State Representative Vernon Smith fiercely criticized Governor Daniels Tuesday for sharing copies of the book “Real Education” with recommendation to last month’s Indiana Education Roundtable. Rightly so.
This book by arch-conservative Charles Murray who is best known for the controversial 1994 book entitled “The Bell Curve” which contends that there will always be a “cognitive elite” and supports this by citing low test scores in low-income, predominately African-American neighborhoods as proof.
“Real Education” holds among its tenets that too many people are getting college educations and society would be better off with fewer college graduates.
Smith, D-Gary, said in a written statement that Murray’s philosophy is “a throwback to 50 years ago when African-American and other students from economically struggling families were told they could never achieve beyond low-paying, dead-end jobs.
“Now we have the governor of Indiana and his state superintendent of public instruction dusting off this withered, elitist, discredited theory and apparently embracing it as a policy for our state’s educational future,” said Smith, a professor at Indiana University Northwest.
Jane Jankowski, Daniels’ press secretary, said the governor didn’t endorse the teachings in Murray’s book.
“(Daniels) handed out copies of the book to all of the members of the Education Roundtable,” Jankowski said, “and said that he had read the book, that he doesn’t agree with a lot of what the author of the book said, but it helped him think differently about education.”
Apparently by “differently” the Governor means “antiquated.” Now where have I heard this kind of thinking before: