A reader asked in the comments: Why does EduShyster (Jennifer Berkshire) interview reformsters, the people who want to dismantle public education and replace it with a private choice system? I asked her. The question was, “Why does Edushyster interview these folks? What am I missing?”

This is her answer:

“Hi – I’m happy to answer that. Can I share my answer with you? I’m out and about having a ladies day and can’t remember my password to log into WordPress (which is somehow different from my blog password – this is what happens when one gets older!)

The easy answer is that I love interviewing people and always have. Way back in the day (OK–many days), I had an, ahem, underappreciated radio show where I would do live interviews. And when I edited a newspaper for AFT, I made my q and a’s (including one with Diane), a staple.

In my latest incarnation, I’ve taken these up again, and I’m still amazed by the fact that virtually every single person I’ve approached has agreed to to talk to me. Well, there was one person who turned me down but I am too discrete to say who. (Email me!) So in the last few months I’ve been making a regular feature of these conversations with people across what I think of as the education reform divide. Here’s why I do them:

1) I think we’re in a war over really big, important questions–not just about education but about democracy, inequality, race, and who gets to decide what kind of country we’re going to have. And yet the education reform debate has started to feel really small to me. I think talking to people about what they believe is a way to get at the big issues that are at stake.

2) The education reform movement isn’t nearly as monolithic as it can seem from a distance. There are key differences between the different constituencies, and doing these interviews helps me gain a better sense of where the divisions are.

3) I’m fascinated by how it is that two people can look at the same set of circumstances and see the world completely differently. Interviewing people like Andy Smarick forces me to try to see the world through his eyes AND makes me think about how I see the world.

In the fall I’m going to be launching a podcast series so that you can hear what these conversations actually sound like. And you don’t have to listen if you don’t want to!