(Guest post by Greg Forster)
In a post that ran today on Gadfly, Daniel Buck attributes to me views that I do not hold, and mischaracterizes the content of the articles he links to by myself and Neal McCluskey.
I reached out to Fordham to ask for an opportunity to run a response, but they refused. I even offered to revise my response to meet concerns they might have, but they refused to allow me to run any response.
The premise of Buck’s article is that “the essential question” under debate in the exchanges he links to is: “Is school choice sufficient to reform American education?” However, the only people he names or links to on the side that supposedly answers “yes” to this question are Neal and myself. Buck links to one article by Neal, two articles by me, and a tweet by Neal. He neither names nor links to any other sources. And neither Neal nor I asserted that school choice is sufficient to reform American education.
In fact, I asserted the opposite. In both of the articles that Buck links to, I argued that one of the primary reasons school choice is so valuable is that it greatly increases the political leverage of other efforts to reform the government school monopoly. Obviously this is premised on the view that other reform efforts are necessary and good, a view that I explicitly endorsed repeatedly in both articles.
Buck is just making false statements about what Neal and I said.
In one paragraph, Buck describes views held by “libertarians” who are “disciples of Milton Friedman.” He does not name any names, and links only to an article by me. But I am not a libertarian. The libertarian idolatry of “markets” that Buck describes, in a paragraph that links to me as its only example, is actually a view that I have been arguing for some time the choice movement needs to move away from.
I will plead guilty as sin to having known, admired and loved Milton Friedman. But, as Milton would have been the first to insist, that does not make me his “disciple.”
Anyone can make an innocent mistake. I’ve made tons of mistakes in my career that were far more humiliating than this one. The best policy is to be willing to admit a mistake when you’ve made it; I hope Fordham adopts that policy soon.