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Would you listen to Reign of Error again? Why?
This book contains a very good point-by-point critique and refutation of the arguments in favor of the school privatization reforms currently being enacted throughout the country. I probably would not listen to the entire book again, but will likely refer to it from time to time. This is where listening to an entire book and then having a printed copy for reference is helpful.
Who was your favorite character and why?
The book doesn't really have characters. To the extent that it talks about individuals, it focuses on the ways that "reformers'" backgrounds, early experiences, and current commitments may have biased them against critically examining their own motivations and the evidence regarding the reforms they advocate. However, the book mostly examines arguments and evidence, rather than individuals.
What three words best describe Eliza Foss’s performance?
I found the narration a bit problematic. Part-way through the book I realized that my unease with Foss's style was that she sounds very much like the voiceovers in negative political campaign advertisements--the ones that are intended to make us view the target of the ad with worry, fear or disdain. In the context of this book, that style seemed overblown and manipulative--and I found it grating after a while. I think that a more neutral tone would have been more persuasive.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I suppose the book tended to confirm my biases. However, I think that, by the end the thinness of the evidence that supports reform was quite stunning.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I totally agree with the basic arguments made by the author. That our public schools are performing much better than we are led to believe, That test scores are not a good measure of success. That privatization is merely for profit and not for the students. That schools can't be judged by a market sector business model.
The book is very well researched, but there is much repetition of the points made, It will take a real effort for most listeners to get through the book. Still public education is so important to democracy that it is worth the effort,
2 of 2 people found this review helpful