Advancing a Free Society

The Name Game

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It’s silly season again, and I’m not referring to the Republican primaries. No, I’m thinking about the all-out battle for proponents and opponents of “reform” to stick a nasty label on the other side and claim the mantle of truth and goodness for themselves. This is nothing new, of course (Sean Cavanagh had a smart piece in Ed Week about this in March). But the battle continues apace.

I just learned from Whitney Tilson that Steven Brill, for example, calls Randi, Diane, et. al “school reform deniers” (akin to those who once denied that smoking was the cause of lung cancer). I see what he’s going for but I’m sorry Steve, that one needs a little more work. (It makes me think of Holocaust deniers. Are the unions denying that reform is happening? Or that it needs to happen? Or are they trying to deny victories to the reformers? It’s all a little unclear.)

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