Ed policy opponents aren’t evil

Whether you support or oppose education reforms, your policy adversaries aren’t evil, writes Daniel Willingham. Furthermore, you probably don’t know what they’re thinking — especially if you think they “don’t care about kids.”

Despite his opposition to education reformers and his “history of defending teachers and their unions,” Pedro Noguera was labeled anti-teacher (by Bridging Differences colleague Deborah Meier and others) for writing that teachers’ “unions must be clearer about what needs to change,” he complains. That’s bad strategy, Noguera writes.

If we also take the position that anyone who suggests that teachers’ unions are not doing enough to push for change in the way schools operate we will lose critical supporters, and not just me. There is widespread failure in urban schools (and many suburban and rural schools as well). Change is indeed necessary.

Some of the comments suggest that everyone who supports education reforms must be in league with right-wing knuckle-scrapers, if not Satan himself.