Monday, November 19, 2018

CURMUDGUCATION: Is This The End Of Ed Reform Policy?

CURMUDGUCATION: Is This The End Of Ed Reform Policy?

Is This The End Of Ed Reform Policy?

From time  to time Mike Petrilli (Fordham Institute) grabs himself a big declaration and goes to town. Last week, the declaration was "We have reached the end of education policy."

He frames this up with references to Francis Fukuyama's book about the end of history, and I don't know that he really ever sticks the landing on creating parallels between Fukuyama's idea (which he acknowledges turned out to be wrong) and his thoughts about ed policy, but it establishes an idea about the scale he's shooting for-- something more sweeping and grandiose than if he'd compared ed policy to video game arcades or no-strings-attached sex.

His thesis?

We are now at the End of Education Policy, in the same way that we were at the End of History back in 1989. Our own Cold War pitted reformers against traditional education groups; we have fought each other to a draw, and reached something approaching homeostasis. Resistance to education reform has not collapsed like the Soviet Union did. Far from it. But there have been major changes that are now institutionalized and won’t be easily undone, at least for the next decade.

Okay. Well, first I'd argue that he has it backwards. It was reformsters who championed centralized top-down planning and the erasure of local governance, often accomplished with raw power and blunt force, so if somebody has to be the Soviet Union in this analogy, I think they fit the bill.

He ticks off the gains of the reformist movement. Charters are now fact of the landscape in many cities. Tax credit scholarships, a form of sideways voucher, are also established. He admits that the growth of these programs has slowed; he Continue reading: 
CURMUDGUCATION: Is This The End Of Ed Reform Policy?