He has softened his line now. Today, writing up Rahm Emanuel’s suit to have the strike declared illegal, Matthews says:
So the “clear and present danger” argument seems a more promising avenue for Rahm than the strikable issues claim. But still, the empirical burden of proof there is weighty. While there exist studies suggesting that strikes, insofar as they reduce instruction, reduce student achievement, CTU could try to poke holes in those or dispute that the standardized tests upon which they are based constitute valid evidence. It could also reasonably argue that if the strike endangers students, regular vacations must as well. Though summer learning loss is a real problem, it seems unlikely that courts would rule vacation a danger to students.
Also, days lost to the strike may be made up at the expense of vacation.
But, that aside, it’s very gratifying to see Matthews walking it back, as they say. And gratifying to know that I might have had something to do with providing ammo to the CTU. I wish all my workdays were so productive.
Thanks to Corey Robin for leaving a sickbed on Rosh Hashana to point Matthews’ post out to me.