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Response to Valerie Strauss

Responding to Valerie Strauss (‘Answer Sheet’)
Jeanne Allen

All you have to know about Valerie Strauss’ attempts at journalism, and those she quotes or offers as “proof” that public education is under attack by dark forces who want to “privatize” schools (which of course is a misnomer since public strings are intricately linked to any ed reform measure) is that she holds up bad education results as a defacto result of poverty, rather than a result of bad educational programming, union contracts that neuter any hope for innovation, bureaucracy and poorly spent funds.

Why the Washington Post continues to host her is anyone’s guess. But know that when someone throws Strauss’ propaganda at you – or that of Ravitch or anyone from Save our Schools, Red for Ed or any number of union funded front groups – that they are not speaking from experience, fact, or concern for the 60% of students (80% among at risk children) whose futures are destined to be among the 80 million adults we have today without a postsecondary credential of any kind (certificate, degree etc.).

Those of us who actually do engage daily in educational change at the home, school, community, local, state or national level are reminded daily that without life-saving educational opportunities through personalized learning, scholarships, charter schools, teacher pay reforms, created over the past 25 years we would be the third world that Nation at Risk warned we’d become if we did not turn the U.S. Education Ship around. It’s a big ship, and a slow turn, but millions of lives are better because of the people and programs Strauss and her mal-intentioned colleagues malign.

Jeanne Allen is Founder & CEO of the Center for Education Reform.

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