Michael Petrilli

What Would Al Shanker Do?

One of the reasons Candidate Obama was so appealing was his call for participants in our democracy to “disagree without being disagreeable.” Though he hasn’t always lived up to that standard, it’s a worthy objective—and one we education reformers should keep in mind too.

In that spirit, I strongly encourage you to read Richard Kahlenberg‘s brilliant 2007 biography of Albert Shanker, Tough Liberal. Or, if you don’t have time to tackle its 500 pages, listen to this 45-minute interviewwith Kahlenberg instead. (It’s the third offering of the Education Next Book Club, a new long-form podcast that I’m hosting. Previous editions featured Richard Whitmire on The Bee Eater and Dan Willingham on Why Don’t Students Like School?)

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