Believe it or not, the Chicago Tribune published one of the best articles I have read about the disaster that is called education “reform,” but in fact is education destruction.

I say, believe it or not, because the Tribune has been one of the nation’s loudest cheerleaders for the policies that this column decries.

Robert C. Koehler is a syndicated columnist, not an education specialist, but he sees clearly the damage that the education destruction movement–NCLB and Race to the Top–is doing to students and our society.

His column is titled “The Warping of Public Education.”

He writes:

“…high-stakes testing, in tandem with “zero tolerance,” militarized security and sadistic underfunding, has succeeded in warping public education beyond recognition, especially in low-income, zero-political-clout neighborhoods. And the result is kids in prison, kids on the streets, kids with no future.”

And he concludes:

“The time has come to declare an end to this entire era — of militarized racism, violent solutions to everything, the ever-widening schism between “us” and “them.” Any politician who kowtows to this simplistic agenda, or “bargains” with it, has made himself or herself irrelevant to a sustainable and healthy future, and should be declared thus.

“We have to undo the damage that has turned public education into a crisis. That means dumping the pretend science of high-stakes testing and valuing rather than criminalizing students of color; it also means moving from punishment- to healing-based systems of maintaining order, taking police and armed security guards out of the hallways and learning to value and respect young people more than we value metal detectors and surveillance cameras.

“Before we can do anything else, we have to get our future out of the pipeline.”