Editor’s note: This commentary is by William J. Mathis, of Goshen, who is vice chair of the Vermont State Board of Education and managing director of the National Education Policy Center.The views expressed are solely those of the author.

With shades of déjà vu, another state school reform proposal has thudded down; this one touted as a vision of a “modern education system.” Unfortunately, it is more a remnant of a failed past rather than a view of a promising future. It is a mélange of 30 years of unsuccessful neoliberal reforms with non-Vermonty authoritarian overtones. Most puzzling, this new “blueprint” proposes unsupported solutions to undefined problems.

The Phantom Problem — Claiming an “overly complex system … as the chief cause of our inefficiency” (with

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