I previewed the Steven Brill ed reform book this summer but today’s TIME School of Thought column is a longer review of the book. It’s an important and well-researched book although it’s somewhat ahistorical and zealous as well:
I am one of 208 people Steven Brill interviewed for his education-reform chronicle Class Warfare. In addition to having an index and notes at the back of the book detailing who told him which details for each chapter, the lawyer turned journalist includes a section on sources, listing us in alphabetical order, followed by a separate page with job descriptions of 56 people he interviewed who requested not to be named. I mention these details to give you an idea of a) how methodical Brill is as a reporter and b) how dishy his book gets with all those unnamed interviewees. The source list in Class Warfare may read like the Who’s Who of modern education reform, but the chapters that precede it often feel more like The Real Housewives of Policy Wonk County…
You should read the entire book but for now you can read the entire review (and do your part to help the media industry) by clicking on this link.
One Reply to “Class Warfare”
Can you explain why in the world Brill would read every NYC contract going back for years, and not even skim the huge body of social science on education, teaching, and learning that was directly relevent to his work? As far as social science goes, a close reading of his book shows that at the end he still didn’t know what he didn’t know. If Bill Gates or the other billionaires had bothered to inform themselves about educational research, I bet Brill would have read it before taking a chance on embarrassing himself when interviewing them. He apparently has no compunction against embarrassing himself in front of educators and wonks, however.