We have observed frequently that reformers almost always have a soft landing in a cushy job, even when their previous endeavor was a dud.


Thus Chris Barbic led the Achievement School District in Tennessee, promising to raise the schools in the bottom 5% to the top 25% in five years; it didn’t happen (five of the six schools in the first cohort are still in the bottom 5%, and the sixth is in the bottom 10%). No matter. Barbic now works for the John Arnold Foundation in what must be a less stressful job.


John King was a disaster as state commissioner in New York. Now he is Secretary of Education.


The eight years of Obama’s education policies were a nightmare for the teaching profession and public schools, with everyone struggling for survival.


Arne Duncan now works for Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’ widow. And one of his top deputies, James Shelton, was just hired as advisor to Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. Shelton previously worked for the Gates Foundation. Life is good if you are a reformer.