Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Arrogance, Hubris And Pathology Of The Education Reform Movement

I want to play a game.

I'm going to list education reformers from different professions.

See if you can figure out what they all have in common:

Oligarchs: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Eli Broad, Michael Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch, Mort Zuckerman, Reed Hastings, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, various members of the Walton Family, Merryl Tisch, hedge fundies backing DFER, StudentsFirst, etc.

Politicians: Barack Obama, Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, George W Bush, Rahm Emanuel, Harold Ford, Cory Booker, Kevin Johnson

Political functionaries: Joel Klein, John King, Michelle Rhee, Arne Duncan, Kaya Henderson, Cami Anderson, John White, David Coleman, Chris Cerf, Tony Bennett, John Deasy

Charter entrepreneurs: Eva Moskowitz, Steve Perry, David Levin, Andre Agassi, Pitbull

Celebrities who publicly identify as education reformers: Bill Cosby, John Legend, Isiah Thomas

Media members who publicly identify as education reformers: Joe Scarborough and the entire cast of the Morning Joe Clown Show, a good part of the NY Times columnist corner (Brooks, Friedman, Kristof, Bruni), Jonathan Alter, Campbell Brown

That's just a partial list above - I know there are a whole host of names of reformers from all the categories I've missed (you can add the names in the comments section of the post.)

They are all different people with different personalities and different experiences from different walks of life.

But they all share one thing besides an interest in education reform.

And that's hubris, arrogance and certitude that they are RIGHT.

What is it about education reformers that they can't ever admit to being wrong?

John King never makes mistakes at NYSED, nor Merryl Tisch at the Board of Regents, even when they hand over a charter school to a con man who has lied about everything on his resume except for his birthday.

Andrew Cuomo never makes mistakes either, not with Common Core (which he assures us is great if only the NYSED and Regents would implement it better) nor with his APPR teacher evaluation (which only needs to be "strengthened" to ensure more teachers are fired to make it better.)

Barack Obama never makes mistakes, which is why he wants his education reforms enshrined into law well past the sunset of his administration (No Child Left Behind waivers are going to try and maintain the Obama deforms into 2019.)

Eva Moskowitz is so right that she refuses to allow anybody to audit her charter network if she can help it.

David Coleman knows everything about everything.

Michael Bloomberg is so egocentric he needs to put his name on everything he owns.

Go through the list - find me a reformer who isn't arrogant or hubristic.

Then go through the list and count how many narcissists and sociopaths are on it.

When the people behind the education reform movement are such an unsavory lot of sociopaths, narcissists, and pathological know-it-all's, can there be anything good that comes from that movement?


  1. What else do they have in common?...

    They have each other's lying backs.

    They support each other for the good of the few and rich.

    They are corrupt and lack real morals.

    They are an ethical plague that is destroying a democratic society and its children.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks - just added them. Two former sports guys (one a former meth addict, the other accused of multiple events of sexual misconduct) and a misogynistic rapper. Who'd think I'd list two under "charter entrepreneur" and one under "politician"?

    2. What I love about shitbull is that my hispanic students all say he sucks and hate his music

  3. I don't see many that have actually taught. Maybe Levin?

    1. Good point, Patrick.

      I'd say Cosby has an ED.D but that turned out to be a b.s. one he got for writing a dissertation on Fat Albert.

    2. Rhee taught for five minutes. Anderson had her fifteen minutes of fame as TFA.

  4. Randi and Mulgrew? How could you have forgotten those two clowns?

    1. They're double agents, working the game from the inside. That's a whole different post that goes well behind hubris and pathology to betrayal and treason.