John Thompson: How Reformers Expain the Failure of Reform

Diane Ravitch's blog

In case you hadn’t noticed, corporate reform has failed. It is dying. Only money keeps it going. Its true believers know it is dead but they are paid handsomely to pretend there is still a pulse. If they flat out admitted that test-and-punish reform had failed, that privatization was a flop, the money train would go away.

John Thompson, teacher and historian in Oklahoma, reviews what reformers say to keep their spirits alive and their coffers overflowing.

“It has been fun reading reformers’ post-mortems on corporate school reform, as well as watching some of them twisting themselves into pretzels in order to deny that test-driven, choice-driven reform has failed. To take just one example, the pro-reform Fordham Institute has published analyses such as “Reformer, Heal Theyself. You’ve Ruined High School,” “Three Mistakes that Undermine Education Reform,” and “NAEP 2017: America’s ‘Lost Decade’ of Educational Progress.”

“When No…

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