Teacher Tom teaches pre-school children in Seattle. He is
also a writer and artist. Here he wonders why the leaders of the
so-called reform movement insist on doing things that never work,
like merit pay, or doubling down on truly bad ideas.

He writes:
“Listen, I don’t know why smart people like Bill Gates (Microsoft),
Arne Duncan (US Secretary of Education), and Rupert Murdoch (News
Corporation) continue to insist that we keep banging our heads into
the wall again and again. But I think I do. As Ravitch writes:
“Their belief in the magical power of money is unbounded. Their
belief in the importance of evidence is not.

Tom writes:

“We are being hoodwinked by “free market” ideologues, people of faith that
put most religious people to shame. It is a faith based upon the
mental experiments of people like Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand,
apostles of selfishness, competition, and the spread sheet
mentality. There is nothing in these people’s world that cannot be
improved by the application corporate “values.” You know, the
values exhibited by the Wall Street hedge fund managers who, of
course, are part of the neoliberal chorus in support these
evidence-free “reforms.”

“This is why they simply cannot accept the
evidence before their eyes: like all fundamentalists they are
incapable of seeing anything that doesn’t exist within their
carefully constructed belief system. They believe the same thing on
Wednesday that they believed on Monday, no matter what happened on

“This is why they must lie, insisting that our schools are
failing when they are not; that our test scores are too low when
they are the highest they’ve ever been; that our achievement gaps
are growing when they are, in fact, shrinking; that we are falling
behind other nations when we are not; that there are too many
dropouts when our graduation rate is at an all-time high. Heck,
corporate reform poster child Michelle Rhee’s entire “career” is
based upon lies.

“This is why they cannot answer us when we point
these things out, choosing instead to try to deflect our reasoned
response by accusing us of being racists or union thugs or
communists or, as Bill Gates once described Ravitch, “my