In his Manichean spin, Brooks claims that one cannot agree with both manifestoes, and that they represent the status quo camp and the reform camp. But wait: isn't NCLB the status quo, and high-stakes accountability the status quo in many states before that?
This isn't just snark, a lack of consensus of what the status quo is is a pervasive problem in discussions about school reform.
For example, what is the status quo of secondary math instruction in the US right now? Is it "traditional" or "reform" math? The answer to this question seems mostly dependent on what is being taught in your or your children's school district, not any real national data. This, of course, makes a well-grounded conversation about national policy almost impossible.