This is one of the most powerful articles I have ever read about the pernicious lies of those who call themselves “reformers.” It should be a cover story in TIME or Newsweek or the front page of the Néw York Times. Someone should send it to Frank Bruni, Nicholas Kristof, David Brooks, the PBS Newshour, and everyone else who opines about education.

Bob Braun slams the editorial board of the Star-Ledger for their consistent, unrelenting defamation of teachers. The editorial board apparently believes that the only good teachers are inexperienced young teachers (think TFA), while any experienced teacher is a slacker who should be fired, “sooner rather than later” (using the phrase quoted in the NY Times by one of the co-authors of the infamous Chetty-Rockoff-Friedman study).

Here are excerpts from Bob Braun’s fiery and brilliant :editorial:

“A recent editorial in The Star-Ledger stated the state administration of the Newark school system “may soon be forced” to fire its “highest performing teachers” because of seniority rules. That is utter nonsense and it’s impossible to believe whoever wrote it doesn’t understand it is utter nonsense. So that makes the statement a lie, and a defamatory one at that. Why is it ok to defame teachers?

“The writer could not possibly know who, among those who might be laid off by the hermit-like superintendent Cami Anderson, belongs to some sort of category of “highest performing teachers” because there is no such category. It scurrilously presumes, however, that, if teachers are experienced, they must perform less well than inexperienced teachers.

“In what other profession—or vocation or job, if The Star-Ledger won’t admit teachers are professionals—are less experienced practitioners automatically considered less capable than amateurs? Airline pilots? Surgeons? Lawyers? Plumbers? Editorial writers? I’ve written about teachers for more than 50 years and I know teachers themselves believe they need years of experience to be effective.

“The editorial is built, without evidence, around the canard that all teachers with experience either are, or soon will become, “dead wood” that ought to be cleared from the forest of public schools by—in the case of Newark—administrators with virtually no (and, in some cases, just plain no) teaching experience. As if experience teaching was itself the cause of poor teaching–what naïve drivel.

“How convenient it is for these non-experts to decide that the problems of urban schools are caused by a phantom band of dead wood teachers who, because they are experienced, are thereby at fault for the dismal performance of urban public schools.

“By reaching such a wildly unsupported conclusion, the editorial writers—really writing as flacks for their corporate owners and managers—make these corollary, if implied, arguments: Protections for school employees also contribute to poor schools; money doesn’t make a difference; because inexperienced teachers are cheaper teachers, the schools can cut budgets without impunity if veterans are fired; unions serve only to preserve failure and, therefore, should be eliminated; and this is the most risible—politicians like the anti-public employee union Steve Sweeney are owned by public employee unions and should be shamed into voting against due process for teachers.

“This editorial is simply a rewrite of dozens of editorials in The Star-Ledger and other media outlets that endlessly blame school employees who are set up to fail—when they do fail, and they don’t always—by a system steeped in the isolation of the poor and black and brown in woefully underfunded and overwhelmed urban school systems….”

“If The Star-Ledger had a heart or a soul or even just a brain, it would look honestly at what is happening in cities like Newark. With the full endorsement of the newspaper’s editorial board, outsiders are destroying neighborhood schools their children would never attend anyway–destroying, too, real communities the employees of the newspaper couldn’t possibly understand. Or live in.

“These hypocritical missionaries from the middle class–funded by hedge fund managers and others–have fashioned what they call “reform” out of a toxic mix of libertarian ideology, personal arrogance, anti-union animus, racism, and anti-spending politics. “Reform” means creating a privatized system for a few students believed to be educationally remediable while casting the rest into warehouses of despair. In Cami-land there isn’t the money to buy enough lifeboats, so some children will be saved and some will drown.

“That has nothing at all to do with teachers–high-performing or low-performing. That is Social Darwinism made public policy by a buffoon of a governor, his sycophantic followers and media outlets in search of the ever elusive clicks. Hate for public employees always generates more readers than support.

“Hey, editorial writers–instead of repeating the same lies and canards that never stop, just look at Newark. Look at its children. Look at its history. Look at its streets. Look at its needs for health care, safe streets, welcoming parks and playgrounds, a workable justice system, and housing.”

A reader once asked me what single post or article she could show to her friends who are liberal, affluent Democrats but don’t pay much attention to what is happening to public schools. How could she convince them that President Obama and Arne Duncan are promoting harmful, failed education policies? I would say, “Start here. Start with Bob Braun’s letter to the editorial board of the Star-Ledger, where he worked for many years.

Let me add that despite my outrage at this administration for its terrible education privies, I don’t regret voting for him on 2012. He made great choices for the Supreme Court. On education, however, his administration is hardly different from that of any Republican, including Romney. No wonder K-12 education never came up during their debates, other than to elicit bipartisan support for the disastrous Race to the Top. Their only difference was vouchers, yet even here both Obama and Duncan have done nothing and said nothing to stop the proliferation of vouchers.