Is Ed Reform a Meaningless Term?

If you haven’t seen it yet, there is a new education social networking site on the block — edReformer.  Brought to us by Vander Ark/Ratcliff and originally incubated by New Schools Venture Fund, edReformer describes itself as “a community of advocates, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors seeking to improve student learning worldwide” and “as a catalyst for innovation in the education sector by encouraging entrepreneurship and promoting public and private investment in new learning tools, schools, and platforms.”

In contributing to the dialogue, the good folks at edReformer are offering up news, information, interviews, and opinion on all things education policy, while utilizing blogs, Twitter (@edReformer), Facebook, and similar tools at our disposal to spread their gospel of education “excellence and equity through innovation.”
After some strong weeks of rich and interesting content, edReformer may have taken a major step back today.  They asked dear ol’ Eduflack to offer up a guest post from this year’s Education Writers Association conference.  The agitator that I am, I jumped at the chance, providing edReformer a post here building off of EWA attendee concerns that the term “education reform” has really lost its meaning.
Sounds like me, huh?  Going on a platform called edReformer and saying that the term ed reform has jumped the shark.  I must be looking to have my guest blogger invite pulled before the electronic ink is even dry.  But my thesis stands.  Because so many players new to the dance are misusing the term (just as we saw seven or eight years ago with scientifically based education research), then those who understand the term and are working toward real improvement, like edReformer, will get the short end of the stick.  If real reformers are going to be taken seriously, we need to restore honor to the term, while having a broader swath of education stakeholders understanding what we mean and working together to bring the meaningful improvement we seek.
Go and check out edReformer (and my ed reform post).  Personally, I think edReformer has the possibility of becoming a Huffington Post for education improvement and innovation, a place where a wide range of voices gather, learn, speak, and advocate.  I just hope Tom, Bennet, and Doug realize I don’t hate the playa, I hate the game.  And I’m hoping that efforts like edReformer are going to restore my faith in the game.

3 thoughts on “Is Ed Reform a Meaningless Term?

  1. Yep. I find reform — when it’s just a bunch of people agreeing to guess about something — is not reform.

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