According to a guest blogger at The Answer Sheet, the best way to be taken seriously as an education reformer is to have no experience whatsoever with education.
In the current upside-down world of education policy, there’s one foolproof strategy for being taken seriously as a reformer: Make sure you’re not an educator.
Urban districts nationwide, with Chicago leading the way, have hired those with business or legal backgrounds to head their school systems. Major voices in the reform conversation such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and philanthropist Eli Broad have never been teachers. And when Oprah wants to talk about schools, she invites Bill Gates or Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg — all the while reminding her audience how much she loves teachers.
Why would you ever want to ask a teacher how to improve education?
Almost every expert on the subject, not to mention the big media assessments, says we’re all either incompetent or greedy.