Paradoxes of Ed Reform Critics


Reposted from Forbes:

There’s a lot of important, nuanced debate to be had between the most optimistic education reformers and those who are more skeptical. But I think there are many, though of course not all, on the education reform critic side who tie themselves in knots telling inconsistent stories about education in this country. So here are the most common paradoxes of that movement. This isn’t to say those who criticize some or even many aspects of education reform embody all these paradoxes, but I would argue they are relatively common. I think education reform critics spend a lot of times opposing individual policies or ideas or changes, and so it is hard to tie all of those disparate criticisms together into a coherent vision that also explains what education policy should be. These six paradoxes, I would argue, identify a problem:

1. Administrators can’t be trusted with firing, but are perfect at hiring.

2. Socioeconomic is the only thing that matters for life outcomes, but standardized tests and insufficient school funding are a serious problem.

3. The power of corporate education reformers is a huge undemocratic problem, but union power is not.

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