I applaud those who defect or dissent from received wisdom. I know from personal experience that it is especially hard to dissent when it means stepping off a money train and leaving behind your friends.

Paul Emerich was a true believer in “personalized learning.” On this Blog, the term is translated to mean “depersonalized learning.”

Peter Greene is not sure whether to congratulate him for waking up or to chastise him for his cluelessness. 

Greene writes:

“I’ve been trying to understand why this piece, which confirms so much of what many of us have said, and does so from the perspective of someone who’s been there– why does this rub me the wrong way. The best explanation is this: Emerich calls himself naive, but I think he’s letting himself off easy. I don’t think he’s so much naive as arrogant, and the same arrogance that was displayed in heading off to charter techno-teaching without doing any due diligence is the same arrogance that leads him to make this Momentous Announcement of things that he has personally discovered, as if a few thousand other folks hadn’t already caught on years and years ago.

“I appreciate his point of view, and his confirmation that charter school companies are businesses, not schools, and that personalized learning via computer is a sham and a fraud, and I’m happy that people are sharing this like crazy. But dammit– if more of these tech folks would do their damn homework, we wouldn’t have to keep learning the same old lessons over and over, and we wouldn’t keep subjecting live human children to foolishness that we already know is foolishness. In the meantime, he’s now the Academic Chair at the high-end private Latin School of Chicago. I guess time will tell what lessons he actually learned from his stay in Silicon Valley.”

I’m willing to be charitable and welcome Paul to the Club of Reformed True Believers.