Reader Caroline commented on this post by Alexander Russo at This Week in Education (late December, 2011). It's a pretty funny lament over how the ed reformers can't seem to sell their message. These two lines made me laugh:
In contrast, reformy folks have lacked a SWAT team of feisty and prolific school-level champions defending articulating their message.
The now middle-aged reform movement seems to have relied on institutional and organizational voices -- Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Wendy Kopp, et al -- and mainstream news outlets, where they dominate.
You mean feisty and numerous people on the ground (instead of those at 10,000 feet) actually work harder and are able to engage more?
And those institutional and organization voices - you mean, the Broad Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the Walton Foundation? Yes, you do find yourself wondering what they truly know about public education that they didn't learn from a white paper or quick and orchestrated school tour.
He seems to think the battle will be won via social media.
It's funny how people up the food chain forget how personal this fight is. And those on the ground - the parents, the teachers, the staff - know the challenges better than anyone. That's why their voices resonate in a way that Bill Gates' never will.