Peter Greene writes here about the “moonshot” to transform American education, co-sponsored by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the allegedly liberal Center for AMERICAN Progress. Peter points out that this collaboration demonstrates that both sides of the DC Establishment endorse corporatedceducarion reform (despite its manifest failure for the past 25 years).

He compares their competition to education’s version of the self-driving car.

He writes:

Do you mean something that’s promoted relentlessly but is still far off in the future? Or do you mean a program that faces major obstacles that tech-cheerleaders just sort of gloss over?

Perhaps you meant a tech-based solution that strips all participants of power and agency and gives it instead to a bunch of programmers? Or did you mean a new tech initiative that promises to make a bunch of people rich?

Or do you mean something that can fail with really catastrophic results?

All their goals are stated as measurable results.

And he notes:

These goals are all about changing numbers; they are an open invitation to apply Goodhart’s or Campbell’s Laws, in which focus on a measurement leads to that measurement being rendered useless. This is about coming up with ways to make better numbers. Yes, one way to improve numbers can be (though not always) to improve the underlying reality those numbers are supposed to represent. But those techniques are hard to scale, expensive and not easy to devise. There are always simpler methods.

If you want a piece of this action, the group is open to submissions of 500 words until the end of the month. But remember– this is not about coming up with a self-driving car. It’s about coming up with a marketing package that makes it look like a self-driving car has been perfected. It’s about doing a good job of using modern CGI to fake your presence on the moon without all the hard work, expense and challenge of actually getting a rocket up there.