Similarly, I have been trying to understand the persistence of education reformers, especially those in federal and state government, in the light of so much contrary, well-articulated evidence. I have been trying to understand how teachers who oppose charter schools and merit pay, or who make the case that schools alone can’t undo the effects of poverty, have come to be defined by education reformers as the enemy – supporters of and apologists for the status quo. Somehow, educators who do not support the reformers’ ill-conceived version of disruptive innovation, but who have proposed myriad significant improvement, have been cast as defenders of bad teachers who supposedly believe poverty is destiny. Reformers have become so enamored by their own ideology and so invested in their own course of action that they are unable to recognize the evidence that challenges their policies and unable to recognize the damage it is causing to students.
Let’s not forget this either: Few of the “reformers” are educators. They are lawyer-politicians or businessmen who have never been in a classroom, never experienced school other than being there as a student, and have motivations other than doing schools differently instead of better.