Media: What "Reforming The Reformers" Leaves Out
There's not much to disagree with in Paul Tough's recent commentary on the state of education reform, though there are a couple of things to add: (1) This isn't the first or only call for reformers to back off on the claims and excuses and beef up the supports and services part of their efforts. Linda Darling Hammond, Pedro Noguera, Valerie Strauss, and many others have said much the same thing for quite a long time. (2) That the work is incredibly hard isn't the most complete explanation for the recent excuse-making, either. Internal pressures to make (and defend) outsized claims are a key part of the underlying dynamic, as is the never-ending credulity for miracle stories by the press, public, and politicians. Also at play here is the reality that it's much harder to win funding and support for mundane-seeming things like nutrition programs and prenatal home visits than for ideas that are presented as "new" and "innovative." What's happening to the Promise Neighborhoods program that Tough's piece tacitly endorses is a prime example.