Ladner and Burke win a Bunkum Award!!!

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The NEA’s “academic” mouthpiece have awarded a Bunkum Award to both me and Lindsey Burke! 

Here it is:

The If I Say It Enough, Will It Still Be Untrue? Award, to the Heritage Foundation’s Closing the Racial Achievement Gap, by Matthew Ladner and Lindsey Burke. The award notes Ladner’s success in repackaging in many different venues and media his spurious claim that a series of Florida reforms, including tax vouchers and grade retention, “caused” racial achievement gaps to narrow in the Sunshine State. “Ladner’s fecundity isn’t really what sets this work apart. It’s his willingness to smash through walls of basic research standards in his dogged pursuit of his policy agenda,” according to our judges. “Nothing in the data or analyses of Dr. Ladner or the Heritage Foundation comes even close to allowing for a causal inference.”

First, I would like to thank the academy, and the Heritage Foundation for giving me a chance to win this wonderful honor.  The scorn of reactionaries is a treasure to cherish. Given that our critic, bless her heart, unknowingly included a table in her report that completely undermined her thesis, I was delighted to see it published.

As to this “inference issue” Dan Lips and I published an article years ago in the nation’s most influential education policy journal examining a number of possible alternate explanations to Florida’s remarkable academic gains. Our critic not only ignored this article, she essentially recreated the argument of another education school professor who we addressed in the piece. She didn’t cite his work either. Oh, and she started her critique off by complaining that Burke and I failed to perform a literature review.

In any case, both Burke and I will have to continue to work hard to earn more of these awards. I hope that we haven’t peaked too early…

14 Responses to Ladner and Burke win a Bunkum Award!!!

  1. Lindsey says:

    My career has peaked too early. Nowhere to go but down from here.

  2. Patrick says:

    Congrats to you all. You should be so honored.

  3. matthewladner says:

    Thank you Patrick, we are quite pleased.

    Lindsey- don’t worry, I seriously doubt that you are going to be the Haley Joel Osment of ed reform. If you carefully manage your career and are very selective about which parts you take,and which directors you work with, I think you will win a whole bunch of Bunkums!

  4. Ben says:

    I will confess to being slightly envious, but truly a well-deserved congratulations are in order to Matt and Lindsey both for this honor.

    Only one thing: You forgot to ramble on thanking all the little people who made the award possible, which then would have compelled Jay to turn off your mike and fire up the orchestra to drown you out. So maybe on second thought, it wasn’t such a bad idea…

  5. […] for something mostly different. Matt Ladner this morning has accepted — on behalf of Lindsey Burke as well — a prestigious Bunkum Award from the […]

  6. Lisa Snell says:

    Hey, I won this award for the Weighted Student Formula Yearbook, in 2009! Congrats Lindsey and Matt!!

  7. matthewladner says:


    Can you teach Lindsey and I the secret Bunkum handshake, and show us around the grounds of the club?

  8. Ben Boychuk says:

    Congratulations to you both. I guess now that Olbermann is off the air, it’s the next best thing to being named the Worst Person in the World.

    And you look nice in pink chiffon, Ladner.

  9. Greg Forster says:

    Oh, puh-leeze. Everyone knows those things are fixed.

  10. matthewladner says:

    Thanks Ben- it was Vera Wang. I had to leave my handbag at my seat to hold the statue. They don’t look like much, but they are kind of heavy.

  11. Dave Saba says:

    Congrats! So well deserved – – – -could use a little bunk here in New Mexico now that a part of the FL cabal is here.

  12. AHLondon says:

    Congratulations! Next time, wear Zegna. More macho.

    Bless their hearts. Exactly.

  13. […] who has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Houston, mocked the Bunkum Awards last year when a report he co-authored with Lindsey Burke won the honor. He did not respond to an interview […]

  14. […] who has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Houston, mocked the Bunkum Awards last year when a report he co-authored with Lindsey Burke won the honor. He did not respond to an interview […]

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