Robin Lake is one of the key figures in the Center for Reinventing Public Education, which is generally recognized as the inventor and chief promulgator of the “portfolio” district, in which the central board is supposed to open and close public schools, charter schools, and every other kind of school like a stock portfolio. Recently she wrote a post at The 74 (Campbell Brown’s site) saying that she was not a reformer.

Peter Greene dissected the logic behind Lake’s argument, which is sometimes hard to follow. Who’s stereotyping whom?

Lake says she no longer knows what the term “Reformer” means.

To which Greene responds, “True that. One of the implicitly insulting parts of the “reformer” narrative has been that only they are really interested in making schools better, and the people who have actually dedicated their entire careers to working in schools somehow have no desire to make things better.”

He is troubled by her insistence that “reformers” are not a monolithic group, coupled with her implication that those who resist “reformers” are a monolithic group. Which they are not.

He adds:

Sigh. But here we go. Lake segues into a call for the reformy flavor of the month– Personalized [sic] Competency Proficient Mass Customized Algorithm Driven Learning Education. She does a better job than many of describing it in glowing glossy terms. Oh, and as always, change must happen right now. Staying still is not an option, just as it wasn’t an option for Common Core or teacher test-based accountability or turnaround/takeovers or charters etc etc etc.&

It occurs to me that Lake could avoid the reform monolith perception by not using the same old used-car-salesman pitches. In fact, as I look around at all the reformy folks who are suddenly fans of Personalized [sic] Competency Blah Blah Blah Learning Tech Product, I’m thinking another way to avoid the perception that “reformers” operate in one unified block would be to NOT all come out in favor of the exact same Next Big Thing at the same time.

He closes. By offering an olive branch:

Lake’s desire to seek out new types of discussion is fine, but– Did I mention that this is published at The 74, a website established by reform supporter and teacher union hater Campbell Brown. Ms. Lake, let me invite you to cross some boundaries and publish elsewhere. Drop me a line and we can work something out here.