A couple of days ago, I posted an essay by the multi-talented Bob Shepherd about teaching reading comprehension. Many readers pointed out to me that I forgot to include the link, and they were eager to read the entire essay. This is not the first time I have omitted a link, which is absolutely vital, and I apologize sincerely.

I didn’t remember where I saw the essay but assumed it was on his blog. I began searching and eventually found it. It was first published five years ago. But as with any worthy writing, it is as informative now as it was then.

Here is the link:


While searching for the link, I found many other wonderful essays. The one that meant the most to me was Bob’s dissection of the brutal attack on my last book, Slaying Goliath, in the New York Times Book Review by a science journalist named Annie Murphy Paul.

From my perspective, Ms. Paul’s review was mean-spirited, misleading, and completely missed the point of the book, which was to celebrate the parents, students, teachers, and citizens who stood up to the powerful “Disrupters” and saved their schools.

She thought I was boasting about myself, which I was not. She thought I was wrong to name the billionaires and financiers and corporations that were trying to privatize the nation’s public schools. Why not name them? I thought I was writing a muckraking book like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, but she berated me for not telling “both sides” of the story. Should I have complimented Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and Betsy DeVos on their good intentions? That was not the purpose of the book. I wanted to give aid and comfort to those who stood up to the wealth and power of the oligarchs who hate public schools and compliment them for their courage and persistence.

Bob (whom I have never met) wrote his review a week after Ms. Paul’s review was published. I wish I had seen it. I was down in the dumps at the time. I would have been thrilled, as I am now, to know that someone saw through her vitriol.