Yesterday, the New York Times published an article about my forthcoming book that turned out to be a profile of me. The reporter, Motoko Rich, did a good job of describing me, my dog Mitzi, and the basic facts of my unusual philosophical and political journey over the past few decades.
The headline was wrong, however, and I know that reporters don't write headlines. Whoever wrote it is out of touch. The headline said: "Loud Voice Fighting Tide of New Trend in Education." I would have preferred an adjective other than "loud," like "strong" or "persistent." My megaphone is actually rather small, consisting of nothing more than my pen (actually, my computer). I don't know how "loud" my computer is. I also found objectionable the suggestion that I was fighting a "new trend." In fact, I am fighting the status quo. When a policy is shared by the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Congress, most governors and state legislatures, ALEC, Jeb Bush, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the president of the United States, how can it be called "new"?
I wish the article had said that the book refutes every claim of the privatization movement; that it provides ample documentation to show that American education is not failing or declining; that it demonstrates that test scores for American students are at an all-time high; that high-school graduation rates are at an all-time high; that dropout rates are at a historic low; and that privatization of public education is bad for our democracy.
It turns out I was not the only one who harbored these concerns. Read The Daily Howler on this topic.