NY Times Corrects Gail Collins Column Which Blamed Walker for 2010 Layoffs; Problems Remain

February 16th, 2015 10:25 AM

It took well over 24 hours, but the New York Times finally corrected (HT Instapundit) op-ed columnist Gail Collins's ignorant Saturday contention about how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker caused teacher layoff in 2010: "As well as the fact that those layoffs happened because Walker cut state aid to education." Collins was so sure of herself that she emphasized how Walker's 2010 state aid-caused layoffs were a "fact." Trouble is, Walker didn't become Badger State Governor until January 2011.

Instapundit's reaction: "So basically, it’s now an Emily Litella column. Never mind!" The Old Gray Lady's excision from Collins's cranky column hardly solves all of its problems.

As I noted Saturday evening, Collins quibbled over Walker's description of a certain teacher as "Teacher of the Year" when the person involved was more accurately a "Rookie of the Year." Oh the humanity!

A re-reading of her column reveals that Collins has joined the immature, evolution-obsessed folks at the Associated Press and Time.com (bolds are mine):

Lately, the big star in the race for the Republican presidential nomination has been Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin. He gave a rip-roaring speech at a conservative confab in Iowa last month, and it’s been his moment ever since.

Unless the moment ended this week when Walker went to London on an alleged trade mission and refused to say whether he believes in evolution. Or pretty much anything.

“For me, commenting on foreign policy or, in this case, economic policy in a country where you’re a visitor is not the politest of things,” he told a BBC journalist.

Who knows how that will fly with the Republican base? Maybe they’re dying for a president who’ll go on an international trip and confine his remarks to the virtues of Wisconsin cheese.

Imagine that. You go to an actual, i.e., not "alleged" conference on trade and expect to discuss trade-related matters. When you point out that you're sticking with the point of the conference by not answering off-topic questions, you're the bad guy.

Horse manure, Gail.

Here's more, where Collins attacks Walker's proposal to have teachers with real-world experience who actually know their subject matter have the opportunity to teach:

(Wisconsin's latest) budget also contains another interesting education idea that Walker has yet to blame on inept typists. He wants to change the way teachers are licensed. Basically, the plan would be to let people with “real-life experience” just take a test to demonstrate that they knew their subject matter. It appears to require no training whatsoever in the actual art of teaching.

Notice the word "appears." The proposal is in its early stages. It's limited to grades 6-12. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction would create the tests. Unless she's clairvoyant, Collins has no idea what would be on those tests. She also has no idea whether the teachers involved have to demonstrate prior public-speaking or corporate or other training experience. She also naively assumes that the school districts served won't help such people prepare specific lesson plans or coach them on their presentation skills. Her criticism, along with that coming from most other quarters, is nothing but a premature hit at the very idea of allowing anyone besides someone who has gone through the generally pathetic training teachers get in schools of education into the classroom.


(Walker's) view of teaching is apparently that anybody can do it. Just the way anybody can be president. As long as they don’t make you talk about evolution.

Did Scott Walker say that "anybody" can teach? Of course not.

Gail Collins can't criticize Scott Walker without employing lame strawman arguments, literally making a "fact" up, and ridiculing him for not answering a question which should never have been asked.

Pretty much par for the course for a fever-swamp establishment press columnist.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.