One distinct flaw in that development has been a trickle-down effect reaching from presidents and governors to state superintendents of education and school board chairs and members: people who have no or very little experience or expertise as educators or scholars attain leadership positions responsible for forming and implementing education policy.
The faces and voices currently leading the education reform movement in the U.S. are appointees and self-proclaimed reformers who, while often well-meaning, lack significant expertise or experience in education: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, billionaire Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee (whose entrance to education includes the alternative route of Teach for America and only a few years in the classroom), and Sal Khan, for example.
Bureaucracy bestows authority and a hierarchy on education that allows and perpetuates leadership without expertise or experience. The consequences include the two most vivid examples of why education reform has failed and will continue to fail: (1) Inexpert leadership is ideologically committed to solutions and thus implements solutions without identifying and clarifying the problems first, and (2) inexpert leadership that is in constant flux, with the perpetual changes in administrations, is apt to implement the same solutions over and over with different outcomes expected.
Yep. Yep. Yep.Inexpert political leaders believe in and act upon a faith in the effectiveness of their cult of personality. They say by their actions, "I can do this where others have not" -- triggering the American cultural faith in rugged individualism. [emphasis mine]
Read the whole thing. Please. He just nails it.