Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Apropos of the great ‘Rhee-Barr Dispute’, reported previously…

Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters” writes 4LAKids

The education policy crowd -- including [NYC Schools Chancellor Joel] Klein, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates and Eli Broad* -- who favor charter schools, competition, teacher merit pay, and an emphasis on testing and test score analysis as the best way to improve our schools --  like to call themselves the “education reformers”.

Yet this description is inherently biased, because many other groups and individuals believe in different, and they would argue, more fundamental reforms that would actually change conditions within schools and classrooms …including smaller classes, more parent input, more art and music, less test prep etc.

At one point, I protested to Elizabeth Green of Gotham Schools against their description as “reformers” and she said she would hold a contest for another name; see here.

She then decided the best winning name would be “idealocrats”, see here.

Yet I think this word is almost as bad – since it implies that these guys are more idealistic than the rest of us.

Yesterday, I posted on the Gotham Schools website the word “corpocrats”, since so many of them come from and take many of their (failed) ideas from the corporate world. 

So perhaps we can try to start a new trend and adopt this word as our description?   Please try to remember!


Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011


* Ben Austin, Mayor Tony, 6 of the 7 members of the LAUSD Board of Ed, Gloria Romero, Ted Mitchell, the Gübernator, Steve Barr, Michelle Rhee, the editorial board of the LA Times, sometimes Superintendent Cortines …the list is viral!

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