Bruno: Reformers Think (Wrongly) That They Are Engaged On Inequality
I'd like to very briefly second Alexander's recommendation to reformers that "obviously education can't be the only method of addressing income inequality" and that they should "reconnect" to the issue.
My sense, however, is that education reformers have if anything moved in the opposite direction as of late.
Perhaps sensitive to charges that they were ignoring issues like inequality, reformers seem to be increasingly taking the position that education really is the best (or only) way to address inequality.
Consider this recent piece by Josh Kraushaar in The Atlantic arguing that various reformy education policies have "proven to be a time-tested path to economic mobility". Despite the fact that it confusingly conflates inequality with economic mobility and doesn't actually provide any evidence that the reforms are "proven" to address either, the article got approving links on Twitter from StudentsFirst, among others.
It's easy to see why this is an attractive shift for reformers, since it simultaneously increases the importance of the education reforms they were already pushing and undermines the argument that they're too indifferent to inequality.
Maybe this is just something I've started noticing recently and doesn't represent a real shift. But I do feel as if reformers have been increasingly willing to tell me that education reform is the best - or only meaningful - way to address a host of problems from inequality to economic mobility to poverty.
Either way, I'm not politically savvy enough to know whether that rhetorical position will let reformers have it both ways: retaining a laser-like focus on education while also attending "the inequality party of 2014", as Alexander puts it.