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In an article published in 2013, journalist Launce Rake comments on the departure from Nevada of two “reformers.” He takes the opportunity to explain why the word “reform” should never be used to describe events, individuals, or organizations.
A GOOD EDITOR, YEARS AGO, told me to jettison the word “reform.” Calling a policy change “reform” is a way to dress it up and make it acceptable to the public, she explained.
If you want to award less money to people who sue after being horribly maimed by bad products or services, don’t call it “giving victims less money.” Call it “tort reform.”
Likewise, if you want to take apart the teachers unions and make it easier to fire teachers, don’t say “make it easier to fire teachers”. Call it “education reform.”
And they have. For a decade, education reform — that is, administrative and policy changes to public schools — has been a train barreling down the tracks, embraced by elected and appointed officials at all levels, across the political spectrum. Everybody loves reform!
That’s as true in Nevada as anywhere in the nation; schools in Nevada and the Clark County School District, the nation’s fifth largest, consistently rank among the worst-performing in the nation. While some wags also point out that they are also among the worst funded in the nation, political leaders, unable or unwilling to address the funding issue, have instead called for “reform.”
Isn’t it amazing that this writer gets it, but no one in the mainstream media does?