I don’t often respond to people who criticize me. At my age, I can’t waste time looking back. I try to keep my eyes on the future, not on my back.

Fortunately there is Mercedes Schneider, who has my back.


The other day, Peter Cunningham wrote a post criticing me for switching from pro-testing to anti-testing. Peter used to be Arne Duncan’s assistant secretary for communications and was referred to by admirers as “Arne’s brain.” Now he is off on his own as a consultant or public relations guy or something like that. He received $12 million from the Walton, Broad, and Bloomberg foundations to start a blog called “Education Post,” supposedly to promote civility. This was his platform for criticizing me. It has also been a site for attacking other critics of corporate education reform, like Carol Burris.


Mercedes Schneider offered Peter some advice. She recommended that he read my book “Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.” The answers to all his questions are there, Mercedes points out.