I really don’t want to give indigestion to the corporate
reformers so early in the day, but I have this one consolation:
there are so few of them. Put them all together in one room, and
they might fill the grand ballroom of the Hyatt-Regency. That is,
if they each bring a friend.

But I will tell the good news because it
proves yet again that we are many, and they are few.

This blog has now had more than 7 million page views since it debuted on April
24, 2012. The readers are fed up with attacks on one of our
society’s most precious democratic institutions: our public
schools. They are looking for an alternate source of news,
information, and analysis. They find it here.

They also find dissenting views, because unlike most of the mainstream media, we
are not afraid of debate and dissent.

We find and honor the heroes of American education. We know that some principals and teachers
have died for their students, and we grieve for them.

But we also recognize that there are heroes who stand up for their students
by fighting injustice and destructive ideas. We know that this kind
of courage can get one fired, so we recognize it for what it is:
Heroism. Courage. Integrity. We maintain an honor roll for those
who fight for the kids and for good education every day, who stick
their necks out and take risks.

The pseudo-reformers call me names because I criticize their attacks on teachers and public education.
They don’t think it is mean when they close schools, fire teachers,
fire principals, shatter communities. They think they are leading a
new civil rights movement when they demand the establishment of a
dual school system.

They not only flatter themselves but dishonor the legacy of the real civil rights movement, in which people died
to establish a just polity. They borrow the terminology of the
civil rights movement while substituting the goal–school
choice–of George Wallace and Strom Thurmond.

We cannot have great, education by having one set of publicly funded schools (charters
and vouchers) that pick and choose their students, kicking out the
losers, excluding students with disabilities and English learners,
and operating free of state laws, and a second publicly funded
system, required to take all students, including those rejected or
ejected by the other system.

Great school systems aim for equity,
as the Finnish scholar Pasi Sahlberg says, and get excellence.
Finland has a unitary system, no charters, no vouchers, no Teach
for Finland, very little poverty, and a great school system. Also
no standardized testing until the end of secondary school. Think
about it.

And think about this: 7 million page views in less than
18 months. We are rising. Faux reform is failing everywhere. The
tide is indeed turning.