(H/T Matt Ladner on Jay Greene’s blog) In the never-ending education reform debates, it’s important not to take for granted that prominent voices can change their minds. Mike Thomas used to be a Florida education news reporter notably skeptical of Jeb Bush’s bold and cutting-edge school reform program. After reviewing the evidence, much of it firsthand, his intellectual transformation has led him onto Bush’s team in the Foundation for Excellence in Education’s communications department.
From Thomas’ introduction on his new Ed Fly blog (not to be confused with the Education Gadfly):
The more I learned, the more I understood that reform was not a plot to destroy public schools.
It was a plot to ensure that children who had long been neglected by education bureaucracies finally got a fair shake.
It’s a lot easier to resist major needed changes when someone convinces himself that it’s being devised by an evil corporate anti-teacher bogeyman. Yes, my friends in the Education Policy Center get that treatment quite a bit. But trust me, they say it’s a badge of honor. Changing a deeply-entrenched system can be very difficult work.
Reading Thomas’ explanation of his transformation provides a good reminder, though! Hearts and minds can change. Little Eddie will just keep on speaking out, keep on persuading, with a big smile on my face!