News and Fake News about My Book

“Two of these reviews are not like the others.

Two of these reviews just do not belong.

Can you guess which two are real (and not phony)

Before I finish my song?”

                                                                                  (with apologies to ‘Sesame Street’)

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: “There’s no way I will say something nice about a book that makes fun of President Obama and I, not after people made fun of me when I slipped up and asked ‘Is our children learning?’”

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “This foundational book will be in my Presidential Library. When the foundation is poured, I will personally see that it is shredded and mixed in with the wet cement.”

FORMER SECRETARY OF EDUCATION ARNE DUNCAN: “When I read what he wrote about my “Race to the Top” program, I created a special race for Merrow’s book: “Race to the Dumpster.”

PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: “I know that John Merrow is the son of the famous CBS broadcaster Edward R. Merrow, but, even if you put them together, I am more famous than them. If I were going to read a book, it would not be this one, unless maybe Frederick Douglass recommended it to me personally!”

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R, FL):  “I’m not even mentioned in “Addicted to Reform,” so why would I buy this book?”

THE WALTON FAMILY: “We respectfully decline to endorse “Addicted to Reform: A 12-Step Program to Rescue Public Education.”  Not only does it criticize our effort to improve education, but the author is known to shop at Costco.”

CHESTER E. FINN, JR.   “The problem starts with the author’s tendency toward narcissism. …  he’s a sort of discombobulated radical who seeks many worthy changes in the American K–12 enterprise but whose “plan,” for all its dozen steps, isn’t likely to result in the overhaul he wants. … Merrow’s brain contains a rosy vision of a different future.”

BILL GATES, co-founder of Microsoft and co-president of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: “Merrow has zero credibility.  He spent his entire life working in public broadcasting and probably never made more than $50,000 a year.  Ergo, zero credibility.”

JOHN THOMPSON, historian and retired teacher:  “In “Addicted to Reform: A 12-Step Program to Rescue Public Education”, John Merrow lets it all out. … Merrow shows how corporate reform began as a fundamentally anti-intellectual movement (by admittedly smart people who knew little of the institution they sought to transform) and ended up defending policies that are sometimes irrational and/or cruel.”

MICHELLE A. RHEE, former Chancellor of the public schools in Washington, DC: “WTF?”

EVA MOSKOWITZ, CEO of Success Academies: “Ditto!”

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: “There’s no way that I would allow myself to be alone in a room with this book. For one thing, John Merrow’s wife is attractive.  Very, very attractive, as a matter of fact.  And, come to think of it, Merrow was a good looking guy when he was young.  Temptation, begone.  If you want to risk damnation and read it, do it in a crowded public library…but please pray first.”

BETSY DEVOS, United States Secretary of Education: “As an American, I have choice about the books I read, and I choose not to read it.”

JOHN FALLON, CEO of Pearson:  “John Merrow was on our Board of Directors for one day back in April, 2015, so it would be a conflict of interest for me to endorse it. And when he wrote about it, he greatly exaggerated the truth, so why should I trust anything he writes?”


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