He's Not Literate, but He's Nice
March 6, 2010 11:31 AM   Subscribe

“Do DPS control the Foundation or outside group? If an outside group control the foundation, then what is DPS Board row with selection of is director? Our we mixing DPS and None DPS row’s, and who is the watch dog?” What job opportunities are there for someone who graduated high school with a 1.8 GPA and who took 15 years to get his Bachelor's Degree (darn that pesky English proficiency requirement)? Why, president of the board of education, that's what!

Detroit Public School students achieved the lowest scores ever recorded on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test. Part of the problem has been social promotion, advancing students to the next grade based on their age, whether they're academically ready or not. Robert Bobb (emergency financial manager) has now banned social promotion, and is doing his best to "fix" the Detroit Public School system, but it's an uphill battle when the BOE president is almost functionally illiterate.
posted by Oriole Adams (73 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Think of the student's!
posted by benzenedream at 11:38 AM on March 6, 2010 [11 favorites]


If I were this guy, I'd be embarrassed. But I don't really believe that this guy's apparently less-than-stellar e-mail composition skills are making the DPS rehabilitation any more of an "uphill battle" than it already is.

This article suggests that Mathis is learning-disabled.
posted by ofthestrait at 11:47 AM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Who's schools? Our schools!"

...and damned well in need of them, too!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:48 AM on March 6, 2010


Wait, are we supposed to be mocking the Board of Education president? "Haha, it's ironic that the Board of Education elected a man who can't read! What stupids!"

... but reading that first article, that just seems unfairly mean-spirited.

There's undoubtedly more to Detroit school board politics than a few articles can explain, but the guy seems open about his limitations and worked hard to succeed despite them. Furthermore, he's not the reason that the Detroit school system is currently failing kids; he was probably one of those failed kids himself. (As well as possibly having a learning disability.) The problem goes way back.

If he was designing the English curriculum, that would be different (maybe)... but he's not.

So, haha indeed.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:49 AM on March 6, 2010 [16 favorites]


I think we should close ALL the DPS schools and bus the kids to Birmingham.
posted by HuronBob at 11:52 AM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


He's math literate and not english literate there are plenty of people who preside on school boards who are the other way around. really lets go to the average president of a school board and ask them to get the inverse of y=e^x. If the average is around 50% I'll be surprised.
posted by Rubbstone at 11:58 AM on March 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


I think we should close ALL the DPS schools and bus the kids to Birmingham.

This would easily be the surest way to revive the housing market. Think of all the new developments off 36, 37, 38 Mile Rd. that would spur..
posted by ofthestrait at 11:59 AM on March 6, 2010


I keep reading DPS as Damage Per Second, and so the email in the post sounds like a post about a World of Warcraft group or clan issue.
posted by Hicksu at 12:00 PM on March 6, 2010 [11 favorites]


If they don't like it, they can roll a healer or a tank.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 12:05 PM on March 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?
posted by hangashore at 12:10 PM on March 6, 2010


The fact that no one is on the board is willing to state that he is unsuited for the job is more remarkable to me than his relative illiteracy. If he's got the confidence of the people who work with him, then I'm pretty sure he's the right man for the job.

However, even though I'm occasionally inarticulate in my writing, it is extremely hard for me to respect someone who writes like that, regardless of their other skills or endorsements.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:18 PM on March 6, 2010


My little brother was flunked in first grade because he couldn't read. Well, over the summer my mother taught him to read (and it wasn't all that hard), so he spent the next year spinning his wheels (because of his ADHD, he was really spinning them, too) while a bunch of younger kids learned what he already knew, and he spent the rest of his time in school a year older than everyone else in his grade. Fortunately, by the time he got to high school, there was an alternative school that didn't run on a grade-level basis, so he graduated at 18. Otherwise, he would have simply dropped out after 11th grade.

"Social promotion" simply means keeping kids in with their own age cohort. Flunking doesn't do kids any good, it just sounds good to the reactionary idiots who aren't actually doing any of the work involved in teaching.

If kids don't learn the skills associated with a certain age, then next year, they get taught those skills again, and maybe they catch up, maybe they don't. But if they are flunked, they go back to day one of the previous grade, they're lumped in with a new group of younger students, they're stigmatized as stupid, and they have absolutely zero chance of catching up. It doesn't do anyone any good, but it sure sounds like you're being tough!
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:27 PM on March 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


He's math literate and not english literate there are plenty of people who preside on school boards who are the other way around. really lets go to the average president of a school board and ask them to get the inverse of y=e^x. If the average is around 50% I'll be surprised.

Apart from this assertion in the article ofthestraight linked

Mathis, a U.S. Navy veteran, is a math wizard. In high school, he took four years of algebra, two years of geometry, trigonometry and calculus. He aced the college math exams, but he never had success writing sentences.


I don't see any evidence that this guy is particularly math literate. I did that much math and I'm functionally innumerate.

If he's got the confidence of the people who work with him, then I'm pretty sure he's the right man for the job.


He's got the confidence of people who preside over one of the most dysfunctional school systems in the country. I'm not sure I trust their judgment.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:30 PM on March 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


The fact that no one is on the board is willing to state that he is unsuited for the job is more remarkable to me than his relative illiteracy.

There are other reasons, after all.

For example, try finding someone compentent and willing to take that job for the pay Detroit's currently offering, in what appear to be the worst place, educationally speaking, in the country.

Others will, of course, rally around a school board president that can't read, can't communicate well in a persistent manner, and therefore depends on others to make decisions for him in a timely manner. He's easily manipulated, I suspect, and willing to take the blame others heap upon the school board in general. If you're working in his org, why not ensure that you have your job in perpetuity, no matter how incompetent you are, by pointing a finger at the boss and saying, "sure, fire me, but you'll end up having to drag him along the way I've dragged him along."

I've seen folks keep jobs that way in insurance and healthcare companies, by internalizing operational knowledge and propping up incompetents as figureheads - why would it be any different here, in one of the most corrupt, incompetent, and foolish local governments in history?
posted by FormlessOne at 12:31 PM on March 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Mathis and some of his supporters say his story is about someone who manages his limitations, just as others manage physical disabilities.

He'd be managing his limitations if he found a copy editor.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 12:31 PM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


"row" = "role"

“Do DPS control the Foundation or outside group? If an outside group control the foundation, then what is DPS Board row with selection of is director? Our we mixing DPS and None DPS row’s, and who is the watch dog?”

“Does Detroit Public Schools* control the Foundation or does an outside group? If an outside group controls the foundation, then what is the DPS Board's role concerning selection of is director? Are we mixing DPS and non-DPS roles, and who** is the watch dog?”

* a single corporate entity, thus "does" in American English.
** possibly "which", depending on intended meaning
posted by orthogonality at 12:32 PM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jesus, that was painful to read.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:01 PM on March 6, 2010


I don't think it's appropriate to have a learning-disabled person as the president of the board of education. It would be like having the retarded son of a former president.. of education... become president ..of education. But as usual, people vote for who they would rather have a beer with. LOLUSA
posted by weezy at 1:02 PM on March 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


But if they are flunked, they go back to day one of the previous grade, they're lumped in with a new group of younger students, they're stigmatized as stupid, and they have absolutely zero chance of catching up.

They have to know the earlier material to have any hope of succeeding at the later stuff. In your case, where your mother caught your little brother up over the summer, she should have asked for him to be retested.

Consider an alternate scenario: what if your mother HADN'T taught him to read? You're asserting that he should he should have been put into all these classes that require reading. How the hell would have have learned anything from history class in sixth grade, if he never got the reading in first?

You're right that your particular brother shouldn't have been held back, because he caught up, and there should have been some mechanism to allow him to move forward. But that wouldn't have applied if he hadn't caught up.... had he remained illiterate, he would have left school at 18 with very little useful knowledge, instead of having 11 instead of 12 years' schooling under his belt.
posted by Malor at 1:11 PM on March 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


argh...remove one extra "he should" from that.
posted by Malor at 1:12 PM on March 6, 2010


This...this is why our children isn't learning!

Seriously, though, I feel bad for the guy, and the fact that he has a learning disability in no way means he's incapable of doing his job, but this is why people hire secretaries, copy editors and others of that general ilk.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:35 PM on March 6, 2010


From the first linked article:

Or is he an example of the system's worst failings -- a disinterested student who always found ways to graduate

If you're going to write a column which criticises (and mocks) someone else's facility with language, perhaps you should make sure that you know the actual meaning of the words you use.
posted by Len at 1:40 PM on March 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


Isn't it more important that he's making apparently poor decisions? I mean, read the three letters here: http://www.freep.com/article/20100304/NEWS01/3040396/1320/Power-struggle-could-cost-Detroit-schools

The Michigan Dept. of Education tells both parties to work together on important grants. Bobb says sure, even though we're litigating other issues, this is a separate issue we can work on. Mathis basically says fuck off.

Take away the grammar issues, as someone did in this letter for Mathis, and you still find a mind clouded by anger, territorialism, and personal issues, offering no coherent policy alternatives.

I guess the grammar issues do point at an explanation--stupidity--but that's not something poor grammar intrinsically predicts.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 1:43 PM on March 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've never been convinced that the best way to group kids is by their sate of manufacture, but to really let the kids who are grade 9 in math but grade 2 in English be where they need to be would require a radical redesign in education...
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:59 PM on March 6, 2010


sate=date
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:59 PM on March 6, 2010


"...but it's an uphill battle when the BOE president is almost functionally illiterate. "

Almost functionally illiterate ==literate. Right?
posted by 517 at 2:02 PM on March 6, 2010


but it's an uphill battle when the BOE president is almost functionally illiterate

Has school system reform been impeded by Mathis' poor writing skills? Bullshit editorializing, unless you got a link in your back pocket that proves otherwise.

I don't think it's appropriate to have a learning-disabled person as the president of the board of education.

I don't think it's great that smug, mean-spirited assholes participate on MetaFilter, but hey, here you are.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:13 PM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Lentrohamsanin, Let me ask you a couple questions, How many people did you know in high school with 1.8 GPAs that passed trig? How many people in your calculus class had 1.8 GPAs? I don't know about your high school but we didn't let everybody take calculus. Math is taught in English in America. If you have learning deficits in reading you need some compensating abilities in order to understand the material.

Besides it says he aced it. If the exams they're giving the students to study from are in any way an indiction of what that math qualifier looked like when he was there... It wasn't 2+2. In fact the last question I posted was probably too simple.
posted by Rubbstone at 2:14 PM on March 6, 2010


My dad is a really smart, well-spoken, well read guy, but based on im conversations and emails, you'd think he was illiterate. Of course, he worked in a grocery store, so he didn't have to write often. I'd be embarassed for him in an office environment.
posted by empath at 2:14 PM on March 6, 2010


If you're going to write a column which criticises (and mocks) someone else's facility with language, perhaps you should make sure that you know the actual meaning of the words you use.

"Disinterested" can be correctly used in that way. It's more often used to mean something closer to "neutral", which I guess is where you're coming from, but it can also just mean "not interested".
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:14 PM on March 6, 2010


Also, I graduated from high school with a lower gpa than this guy and dropped out of college. Some people just aren't built for school. I think leadership and judgement don't necessarily depend on being able to write well. It took huge balls for a guy with his limited skill set to run for board of Ed. Unless there is some corruption involved, I just have to hand it to this guy.
posted by empath at 2:17 PM on March 6, 2010


with 1.8 GPAs that passed trig? How many people in your calculus class had 1.8 GPAs?

I had a 1.something in hs while I passed two ap English classes, ap history and pre calc, and I was a national merit scholarship semi finalist. Undiagnosed add, basically. Learning disabilities are no joke, and I can imagine this guy had it worse than me, coming up when and where he did.
posted by empath at 2:22 PM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Consider an alternate scenario: what if your mother HADN'T taught him to read? You're asserting that he should he should have been put into all these classes that require reading.

Basically, he was on the cusp of actually being able to read. But instead of being promoted with the rest of his class, and being given the little bit of extra help it took to get him up to speed, he was held back a year, to no benefit to anyone.

There is no benefit to flunking students, unless you are insisting on teaching every single student in a grade the exact same thing, no matter what their actual abilities are. That just turns age-grades into an extremely brutal version of tracking, a system that holds every single student to the lowest common denominator as determined by the curriculum.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:27 PM on March 6, 2010


LOL DETROIT HA HA HA.
posted by LarryC at 2:30 PM on March 6, 2010


The "LOLx" meme as a way of saying "stop saying negative things about x" is getting really played out.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:13 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Disinterested" can be correctly used in that way. It's more often used to mean something closer to "neutral", which I guess is where you're coming from, but it can also just mean "not interested".

What? No, "disinterested" does not mean "uninterested" in any kind of correct formal writing.
posted by nicwolff at 3:14 PM on March 6, 2010


There are innumerable ways to measure someone's ability as president of the board of education. A man's difficulty with the written word is only one of them.

Are these schools succeeding or failing? If this school district was the envy of all the other school districts in the nation, I could not care less if every email this man wrote was an adventure in redeing ahnd spelng gud. But it's not and he sucks.

Which says a hell of a lot about his constituents.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:17 PM on March 6, 2010


If this school district was the envy of all the other school districts in the nation, I could not care less if every email this man wrote was an adventure in redeing ahnd spelng gud. But it's not and he sucks.

He was elected president of the board of education two months ago.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:36 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


What? No, "disinterested" does not mean "uninterested" in any kind of correct formal writing.

Merriam-Webster: disinterested.

Nicwolff, check out the last sentence of the usage note. I believe it is specifically referring to people like you.
posted by ryanrs at 3:49 PM on March 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's appropriate to have a learning-disabled person as the president of the board of education.

I'm speechless at the blatant prejudice here. How do you even begin to address this sort of attitude?

Having a learning disability doesn't make you stupid or worthless. It doesn't mean you have nothing to contribute. It doesn't mean you have no stake in education. Since writing well seems to be incidental to this man's position, rather than necessary, it has very little to do with his performance.

No wonder people with learning disabilities often feel ashamed of them.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 3:56 PM on March 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Lentrohamsanin, Let me ask you a couple questions, How many people did you know in high school with 1.8 GPAs that passed trig? How many people in your calculus class had 1.8 GPAs? I don't know about your high school but we didn't let everybody take calculus. Math is taught in English in America. If you have learning deficits in reading you need some compensating abilities in order to understand the material.

You're right, that makes the whole thing much more suspicious. Do we actually have proof of these claims that he did well at math? Have his transcripts been published?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:28 PM on March 6, 2010


He was elected president of the board of education two months ago.

He was a member of the board of education who was subsequently elected by the other board members as president. Being president of the board doesn't make him a superhero. It puts him in charge of all kinds of administrative duties, though.

Being on a school board doesn't make one a superhero, either. Have a read about this guy who managed to get elected to a district about a third of the size of Detroit's.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:10 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If only he had the MeFi alibi army to make excuses for him in person!
posted by mattholomew at 5:13 PM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


He fail English? That's unpossible!
posted by tommasz at 5:37 PM on March 6, 2010


ryan, Webster's is famously descriptivist. Check every style guide ever written for what's acceptable in actual current journalistic practice, or just check the American Heritage:

USAGE A common source of confusion is the difference between disinterested and uninterested. Disinterested means 'not having a personal interest, impartial': : a juror must be disinterested in the case being tried. Uninterested means 'not interested, indifferent': : on the other hand, a juror must not be uninterested.
posted by nicwolff at 5:45 PM on March 6, 2010


Having a learning disability doesn't make you stupid or worthless.

No, but being unable to communicate effectively removes you from the pool of most desirable school board heads.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:55 PM on March 6, 2010


Being president of the board doesn't make him a superhero... Being on a school board doesn't make one a superhero, either.

Didn't claim otherwise; if you had said "Maybe they would be better off not promoting anyone from within that board and enlisting an outside administrator," I wouldn't disagree.

If only he had the MeFi alibi army to make excuses for him in person!

Some people aren't comfortable basing their opinion of a person's worth on two short articles and a handful of email excerpts. If you are, go nuts, but it seems just as if not more ignorant than not being able to read or write well. It would be awesome if someone who was familiar with Mathis or the goings-on in Detroit were to weigh in on this - and if you are, and that's why you seem really dismissive of the people giving him the benefit of the doubt, please share. He seems to have been pretty involved in civic affairs for a good long while, but the vast majority of Google results seem to be about this story, making it difficult to learn what kind of track record the guy actually has.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:59 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


...a handful of email excerpts

Look even drunk and pissed off I don't send emails like that in a professional context. The man is incompetent.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:02 PM on March 6, 2010


The man is incompetent.

Because he can't write for shit? That's nuts.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:04 PM on March 6, 2010


Yes, exactly because he can't write. Being able to compose thoughts in a way that others will understand, however inelegant, negotiable in an educator.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:05 PM on March 6, 2010


(is non-negotiable, although if you bring enough cookies, I'm willing to talk....)
posted by digitalprimate at 6:06 PM on March 6, 2010


It's a bit amusing how many of the people who are dissing Mathis seem to have editing problems of their own.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 6:16 PM on March 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Anyone else have any more hurried typo correction follow-up comments to make before we go back to sneering at the guy who dont reed gud?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:17 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Geddowve mi hed, Jimmy Havok!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:18 PM on March 6, 2010


[takes lumps well deserved]

Look, this is not a conversation about how people with disabilities can overcome them. It's about a person being unable to express themselves at a level expected of a 6th grader being in charge of the board of education. I don't care if that person's nice, if they are actually a savant of some sort or if they can shoot webs out of their wrists; if you can't compose a letter home to parents that makes sense, you are are not suited to the position.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:29 PM on March 6, 2010


Interesting (So far) profile of Robert Bobb, the state-appointed emergency financial manager and apparent arch-nemesis of the school board ("If they were doing their job right he wouldn’t be here") mentioned by Mathis in the second link.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:33 PM on March 6, 2010


Do you think executives write letters themselves?
posted by empath at 6:35 PM on March 6, 2010


No, but being unable to communicate effectively removes you from the pool of most desirable school board heads.

For Detroit??? Aren't we basically talking about a job no one else wants?

It's about a person being unable to express themselves [in writing] at a level expected of a 6th grader being in charge of the board of education.

There are plenty of examples of decent leaders who are better at speaking than writing. I'll grant you his inability to articulate himself in written communications is a strike against him, but it's not the be all end all people here are making it out to be. Leaders who are upfront about their failures and not completely ego driven are a rare commodity.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:41 PM on March 6, 2010


(lets out a low whistle)

I don't wish to sound mean or condescending when I say that America needs to start fixing itself urgently, this letter is proof positive that the USA has moved to a point beyond the warning signs.
posted by furtive at 8:45 PM on March 6, 2010


Idiocracy.
posted by TSOL at 9:25 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kutsuwamushi: "40I don't think it's appropriate to have a learning-disabled person as the president of the board of education.

I'm speechless at the blatant prejudice here. How do you even begin to address this sort of attitude?


As a general rule, no, his (alleged) learning disabilities shouldn't automatically disqualify him. But let's look at the specifics of this situation.

His job is to receive information, come to some conclusion, and then persuade other people that he's right. The first usually requires reading, and the last frequently requires writing. He's apparently not (quite) illiterate, but admits to needing three or more passes to understand the reports he's given. From the quoted excerpts, he seems essentially unable to produce a comprehensible email. The option of compensating for that handicap via a secretary exists, but since he doesn't take advantage of it, remains irrelevant.

You're right that none of this should be an absolute contraindication. The problem is that I have no evidence that he has any particular strength to compensate for his weakness, and he needs that. I believe in giving the job to the person who can get it down best. If the best way to run Detroit's schools is to find this guy a whole pool of secretaries and make him dictate every word, I'd support that. But first I'd ask whether we could find anybody who could do just as good a job without the secretaries, and I don't think that's prejudice. That's just picking the best man for the job.
posted by d. z. wang at 9:51 PM on March 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is interesting stuff. I have drawn since childhood (professionally now), and I'm always astounded by how most people can't draw even the simplest things, like a chair or a tree. It's like a massive plague of visual illiteracy.

If I spoke or wrote the way most people draw, I'd be locked away in a special home.
posted by chronkite at 10:23 PM on March 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Mathis was elected, first by his district, and second by the members of the board (who had two years of experience with him) to serve as its president. I suspect those people know a lot more about him than a lot of Internet snarkers who can barely write themselves, and can't read well enough to find out those simple facts.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:09 PM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


The dialogue between HuronBob and ofthestrait up there indicates what's wrong with Detroit schools; the people with the money live in the suburbs and as a mass view the people of Detroit and especially their children as at best a problem, but more frequently as a contagion. It makes perfect sense to distrust outside influence when the outsiders look at you and see a plague rat.

(which is not to say that the Detroit schools aren't a wretched, godawful disaster, because they are. Dealing with this, and the other problems of the Detroit metropolitan area, would take massive and expensive federal intervention, of the sort that our government and culture are on the whole too weak to muster).
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:18 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


For a good discussion of the distinction or lack thereof between dis- and uninterested, have a look here.
posted by Dim Siawns at 2:42 AM on March 7, 2010


Mathis was elected, first by his district, and second by the members of the board (who had two years of experience with him) to serve as its president. I suspect those people know a lot more about him than a lot of Internet snarkers who can barely write themselves, and can't read well enough to find out those simple facts.

So? The only ability that being elected indicates is an ability to get elected. We've seen enough examples on the national stage to know it is not proof of competence. And it's not like people pay a lot more attention to local elections. In the last round of elections for school board in my town if you wanted to find out about the candidates you had to attend meetings or otherwise track them down in person, because none of the campaigns had particularly strong media presences. How many people have the time or interest for that? For all I know, Mathis won his district because his name came first on the ballot. I'm not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, not because he might have a learning disability, but because I require extraordinary proof of competence in all civil servants, especially in a situation like Detroit's.

But I'm afraid You Can't Tip a Buick is probably right: I doubt Detroit can save itself, say like Pittsburgh did in the 70s (well, mostly). There's just no evidence that the will or competence is there, never mind the resources. Hell, I'm not sure Michigan as a whole can save itself.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:53 AM on March 7, 2010


I can't help but feel we're all missing the really important issue here, which is that the emergency financial manager's name is Bob Bobb.
posted by kcds at 6:20 AM on March 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


If I spoke or wrote the way most people draw, I'd be locked away in a special home.

I'm one of those people that can't draw to save his life; you'd laugh at my stick figures. The guys doing cave painting were way better.

And, guess what? You wouldn't hire me to run an art school, even if I was stupid enough to apply.
posted by Malor at 3:55 PM on March 7, 2010


If I spoke or wrote the way most people draw, I'd be locked away in a special home.

Although this is an interesting point, I don't think students are required to take as many drawing classes as English classes in school.
posted by Hicksu at 6:08 PM on March 7, 2010


So? The only ability that being elected indicates is an ability to get elected. We've seen enough examples on the national stage to know it is not proof of competence.

The only ability that being able to snark indicates is the ability to snark. We've seen enough examples of that to know that it isn't proof of any sort of real knowledge.

For all I know

You don't, and yet you are fully confident in your knowledge.

competence in all civil servants

Mathis is not a civil servant, he's an elected official. But don't let facts get in the way of your snark.

Do you even know what sort of policies he's advocated? The only one I've seen is his opposition to Robert Bobb's attempt to overstep his mandate and set academic policy, and a bad policy at that. I wonder if that has anything to do with the sudden national hatchet job?
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:10 PM on March 7, 2010


The only ability that being able to snark indicates is the ability to snark. We've seen enough examples of that to know that it isn't proof of any sort of real knowledge.

Fuck you. I was stating my opinion, not snarking. I'm sorry Bobb's opposition to social promotion is so upsetting to you, but you're being a dick.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:00 AM on March 8, 2010


I was stating my opinion, not snarking.

Whahahahahaha!
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:43 AM on March 9, 2010


> > If I spoke or wrote the way most people draw, I'd be locked away in a special home.

> I'm one of those people that can't draw to save his life... And, guess what? You wouldn't hire me to run an art school, even if I was stupid enough to apply.

I might hire you to run an art school, if you were a respected leader with an exemplary background in budgeting and administration. Your job is to run the art school, not produce art.
posted by 2xplor at 8:26 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


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