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Two More Excerpts from My Book, A Chronicle of Echoes

May 5, 2014

On April 27, 2014,  I announced my book, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education.

Here is the book description:

“Corporate reform” is not reform at all. Instead, it is the systematic destruction of the foundational American institution of public education. The primary motivation behind this destruction is greed. Public education in America is worth almost a trillion dollars a year.

Whereas American public education is a democratic institution, its destruction is being choreographed by a few wealthy, well-positioned individuals and organizations. This book investigates and exposes the handful of people and institutions that are often working together to
become the driving force behind destroying the community public school.

book_cover

The paperback and hardback versions are now available.

The Kindle version is on its way. (I will announce once it is available.)

Since the cover image on Amazon.com does not offer the interactive “preview” feature, I would like to offer a glimpse into a couple of chapters.

The two I have selected for this post are chapters 2 and 3, on Eva Moskowitz and Wendy Kopp, respectively.

One of my favorite chapters in the entire book is the one on New York education privatizer Eva Moskowitz. Here is the opening paragraph, with additional excerpts:

Chapter 2: Eva Moskowitz: Stage Mother of Charter School “Success”

            If Mama Rose had forsaken Vaudeville and instead had focused upon a career establishing and running charter schools, she might have been mistaken for Eva Moskowitz. And just as Mama Rose did whatever she needed to do in order to propel her daughter Gypsy Rose Lee’s career, Moskowitz is equally as pushy and controversial in the charter school arena. …

            Moskowitz insists that her obsession is “for the children.” Yet she has chosen to surround herself with career financiers and pays herself handsomely. She is a driven, controlling woman running a business in education.

            Nowhere is Moskowitz’ drive clearer than in the 125, now-public emails between her and former New York Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and, to some extent, then-deputy Chancellor John White. In one notable exchange, Moskowitz writes her own gratulatory recommendation supposedly from Klein to Jennifer Sneed of the Charter School Institute and actually emails the draft to Klein as a prompting for his support of her opening additional charters. This is quintessential Moskowitz—very bossy. 

And here is an excerpt from my chapter on Teach for America (TFA) founder Wendy Kopp, from her time at Princeton, as student newspaper editor:

        On April 22, 1987, The Daily Princetonian published an article entitled Business Today Fabricates Own “Letters to the Editor”; Publisher Says Magazine Will Revise Policy. I found this title interesting, for it implies that perhaps those in charge of Business Today (i.e., Kopp) did not know it was fraudulent to fabricate news and needed to create some policy that says clearly, “News items cannot be created by the staff.” Sure enough, Kopp and her staff created letters and attributed them to other students. …

           Kopp refers to students who did not write their own letters as “writers.” Also, she never explains how a person’s name came to be included “in the shuffle of editorial copy” given that this student wrote no letter in the first place. …

            Kopp never takes responsibility for her deceit. In justifying her actions, Kopp hopes to sell readers on the idea that defrauding them with fake news isn’t so bad after all.

There is plenty more where this comes from: 24 chapters in all, on such individuals as Joel Klein, Arne Duncan, Paul Vallas, and Rahm Emanuel, and on organizations such as the national Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), Stand for Children, Black Alliance for Education Options (BAEO), Parent Revolution, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

For previously-posted excerpts from chapters on former DC Chancellor Michelle Rhee and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, click here.

A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education.  Available to order either online or at your local bookstore.

From → book reviews

3 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on Reclaim Reform and commented:
    Mercedes Schneider’s new book, A Chronicle of Echoes, tells more truth about Corporate Education Reform in one chapter than most people have read in major media outlets within the last year.

  2. Gerri K. Songer permalink

    I can’t wait to read your book! Unfortunately, with it being at the end of the school year, and the end of a negotiating year, it will have to be a summer read. I want to actually be able to spend some time on it. I’m recommending it to teachers in two districts – 1,960 members! : )

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