I’ve been blogging in this space for a long time and I guess for that reason I’m on many press release spam lists relating to education issues (along with others on some rather strangely connected topics).
Take for example one that landed in my mailbox today from Education Sector, “an independent think tank that challenges conventional thinking in education policy”. They wanted me to know about (and, presumedly write about) their “first-ever K20 Task Force”, the purpose of which is to “to identify and address the most important issues in K-12 and higher education”.
So who are these “senior fellows”, these “distinguished experts in education policy, journalism, and research”?
Well we have a consultant who taught and held leadership positions in higher ed, and who began his career in the New York City Department of Social Services. Â Next is the executive director of product management for a collection of for-profit colleges, coming to that job from the Gates Foundation.
An education researcher at major university, the president of an educational consulting firm, the editor at large for the Chronicle of Higher Education, and yet another researcher, this time from a different think tank.
Notice anything missing?
In this group of “distinguished experts” there’s not one person involved directly with teaching kids in K-12. None of their bios even mention past experience with K-12 instruction buried in among their many author credits.
It appears that, according to Education Sector, “challenging conventional thinking” means pontificating on how teachers should improve their practice requiresÂ no direct experience or interaction with 8th graders.
And that in a nutshell, is exactly why education reform in this country is going nowhere.
I’m totally going to get together with some of my friends and start an education group where we all have illustrious titles (founder! board president! fellow!), so we can list it on our LinkedIn. And maybe, we’ll even do something. :)
If we’re choosing titles, in the tradition of The Flintstones and Happy Days, I want to be the Grand Poobah. :-)