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Thompson: Reflections Of A Recovering Reformer

AlamoBattleRecovering state schools administrator Andy Smarick explains in a new blog post that his political experience has provided a new appreciation for "Reform Realism," which was advocated in 2008 by Mike Petrilli and Checker Finn. 

Government service has taught Smarick more about "the terminal dysfunction of urban districts than the efficacy of competition," he writes in Crime, Punishment, and the Edu-Alamo. "We’ve had tests and reporting requirements in too many states for too long concomitant with little to no student improvement for me to believe any longer that transparency and accountability are the levers we need."  

Ironically, Smarick's conclusion could have been predicted by his intellectual hero, Nobel laureate Tom Schelling. Smarick links to Jonathan Rauch's brilliant "Seeing Around Corners," in the Atlantic Magazine (2005).  Although the reading is even tougher going than Smarick's prose, it is worth wrestling with Rauch's explanation why the social engineering known as school "reform" never had a chance. JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via.   


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