A decade of researching, refuting and remaking reform. That's all?
Indeed, Happy 10th Anniversary, Education Next!? Co-founder, and editor-in-chief Paul Peterson has a nifty review of the journal's founding ? at a meeting with Checker Finn, Jay Greene, and Marci Kanstoroom in 2000 ? and highlights a few?examples from its wide and deep contribution to the nation's debate about public school rejuvenation over the last ten years. (I'm?honored to have been a part of the magazine since 2004, when it published my ?Board's Eye View? account of life on a school board.)
But not to be missed is the journal's tag-team ?forum? essays, ?Taking Stock of a Decade of Reform,? with?contributions ?by Peterson, Finn, and Kanstoroom (PFK), wearing the gold trunks, and Frederick Hess, Michael Petrilli, and Martin West (HPW), wearing the green trunks.? (You can also watch Mike and Checker debate the question of whether ?the war? has been won or lost, here.)
Characteristically smart and frank, the two essays offer unique takes on the meaning of such events, issues, and people as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, Bill Gates and Eli Broad, Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein, bonus pay, value-added, vouchers, charters, vested interests, (yes, unions), ?an unnamed ?left-leaning celebrity filmmaker? and ?even zeitgeist queen Oprah Winfrey.?
The writing is typically smooth.? Here's a gem from PFK:
If one looks strictly at the flow of federal dollars rather than the flow of talk, one sees that in 2010 maintaining jobs for teachers trumped fixing schools for kids.
But I don't want to give way too much. The essays, of course, display one of Education Next?s most understated but best-loved talents ? the ability to surprise.
And, as loyal readers might guess, this group is much too wise to claim the battle done. ?A battle begun, not won,? argue PFK. ?Pyrrhic victories,? suggest HPW, who go on to argue that we need a willingness to see ourselves as problem-solvers, solution-finders, and tool-builders rather than warriors going to battle with intransigent educators.
In fact, these?essays are as much about what the education reform agenda for the next decade must include as what the last decade did and did not do.
?Peter Meyer, Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow