A Note on Words and Images
As the author of “Education for Sale?” in the March 27 issue of The Nation, I wish to note that I did not write and was not made aware of the subtitle attached to the article: “Betsy DeVos is an evangelist for extreme school ‘choice.’ Can the education system survive her agenda?” Nor did I know of or approve the lead image that accompanied the article and made its way into social media. Both suggested a personal attack on Secretary DeVos, something I would neither engage in nor condone.
The Learning Policy Institute is a nonpartisan research institute dedicated to informing policy development. We do not take positions on legislation or on policy-makers. We are committed to working with policy-makers from any party who are dedicated to improving our education system to ensure that all students have access to empowering and equitable high-quality education.
My colleagues and I have significant concerns about the ways in which some approaches to “school choice” can serve to undermine that goal. Those concerns are based on unbiased, rigorous research about the outcomes of charters and vouchers utilized differently in a number of US states and some other countries, as detailed in my article. If we are to make improvements to create the high-quality education systems our students so badly need, it will not happen by demonizing one another, nor by simplifying the issues. It must happen through civil collaboration by everyone involved, and by applying evidence to the pressing problems at hand. Only then can we create an educational system in which all of our schools are worth choosing and all students and their families have real choices, with or without charter schools.
President, Learning Policy Institute
Professor Emeritus, Stanford University
palo alto, calif.
New Jersey State of Mind
Bob and Barbara Dreyfuss’s story “John Wisniewski’s Insurgent Crusade” [March 13] completely misses the reality of what has been going on in the New Jersey gubernatorial race for the past year. They make it appear as though Phil Murphy is the tool of the party bosses and county committee chairmen. The reality is that the state Democratic Party was widely splintered, with most support in the southern counties expected to fall behind Senate President Steve Sweeney and the northern counties supporting Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. Except nobody bothered to tell Murphy, who jumped into the race early and has worked his tail off ever since.