Monday, January 11, 2010

My friend Robert Pondiscio with some thoughts:


There's an old saying that successful movements look for converts, while unsuccessful movements hunt down heretics.  As Mr. Forman notes, the vast majority of people don't give a damn about the education of poor children.  Beating up those who do on issues of orthodoxy is a fool's errand.  Grow the movement, don't splinter it. 


…The one other thought I would leave you with is that it's human nature to associate causes with their champions -- messages and messengers, as it were.  If people dislike the messenger enough, they're turned off to the message.  This was (and remains) why I see Michelle Rhee as a double-edged sword for ed reform:


Here's something of which I'm absolutely certain: The strong majority of teachers in inner city schools are more than receptive to ed reform -- even muscular, aggressive ed reform.  At the end of the day, they want what's best for their kids.  But make the message intemperate, frightening, over-the-top or flagrantly disrespectful, and you become the bad guy.  Then you're no longer pushing the envelope, you're closing minds.


Everyone -- and everything -- gets the reputation they deserve.  Success breeds success.  Effective reform breaks the dishes.  You don't win extra points by breaking them over people's heads.


Just give it some thought.

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