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A Chronicle of Echoes Gets Noticed in Salon

July 7, 2014

This summer, I am writing my second book, this time on the history, development, and promotion of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). On July 4th, I finished writing the ten-chapter body of that book, which means that even though I now turn my attention to proofing, editing, and formatting my references, I do not need to sit for seven-plus hours three out of every four days intensely focused on creating a book.

I can also turn my attention to other issues that I put on hold until I finished the body of the CCSS book. One major task involved replacing the lock assembly for the ignition of my car. I finished the job today.  In May, I began having serious difficulty getting the key into the switch because the tumblers had worn out in ignition lock. I had to leave a key in the ignition for two months until I had time to repair it. (It was far more cost effective for me to do so myself.)

And while I was working on my car today, Michael Mazenko of the news site,, published an article about Bill Gates, and in it, he referenced my first book. has 15 million “unique visitors” a month, so having my book referenced (and linked) is significant. Mazenko also referenced one of the posts on my blog:

Teacher and education blogger Mercedes Schneider has spent the past year blogging about the surreptitious process the standards took to adoption and implementation. Her work culminated this year with the book “Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of Public Education.“ In it, Schneider traces what she sees as the excessive and inappropriate corporate influence on public education. Following the publication of Layton’s story, Schneider turned her attention to the curious timing of the interview, asking, “Why Would the WashPost Wait Three Months to Publish a Gates Interview?“  Schneider’s research implies powerful corporate and national forces pushed a project and agenda that should have been far more inclusive of teachers and school communities.

A word on my blog post about the Washington Post’s delay in publishing Layton’s interview with Gates: Layton and I exchanged emails in June, and she did not want the exchange publicized. She also declined to offer any formal statement about the delay in the publication of the article that included the Gates interview. I was willing to post an explanation. Since she declined and asked that I not publish the content of out email exchange, I have not done so. I did add an update to that effect to my original post.

As to Mazenko’s referencing my first book: I appreciate the reference. His introduction makes A Chronicle of Echoes sound like the book I just finished writing on CCSS. A Chronicle of Echoes does include a chapter on CCSS “architect” David Coleman, and the chapter does include details on CCSS development.  However, A Chronicle of Echoes is much more; it is a 24-chapter survey of education privatizers. Mazenko does a nice job capturing as much in his statement following his naming the title of my book; indeed, I do “trace” what I “see as the excessive and inappropriate corporate influence on public education.”

I am pleased to know that my book has Salon’s attention, and I thank all who are reading and promoting it.

For those who have asked for a signed copy:

chronicle signature


  1. Worried permalink

    I just finished your book. It is so very alarming what is happening to our public schools. I had kept up with most of what was happening, but I learned quite a bit from your book that I didn’t already know. We need to focus on strategies to turn this privatization movement back. Thank you for all of your research into who the players are.

  2. Worried – The trick has been to keep our heads above water just catching up and keeping up w the speed of reform. My hope is in the belief that reformers will do themselves in and we will at some point need to simply give them the final nudge off the cliff! Mercedes’ book and insightful blog has made it so much easier for laggards like me to wrap our heads around the beast.

  3. Annat permalink

    Mercedes, I am a teacher and a parent in a public school district near Boston. My colleagues are wonderful, caring and committed educators. But it floors me that they are not at all clued in to what’s happening behind the scenes. They really have no idea! Things are moving so fast, as geauxteacher said, that they are just trying to keep up. This needs to change! When I told a third grade teacher that I am opposed to the MCAS, her reply was, “But we need data!” Same reply from our senior ESL teacher. I have not been able to find a single soul in my school district who is as appalled as I am. I have tried to organize parents at my daughter’s elementary school to opt out and I get -“What’s the problem? Our teachers don’t teach to the test and our kids score well.” Both of your books will be so helpful. I will spread the word! Thank you!

  4. And fixing your own car!
    You go girl!
    And, I was so excited to see the reference in Salon.

    BTW: had the same problem with my car, was never able to get it fixed.
    Perhaps your 3rd book could be an auto repair manual (because so many of us teachers drive a “hooptie”)

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