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Friday, May 14, 2021

CURMUDGUCATION: More Koch Ed Privatization

CURMUDGUCATION: More Koch Ed Privatization
More Koch Ed Privatization

The Koch Network is getting with the times and launching an edu-reform substack. Yay.

The substack is co-hosted by Lisa Snell, director of K-12 education policy for Stand Together, aka the Charles Koch Institute. Previously she spent 23 years as Director of Education at the Reason Foundation. Her co-host is Adam Peshek, who is part of the same Kochtopus, having arrived Jeb Bush's ExcelinEd (formerly FEE). Peshek also works at Yes, Every Kid, a rebranding of some standard reform ideas

Their new platform is called "Learning Everywhere," and so far, they're playing all the hits. "Time to scrap the factory approach to education" is the first... issue? What are we going to call these substack things?  The subheading is "Individualization, not standardization, empowers learners to thrive," which kind of captures one of the odd whiplashes in the reform movement; I'm betting that while he was at ExcelinEd, Peshek spent a lot of time advocating for the Common Core standards, the one-size-fits-all standardization that Jeb Bush backed right into a conservative buzzsaw. But standardization is no longer where it's at.

The piece starts out with an unintentionally apt story about the Air Force's discovery of the problem with averages. In the early 1950s, the Air Force was having problems with pilots who had trouble flying--turns out that a cockpit built to "average" specs doesn't actually fit anyone, so they changed their approach to cockpit seat design (you can thank this development for the adjustable seat in your car). 

This is meant to be a story about how individualization is the key to everything, and I think it works, but I want to point out that while the Air CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: More Koch Ed Privatization