Education reform has taken a subtle but sharp turn in recent years, notes Kevin Carey of Education Sector in a thoughtful, lengthy blog post:
“When I began working on education policy full-time in the early 2000’s, the center of gravity in education reform sat with the coalition of civil rights advocates, business leaders, and reform-minded governors of both parties who pushed NCLB through Congress in 2001. To find that same hum of ideas and influence today, you’d head straight for the annual NewSchools Venture Fund Summit and its confluence of charter school operators, TFA alumni, urban reformers, philanthropies, and various related ‘edupreneurs.’ It’s a different world with a different mindset, and this has real implications for public schools.”
Carey cites as positive developments the influx of new people and organizations into the field, the productive cross-fertilization of ideas and practices between them, and the increasing flow of dollars to support these efforts.
These developments are not without their challenges, and Carey himself certainly raises some questions about what this means for the future of public schooling and, in particular, government’s role in it. But, as he concludes, “In any event, the education world has changed and it’s not going back. I suspect it will take some time for people to internalize this and decide what comes next.” Indeed.