William Doyle writes that it is an insult to real corporate reform to confuse it with the misguided methods of those who call themselves school reformers.

Doyle writes:

“It is a mistake to refer to failing education reforms as “corporate reform.”

“No leading company would place the entire foundation of its business on inaccurate, unreliable, system-distorting and often “bad” data like multiple-choice standardized tests.

“No leading company would roll out a multi-billion-dollar national venture (like Common Core) nationally without extensive field-and-market testing first.

“And while much education policy is currently focused on rating, shaming, stressing and punishing teachers, schools and even students based on alleged “performance” on standardized test “data,” according to an article in the April 21, 2015, Wall Street Journal (“The Trouble With Grading Employees“), a number of leading companies including Microsoft, Adobe Systems and Gap, Inc., are realizing that “performance ratings” are counterproductive, are abolishing them, and achieving better results.

“The article reports that the companies “abolished such [performance] ratings after leaders decided they deterred collaboration and stoked staffers’ anxieties,” and quoted David Rock, the director of the NeuroLeadership Institute, as saying that ratings conjure a “threat response” in workers, or “a sensation of danger” that can last for months if they didn’t get the rating they expected.

“The article reports that “companies that have gotten rid of ratings say their employees feel better about their jobs, and actually listen to managers’ feedback instead of obsessing over a number.”

Here is my reaction:

My own view is that the people who think it is “urgent” for them to demoralize teachers and turn public dollars over to private entities with minimal (or no) accountability have honed their message with care. Billionaires, hedge-fund managers, even the U. S. Department of Education share the same vocabulary that portrays themselves as saviors of the poor, as civil rights leaders, as the righteous rich, even as they slander hard-working teachers, close beloved community schools, and promote privatization and segregation.

“I confess that I am guilty of calling these people “corporate reformers” because I can’t think of a better term. Maybe “privatizers” works better. Some call them “deformers,” others call them “privateers.” What do you think?