Ten years ago, “school reform” at least equally applied to Deborah Meier and Ted Sizer as it did to, say, Joel Klein.
In the intervening decade, I’ve become a social software curmudgeon – you’ll pull Blogger from my cold, dead hands – and yielded the “ed reformer” tag to people and practices I hate.
Basically, in both cases, the money men started to roll in and roll over the geeks and the teachers who were building tools and schools with an eye to something other than the market, or market-based logic. We’re only just now hitting the point where it is clear the grifters are rolling into schools like Visigoths, but even when the point hasn’t been to make money directly, it has been to apply the methods of business to education.
It has taken a while to sort out, but at this point many of the leading figures in screwing up the internet are also leaders in screwing up education (reform): Gates, Zuckerberg, Jobs (RIP), etc. It isn’t hard to tease out the common thread. The earnest geeks who do things, understand how things work, and care about actual people get rolled by the big money guys. That’s it.
And, the other folks who are screwing up education are those who stand silent and watch it happen…