Education is being destroyed by data-driven decision-making. The algorithms make no sense. VAM doesn’t correctly identify teacher quality. The essence of good teaching cannot be reduced to a number. The metrics are fraudulent. Big data misleads. People cannot be treated as widgets.

Now David Brooks is saying these things about our politics.

He writes:

“Unfortunately, the whole thing has been a fiasco. As politics has gotten more scientific, the campaigns have gotten worse, especially for the candidates who overrely on these techniques.

“That’s because the data-driven style of politics is built on a questionable philosophy and a set of dubious assumptions. Data-driven politics is built on a philosophy you might call Impersonalism. This is the belief that what matters in politics is the reaction of populations and not the idiosyncratic judgment, moral character or creativity of individuals.”

Just substitute the words “education” or “schooling,” and the same points are valid. Now if only one of the Néw York Times daily columnists would see the parallels.