On Sunday evening, after I spoke to the joint meeting of the Texas School Boards Association and the Texas Association of School Administrators, and after I spoke to parents and teachers at Eastside Memorial High School, I met Abby Rappaport, who writes for The American Prospect.
Abby knows Texas politics well. She asked me many good questions, and reprinted a slightly edited version of the interview. I boiled down everything I said to TSBA and TASA in the interview. I told her what I thought about high-stakes testing, about the Chicago strike, and about choice.
The only thing with which I disagree in her post is that I was not famous for promoting the “reform movement.” The so-called reform movement of today didn’t exist until about five years ago, and by then I was on my way out the door.
I don’t know if I was famous, but I’d like to think I got to be known among educators for the histories that I wrote, like The Great School Wars (a history of the NYC schools) in 1974; The Troubled Crusade (1983); Left Back (2000); and The Language Police (2003). Those books survive, and none is about testing/accountability/choice/competition.