Yesterday we wrote about Jo Boaler, her latest own goal and some of her checkered history. But her defenders are coming out as well to, well, defend her. Fair enough. Except, that their defense is dishonest and farcical. As it must be.
OK, Professor Smarts, let’s just slow down a minute.
There are three obvious and important questions we might ask of Jo Boaler:
1. Is Jo Boaler’s research work open to serious criticism?
2. Is Jo Boaler’s personal conduct open to serious criticism?
3. Is Jo Boaler’s work on CMF open to serious criticism?
Now, it is importantly true that one “Hell Yes” does not logically imply another, a truth that almost everybody is happy to ignore. Both Boaler’s attackers and defenders are very willing to bait and switch. In particular, and as we wrote yesterday, the current vicious attacks on Boaler are framed around 2 but are very clearly motivated by 3. But, to begin, Devlin’s defense of 2 is dishonest and absurd.
Leaving aside the original Boaler-Nelson exchange for the two of them to resolve …
Why? Why should anybody leave it aside? Jelani Nelson had every right to make public Boaler’s nasty email to him. And, people have every right to be appalled by Boaler’s nastiness, even if she didn’t have form. Which she most definitely does. But as well, while suggesting others “leave aside” Boaler’s conduct, Devlin does not:
The letter S.L. refers to is powerful.
It is typically gutless, and typically weird, for Boaler to set up a new website for the sole purpose of posting someone else’s defense of her conduct. Is she somehow gagged and unable to defend herself? In any case, Devlin is wrong: the letter defending Boaler is not “powerful”; it is absurd.
But, Devlin wants to talk about 3. Fair enough, although we shall not. We have our own village of idiots to try to manage, and we simply don’t have the time to give proper consideration of the CMF. We have read enough to be convinced that it is awful, and we have read nothing to suggest otherwise. We’ll just make three quick points about Devlin and his defense of CMF.
Firstly, we simply don’t trust Devlin. He is clearly very smart, but he also seems to us to be manipulative and a pompous ass.
Secondly, Devlin notes of the creation of CMF,
The new CMF is the result of a multi-year, open, consultative process …
And, lastly a point on the nature of Devlin’s defense of CMF:
The new CMF is … in fact closely aligned with the OECD’s new PISA 2022 Framework
They don’t. Ever.
Foolish Greg Ashman was foolish enough to criticise Lord Devlin on Twitter, to which the Lord responded in a lordly manner. Ashman has subsequently written, very well, on Lord Devlin’s lordliness and the Lord’s defense of the CMF (partly paywalled). We hope to write something soon.