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Reform: What To Call "Anti-Reformers"?

Picture 2Going back as far as 2007, I've been debating with reform critics about just what to call them -- an issue that is either completely superficial and unimportant or a key factor in shaping how people think and act around education issues.  My suggestions (poverty racers, reform opponents, traditional educators, infidels) have been unsatisfactor from their point of view. Their suggestions (real reformers, context-based reformers) seemed not to convey much meaning or have any chance of widespread adoption. (They really want the reform mantle to be theirs, or to recast reformers as corporate reformers but I don't see either of those things happening.)  I'm not sure how this has been handled in other eras or areas -- what the group opposed to reform is usually called (loyal opposition?).  My latest idea -- sure to be shot down almost immediately -- is for everyone so inclined to rally around the "broader, bolder" theme, which came into use in 2008 as part of the fight against EEP and continues to be used by EPI but seems to have fallen out of favor for some reason in recent years. It's short, punchy, positive, and conveys enough meaning for a reader or reporter to grasp its intent easily.  


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In what other areas has there been a so-called "reform" push in which at least a goodly (and powerful) percentage of its supporters actually intend to destroy the institution they purport to want to reform? I can't think of any.

Meanwhile, we "anti-reformers" lack a massive, mightily funded professional PR/branding operation to apply press-bewitching labels to our position. It's a quandary.

I think we should be called "traditional reformers" and they should be called "data-driven reformers," or if they like neo- reformers or members of the contemporary reform movement. As long we who have been battling for decades for reform are excluded from the title of reformers, then the accountability hawks need quotes around their name as in "reformers" or being called the reformey types.

Original reformers or grassroots reformers

How about simply "counter-reformers"? Perhaps there's something analogous to the institution that, 450 years ago, thought their reformers went perhaps a bit too far.

How about "teachers?"

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"They really want the reform mantle to be theirs, or to recast reformers as corporate reformers but I don't see either of those things happening," you attempt to finesse parenthetically.

Nope, I didn't fall for it.

The reform mantle was mine before they ever misappropriated it, and still is. As to labeling your movement "corporate reform", yes, that is happening, whether you admit you can see it or not.

reform / counter-reform has a nice balance to it, kyle -- as well as history.
thanks, kyle!

i've removed a comment for personal attacks and asked the commenter to refrain in the future.

as a general rule, commenters should stick to discussing ideas and refrain from questioning character or motive.

i reserve the right to remove, edit, or block comments on this site. the rest of the internet i have no control over.


Who in the hell really cares about the names? Look, what this does is set up a totally false dichotomy here, no one is completely one or the other. But what difference does it make, really? Something simple for reporters to communicate? Well, perhaps they should do their job and understand the issues before they report rather than relying on some ridiculous reductionist category that basically tells the lay public nothing about the debate. Look at the moniker reformer, what the hell does that even mean anyway? Reform what, reform how? What it really means, to me at least, is a vision of education based purely on an ideological position, not based on evidence. What does it mean to be an educated person, what content or understandings are required? Some folks have their version, and I and others possess something quite different.

"Protectors." Of children, schools and the concept of public education.

There are really three groups, divided by how they think teachers should be fired.

Unions (up until 2011, at least): new teachers should be fired at the whims of principals, while tenured teachers should almost never be fired

Reformers: teachers should be fired if their students test scores are low

Me and a few others: teachers should be fired if they are observed to be poor teachers, just like pretty much everybody else who works

Your group would be:

Mossyback, Troglodyte, reactionary,1%er, corporate reformers

Corporate Reformers for short (Diane Ravitch has asked us to call you this and she rules)

Our group would be the Enlightened. progressive forward looking,99%er, group

Progressive Reformers for short.

Problem solved.

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