Jay Mathews begins his recent Class Struggle post on school reform with a false premise.

Education reformers contradict themselves every day and don’t seem to know it. This includes President Obama, Mitt Romney and many mayors, scholars and activists who all say we need more charter schools, more systems that evaluate teachers based on student test scores and more merit pay.

Obama, Romney and others who are in that “mayors, scholars and activists” grouping (many of who Mathews praises) are not “reformers”. Not even close.

Evaluation systems based on standardized tests change nothing, and are instructionally regressive.

The charter concept had potential at one time but the reality is that all but a very few are little more than clones of traditional 20th century classrooms.

Merit pay is a idea that’s been tried and rejected more than once.

So why does Mathews say those so-called reformers contradict themselves?

Because charter schools don’t use the teacher assessment systems (based on standardized test scores) being advocated by his “reformers”.

An idea based on yet another false premise Mathews uses regularly: that charters know best.