Rick Hess summarizes the frustrations of center-right ed reformers with the Obama administration’s approach to education policy (myself included):
“Although some of Obama’s education moves have been inopportune, his agenda has also included a number of notions with real promise. But his administration’s excessive faith in federal regulation, lack of time for the niceties of federalism, and contempt for critics helped undermine these ideas and support for reform more broadly. Perhaps above all, Obama’s education legacy shows that good ideas executed poorly can prove not to be such good ideas after all.”
I hope that my left-leaning ed reform friends take this criticism to heart. It also extends beyond the federal level: just like Presidents, governors and state superintendents don’t stay in office forever. If we’re going to succeed over the long term, thoughtful implementation matters just as much as having smart policy solutions.