Monday, August 29, 2011

Steve Brill's blackboard jungle

Here's Fortune's take:

It's a superb book, written in a journalistic style that one would expect from the 60-year-old Brill, who founded CourtTV, and the American Lawyer and Brill's Content magazines. In contrast to more scholarly examinations of education reform -- like Stanford political science professor Terry Moe's earnest "Special Interest"  -- Brill understands the value of character, scene and gossip. Class Warfare brims with them.

For example, Mayor Michael Bloomberg comes across not only as a courageous change-agent in New York City, but a hypocritical pol. Once Bloomberg decided in 2007 to run for a third term, according to Brill, he gave up trying to get major concessions from the teachers union in contract negotiations on matters like tenure. That meant undermining the schools chancellor, Joel Klein. "For the rest of his tenure," Brill writes, "Klein would be the rabid school reformer whose most eloquent arguments would be about union protections that remained embedded in the contract he had just signed."


Steve Brill's blackboard jungle

August 19, 2011: 5:00 AM ET

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