Thank you, Diane, for highlighting this 2011 story. It was also one of my favorites when I first read it.

The hypocrisy in public education is rich. Too often, policies and “great ideas” are for other people’s children–not our own.

Please visit her blog at to see this post and my comment.

If we’re not careful, the rich and powerful will continue to pull their children out of public schools and that will leave those schools ever more for the have-nots. Whither the common good?

These stories matter!

Of course, I mean the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and the way to improve public education is through special education.

If we want strong robust public schools, we need to understand what’s happening in those schools. And then, believe it or not, it’s vital to understand special education. That’s right, special education.

And that’s because special education, which was created in 1975 to mandate public education for children with special needs, has evolved & expanded to the point that it has become one of the principal drivers of public education policy & finances. Even so, it’s largely ignored. Often, it’s the elephant in the room. If you look at end-of-year lists of top education priorities, you’ll not see it. That’s really too bad.

As I see it, we can’t improve schools for all students without understanding the role and effects of the special education law & delivery system for special education.

Especially with today’s challenge from Washington that if public schools don’t serve all children, the feds will help them opt out through choice and vouchers.

So, the way to fix public education is through special education. As for a man’s heart, I’ll leave that as it’s always been.

Please read this review, as posted on Diane Ravitch’s blog. It raises all sorts of excellent issues. So, I was moved to comment. Enjoy!

Here’s my comment:

Diane, Happy New Year and thanks for posting this interesting and unsettling book review about the negative (and, HMMM, unpredicted?) effects of testing policies set by experts and our government.

As I read it, I realized that these concerns go far beyond testing. Policy makers and experts “set unreasonable targets” in many, many arenas of public education. Take, for example, my area of concern and expertise–special education–and the policies that affect all students and all schools–often, with unintended (unpredicted?) and absurd consequences. Yet we carry on. Who will stop this maddening train?

Too often, targets created by policy makers in Washington and beyond– in the testing and other arenas–don’t hit the mark and damage the very schools we are trying to improve.

When will WE ever learn?