Five School Reform Sound Bites That Hurt Teacher Buy-In

There is a growing assumption that education reformers are anti-teacher and teachers are anti-reform. Disagreements between these groups have become so heated and so public recently that this seems like a reasonable conclusion.

The real story is more complicated. Over the past year, I've had the chance to speak with many people in the education reform world. I have come to believe that most reformers became reformers for the same reasons that most teachers became teachers: a hope that we can provide a higher quality education to a greater number of children in a fairer and more equal way.

As a teacher, though, I share my colleagues' frustrations with some of reformers' catchiest feel-good phrases. Teachers are not so much against education reforms as we are downstream from them. We see the way well-meaning changes play out in our schools and classrooms, and often hear troubling subtexts in talking points that sound great on TV. Here are a few examples, along with tips on how to engage teachers in the real conversations that we should be having about these issues.

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