Friday, June 8, 2007

Really, Dave?

My old pal at The New York Times, David Brooks, has an interesting column today (sorry, folks, it's a Times Select--ain't free) in which he writes "Children do better when raised in stable two-parent families."

Now, on the face of it, you might agree with the statement. It sounds plausible. On second thought, though, and in the light of our experience over the past 40 years (since the '60s--the beginning of vast social changes), you might wonder--"Really?"

I wish Dave had cited a source for the statement, but he didn't. To give him credit, he did write later on that a government program could offer "Nurse practitioners who make home visits can stabilize disorganized, single-parent families." That sounds, also, plausible.

Isn't there another problem, though? Doesn't the tenor of the two statements assume a certitude about single-parent families? Doesn't that certainty assert all single-parent families are unstable and disorganized?

Again, Dave, you needed to provide a source for this assertion. Otherwise, your entire column is called into question; and I don't want that. I liked it--we do need to educate more thoroughly than we have been lately. Our economic viability demands a better educated work force.

Sorry, Dave. I have to fall back on Trust, but Verify. Cite sources.

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