In a very general sense, what Dave Winer describes as a bubble frenzy is part of the reason why people have trouble tracking meaningful efforts that could lead to educational reform.
If meaningful change was easy, it would be done already. There are a lot of smart people working in and around education. If the required changes were easy, things would be done by now.
Simple ideas appeal to us because they feel attainable, and they perpetuate the myth that we are just one discovery, one idea away from making Everything Better.
It's the idea that an iPad rollout (or really, any single technology) will transform education.
It's the idea that all education needs is a disruptive innovation to transform the whole system.
It's the idea that unions are the problem.
It's the idea that teacher quality is devoid of context, and doesn't vary from student to student.
It's the idea that closing "failed" schools will help the people these schools are supposed to help.
It's the idea that we can separate poverty from educational opportunity under the guise of a "no excuses" mentality.
It's the vast oversimplification that "the system is broken" - the king of all excuses, because it both claims to diagnose the problem while ignoring the fact that our systems are the sum total of the people working within them.
These ideas are attractive because, if you don't dwell on them, they appear logical.
They appeal to venture capitalists seeking a big exit.
These ideas appeal to people who want a better educational system yesterday.
But this is bubble thinking; this is the thinking of people in a rush.
And I understand the impatience - I share the impatience. But we shouldn't let the importance of the issue (the need for a strong, well funded public education system for every child) entice us into thoughtless rushing. This ensures that we overlook the nuances that will make the difference between success and continued mediocrity.
We have an education reform bubble - not in the sense that there is too much money floating around in education, but because of the surfeit of hot air swirling through the conversations about the shape reform should take. Let's slow down, and let the bubble subside beneath its own weight.