Many years ago, Deborah Meier and I used to be antagonists. She was a progressive and I was a conservative. But in 2004 or 2005, we started blogging together, exchanging posts each week in which we practiced “Bridging Differences.” She (and events) turned me around. I have often said, half in jest, that anyone who spends five years blogging with Debbie Meier will eventually be converted.

I was thrilled to receive Debbie’s wonderful review of the book. Her response means a great deal to me. I look up to her as a champion of children, a lover of education, and a true apostle of democracy.

Here is a sample:

Reign of Error lays out step by step the relentless thirty year drive to ether centralize the education of the young—on one hand—or divest it entirely into privatized hands on the other. Finally, the two sides have joined forces on a strategy that simultaneously does both. While this coalition has many old roots, in its current form it began with the fanfare around the publication of A Nation at Risk (1983). Ravitch was, at that time, a supporter of this bold statement that more or less accused America’s teachers and school boards of a plot to undermine American health and welfare onthe international scene….

And in the past few years Diane’s change of mind has been a particular blessing. She hasn’t, as her preset opponents claim, done a complete switch at all—she was always pro-union, pro-public education and always for standards. Fairly traditional ones. (In fact, her criticism of Progressive educators was that so many had abandoned all standards, she believed.)

Then lo and behold: no one has pulled it all together better than Diane—over and over again in the past few years she has led the challenge to the corporate reformers—right , center and left.. Her last two books Reign of Error and The Death and Life of the Great American School System (2010) pull it altogether…..

Thanks, Diane. We all need to keep this book handy so we can whip out the citations to make our case for the kind of reform America really needs, in your own words: “to prepare citizens with the minds, hearts and character to sustain our democracy into the future.”