As I get to know these people through their writing and actions, I'm starting to flesh out a rough taxonomy of contemporary school reformers. Some are basically sociopaths, others are potentially and often actually excellent educators who fell in with the wrong crowd (e.g., see the former category). I fit Michael Goldstein into the latter category and a post of his from last week fits my model perfectly:
(It’s not about the coaches, it’s about the players) is the title of a recent blog by Philip Waring. He, through the Amelia Peabody Foundation where he’s a trustee, is a funder of charter schools. Including ours. He then cheerfully challenges much of the thinking of charter school advocates. He and I sometimes email back and forth about this stuff.
That particular post by Waring seemed pretty innocuous, so I scrolled down to the previous one which included this gem:
More and more people, at least those who think about these things, are asking themselves where might new jobs come from? Real jobs, that is, not government jobs which, while they may make work, make nothing that can be sold and turned for a profit leading to new growth and new job creation.
Real jobs come from industries that are growing and thereby creating new wealth. Government jobs may be growing but no new wealth is being created thereby.
You either see what's crazy about that or not. He then goes on to apparently not realize that the deregulation and innovation he's suggesting in education would, if it worked (which it wouldn't and hasn't), would end up reducing employment in the sector anyhow.