As readers know, John Merrow decided yesterday to post a blog in which he gratuitously insulted me by comparing me to a politician on the far right and implied we represented extremes and neither of us was a hero. This came out of the blue. I used to think of John as a friend, but friends don’t insult friends. He also insulted readers of my blog, suggesting that like Senator Ted Cruz’s followers, they are all closed minded. We are, he says, on “the left,” while Cruz is at the other extreme. He much prefers Dave Levin, one of the founders of KIPP, whom he holds up as an exemplar of “the messy middle.”

The insults came so thick and fast that it was hard to sort them out. My readers are not leftists. They are teachers, parents, students, administrators, and ordinary people who don’t like to see their local public schools closed down or taken over by a private charter corporation like KIPP.

I am a scholar and a historian. I don’t like the status quo of the past dozen years. I think our policymakers are doing serious harm to children, teachers, schools, and communities. It is outrageous that they call these policies “reform,” when it would be more accurate to call them “destruction.” They are destroying childhood. They are destroying creativity. They are destroying love of learning. They are maligning public education. They are demoralizing teachers and principals and destroying the education profession.

Through my blog and my books, I have tried to present evidence and research, not just opinion. When I express opinion, it is based on evidence. Dispute the evidence, if you will, but don’t resort to ad hominem attacks.

I invite my readers to read the comments following John’s post. Not many agree with what he wrote.