Educators’ time loss and the invisible cost of reform
Frederick M. Hess

Excellent points. Fred Brooks, the guy who wrote the Mythical Man-Month, pointed out (it was in a magazine article, although it’s a theme that shows up constantly in the book) that the role of a good leader is to stick to a given framework, even if it’s suboptimal. The cost of reorganizing, of integrating new techniques, resources, rules, personnel, etc. no matter how (potentially) good and effective they are, is such that the short to medium term losses outweigh gains. Long term gains, if they can be followed through carefully and methodically, may justify the short to medium term losses, but most organizations are not designed to carry through reforms over long term anyways — and in education, that would mean having to stick through a reform program patiently for decade or more before passing judgment, which I don’t think many people are prepared to accept.

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