Recently, I posted a response to Steven Brill's piece for Reuters, "The School Reform Deniers" on my personal blog (it was reposted by Raging Chicken Press a few days ago). In it, I call into question what he claims as his journalistic impartiality and also question what he resorts to calling "facts." In the latest issue of The New York Review of Books, Diane Ravitch reviews Brill's Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools in an article entitled "School 'Reform': A Failing Grade." Not only is she even harsher on Brill than I am, but she fills in a great deal of background.
In her latest post on her Education Week blog "Bridging Differences," Diane Ravitch writes:
I worry about the one-sided treatment of education issues... in the national media. The corporate reformers seem shocked when anyone questions their narrative. They see no downside to their dogmatic belief in closing schools and firing principals and teachers, nor to their dogmatic faith that higher test scores are the goal of education. They accuse critics of "defending the status quo," even though it is they who are the status quo, the champions of get-tough accountability. They don't understand that they might be wrong, that their critics deserve a hearing, and that disagreement is healthy. ...
For many years, I kept a clipping in my wallet, something that [Robert Maynard] Hutchins said. It was the last line of his obituary in The New York Times (May 16, 1977). He said: "The only political dogma in America is that discussion leads to progress, that every man is entitled to his own opinions, and that we have to learn to live with those whose opinions differ from our own. After all, they may turn out to be right."