Gary Rubinstein wrestles with the issue of language and rhetoric of reform.

Long ago, a reformer was someone who wanted to improve the public schools.

Now, a “reformer” advocates closing them and replacing them with privately managed schools.

Once upon a time, a reformer was someone who wanted to raise standards for new teachers.

Now, a “reformer” wants to hire teachers who have only five weeks of training.

The word “reform,” he suggests, has become hopelessly tainted among educators by those who now claim it.

The question today is what to call those who object to the punitive methods of the “reformers”?

They say we are “defenders of the status quo,” when in fact we are opponents of failed ideas.

Gary says we are people who care about evidence.

But what is the one- or two-word description that positively defines those who want to improve schools and teaching, not demolish them?