On being wrong and the necessity of failure

Over at Slate, there is a fascinating series of interviews on this topic conducted by Kathryn Schulz, author of the new Being Wrongthis particular one is by education pundit and former conservative stalwart Diane Ravitch, who broke ranks with the education reform crowd and now champions the traditional public education system. This one cuts close to home here (writing as the husband of a public school teacher and the father of two public school students), but I am just as interested in Ravitch’s willingness to admit that she was wrong about this crucial topic, about which she inveighed so vociferously for so long. This reminds me a bit of when other conservative apostates, especially David Brock, made a similar move, which Ravitch and Schulz dance around a bit–the odd aspect that some true zealots have, of almost being more likely to undergo a 180-degree conversion than people who have more nuanced perspectives on an issue. Especially those zealots who make a lot of loud arguments in favor of their (eventually reversed) position. Anyway–lots of good stuff here.

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