My thanks to Michael J. Petrilli who, via Jerry Becker, defines the Education Mafia:
Jerry P. Becker Posted: Nov 26, 2012 6:39 PM
>What We Learned About School Reform in 2012 >By Michael J. Petrilli > >That comes down to simple arithmetic: With 3 million >teachers and several million more bus drivers, food- >service workers, aides and other staff, the public- >education system is the largest employer in the U.S. >These folks vote, and they make their views known to >friends, family and neighbors, through traditional word >of mouth and social media. They've even been known to >send word via the children in their classrooms.
As for the rest of Mr. Petrilli's advice on how to continue school reform: it is pie-in-the sky feel-good nothingism. This desire to reform the existing institution is like smoking: impossible to give up even though it is killing you.
The school reform effort reminds me of a story my brother, a family physician, told me. During his rotation in oncology, while an intern, he observed cancer patients, who had gone under knife many times and were already missing various pieces of their anatomy, smoking by putting cigarettes up to the holes in their tracheae. These were not stupid, or even fatalistic people. Rather, this act was a testament to the power of nicotine addiction.