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The Best Posts About The Appalling Teacher-Bashing Column Superintendents Wrote In The Washington Post


Last week, a group of School Superintendents wrote an incredibly appalling column in The Washington Post. It is titled How to fix our schools: A manifesto by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and other education leaders.

It’s astounding to me that so many smart people could collaborate to write a column that is so awful in so many ways.

It has, fortunately, sparked quite a few others to post better-written and more thoughtful pieces that are accurate and research-based.

Here are my choices for The Best Posts About The Appalling Teacher-Bashing Column Superintendents Wrote In The Washington Post:

The bankrupt ‘school reform manifesto’ of Rhee, Klein, etc. by Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post

Misleading Manifesto by Liam Goldrick

A Manifesto of Errors: Rhee, Klein and the Gang Strike Out by Anthony Cody

How to (Let Someone Else) Fix Our Schools by Justin Baeder at Ed Week

Education: Manifesto versus Manifesto by Kenneth Bernstein

“‘Manifesto’ should be resignation letter” is an excellent piece at The Washington Post.

My own post, What Are These Superintendents Thinking?

Lastly, I’d like to include the letter our Sacramento Superintendent wrote about Waiting For ‘Superman.” It’s not directly connected to The Post column but, coincidentally, he sent it out to staff the same day these other Superintendents published their column in The Post. Too bad they didn’t talk to him first. Check-out What Our Superintendent Says About “Waiting For ‘Superman’”

What’s wrong with the ‘manifesto’ — point by point is the title of an excellent post in The Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet” blog.

Randi Weingarten: Don’t scapegoat America’s teachers is the headline of a guest op-ed piece in The Washington Post by the head of the American Federation of Teachers.

“Rothstein: Why teacher quality can’t be only centerpiece of reform” is a must-read piece by Richard Rothstein in the Washington Post.

Feedback is welcome. If you have written a post about the column, please leave a link in the comments section of this post.

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You might also want to explore the 500 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Yesterday I read with great interest a document released by Chancellor Klein and enthusiastically titled a “Manifesto”. I had to plow through it a few times in search of substance. There’s no connection to what transpires in the real world. I read no definitive solutions, no practical remedies offered.

    I read more rhetoric based on initiatives that are not supported by any research. Does this make sense to anyone? Let’s write a Manifesto and base it on a shaky foundation of initiatives proven to fail?

    Why write a lengthy document easily repudiated and formalize it?

    Four years of Latin, I’m forever breaking down words intor Latin origins (a shout out to Sr.Eleanor Farren!) ‘Manifesto’, manifestum, means “clarity” or “conspicuousness.” The only clarity I saw in that “Manifesto” was that Joel Klein clearly demonstrated how little he knows about the world of education.

    Valerie Strauss did a superb job dissecting this Manifesto and all its salient, or lack thereof, points. Teacher, Anthony Cody, also picked up on more outstanding points in his smackdown today. I’d like to dissect the rationale behind this published nonsense.

    Let’s see, who creates a manifesto anyways? Manifestos are always politically motivated and usually written by someone in desperate need of swaying public opinion.

    The last Manifestos I read were, I suppose, the Unabomber’s Manifesto! And, then, there was Andrew Stack who crashed his plane into an Austin IRS building-yes, he had a Manifesto on him! And then, there was Ron Paul in 2008 while he was running for President, he wrote an ambitious Revolution Manifesto, and of course Mein Kampf Manifesto by Adolf Hitler.

    It sounds official though. doesn’t it?–A MANIFESTO! Sounds as it it should be heralded in by trumpet first or read while being carried in on an elephant!

    To me, Klein, Rhee and the handful of Superintendents (backed by and/or trained by, the Broad Foundation) just guaranteed themselves entry into the Jeopardy Category MANIFESTO AUTHORS. They are now trivia game answers, just like, Adolf Hitler, Ted Kazcynski, Andrew Stark, etc. This will be a tough question to answer in a few years–nobody will remember it. It may qualify to fall under the ‘Double Jeopardy’ category. It does for me!

    A manifesto is always politically motivated. What’s the motivation? Big foundations love this gobbledeygook on paper–makes them think this is the official word–and oh, wait, let’s affix some signatures and make it look even more official.

    More empty rhetoric trying to be shoved down the throats of hedge fund managers to buy into this privatization scheme, more nothingness, no concrete solutions. I apologize to the authors but that is how it appears to me. I’m a parent who wants genuine dialogue between teachers, unions, parents and DOE–no more rhetoric.

  2. NOTE: I called my post MANIFESTO LITE! (previously posted)

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