Education Needs More Cynics

Some have said that I am more than a skeptic with regard to educational reforms. “Cynic” has been used to describe me. In response to some proposals by school leaders, I have been quite accurately called a “tick-off cynic.”

I continue to be cynical about much that is presented as education, especially by outsiders. I fail to see how a career as a business leader leaves a philanthropist more qualified than I am to recommend sound pedagogy, so I am skeptical to the point of cynicism about the pedagogy they promote. I get “ticked-off” when insiders, professionals who should know better, accept an outsider’s curriculum and instruction. I get even more ticked off when insiders jump on a bandwagon that is going in the opposite direction than the one they jumped on to last year, and they fail to see the contrary direction or even deny an obviously contrary direction. I get still more ticked-off when the insiders jump on bandwagons that are contrary to what learning scientists are discovering. When an educational leaders argues that we should follow the philanthropists because “they are paying for it,” that leader loses credibility immediately and permanently.