Thursday, January 14, 2010

Caitlin Flanagan = Asshole

So Caitlin Flanagan wrote an article in the Atlantic criticizing Alice Waters Edible Schoolyard. While I have plenty of criticisms of the Alice Waters/Michael Pollan crowd, I can only point my finger at Ms. Flanagan and yell - douchebag! First of all, Caitlin Flanagan is the same "journalist" who decided to excoriate feminists with nannies in the selfsame pages of the Atlantic in 2003. This lady who is pretty damn surrounded with rich privileged white folks gets to sit on her high horse and feel sorry for those brown people who take care of rich folks kids.

This time around she feels sorry for those brown people's kids who are forced to pick organic vegetables as part of the school curriculum. Rich white lady worries about those poor brown folks whose education are getting shortchanged because they have to learn about vegetables. "Will this help them pass Algebra?" she asks.

Here's the thing. The HUGE criticism about No Child Left Behind is that it focuses too much on test scores. Those "fluffy" subjects like art and sports and anything that isn't covered on a scan tron teach skills that are really necessary in the working world - cooperation, problem solving etc. None of which will be measured on a scan tron. Same with raising organic vegetables. You learn a whole lot of biology gardening. As a quilter, I've had to use the Pythagorean theorem more in a month of designing a quilt than in a semester's worth of geometry.

On top of that, there is tons and tons of research that shows that eating well balanced meals and BREAKFAST boosts brain capacity and helps with test scores. Watch Supersize Me to see a real life example. These types of programs have a huge impact on classroom performance even if there isn't a direct correlation to test scores.

For all of her concerns about these poor brown children, she really does seem to advocate for shortchanging their education. So shut it Flanagan.


Stef said...

I listen to the Slate Double X Gabfest, and they really HATED this article too... I don't think I'm even goin to bother reading it. Yeesh.

Brunette said...

That article was one of the douchiest things I've ever read. Ever. If you can find a way to complain about teaching kids about gardening, nutrition, and cooking healthy/fresh/economical food, you really need to rethink your life.
P.S. Word verification: "conan"