily Litella moment.

When the Obama administration was seeking to drum up support for its education initiatives last spring, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told Congress that the federal law known as No Child Left Behind would label 82 percent of all the nation’s public schools as failing this year. Skeptics questioned that projection, but Mr. Duncan insisted it was based on careful analysis.

Now that the numbers are officially out, Duncan (and Obama, who repeated the lie), has been shown to be wildly wrong.

And even the officially reported estimate of 48% is suspect since it is based on testing information that is entirely unreliable.

But Duncan saying “never mind” won’t repair the damage done to teachers, schools and communities who were labeled as failing.

“Never mind” won’t undo the campaign of attacks on public education, the boost the lies gave to privatization and bullshit storefront charters and private for-profit management firms.

Gilda Radner’s Emily Litella was funny.

Arne isn’t funny.

One thought on “Arne Duncan’s Emily Litella Moment. “Never Mind.”

  1. Oh, & lest we forget… read The Chicago Tribune article–Wed.,12/14-“CPS Mulls Expanding Online Education Deal (but firm’s academic performance raises questions, study says).” “A study this year by the National Education Policy Center called virtual schools the fastest-growing segment of alternative education.
    It’s a lucrative one,too; K-12 reported annual revenue of $522 million in October, up from $384 million the previous year, according to Securities & Exchange Commission filings.”

    Make sure you read the whole article; i haven’t done it justice.
    Then, go to the NYC Educator Blog & link to Diane Ravitch’s recent speech.

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