Blog: The Educated Reporter

A review is not the book.

Yes, I am overdue in saying something about Diane Ravitch’s book, and I intend to. But in the meantime I will just say this: The reviews of a book are not the book. Especially when I wrote Tested, I was amazed at how people misinterpreted what I wrote; later I would learn they did not read the book but only reviews of it. So an offhand comment by Sandy Kress in National Journal’s conversation about how the feds would hold states accountable on RtTT hit a raw nerve for me.

Kress was disappointed with Ravitch’s opposition to RtTT. He wrote, “I searched through all the reviews I could find of her new book. My goal was to climb the mountain of all the ideas and practices she’s come out AGAINST since her conversion to find something she’s actually FOR.”

Nothing against book reviewers, because I am occasionally one. But if you want to understand someone’s arguments, you have to read their work and not just what others write about them.

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