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Louisiana Schools Chief Warns Of ‘Aggressive Populism’ That Harms Education Reform

WASHINGTON — The so-called education reform movement — the bipartisan efforts of policymakers that produced the latest wave of charter schools, tenure reform, “Waiting for Superman” and Michelle Rhee — is at risk, Louisiana’s schools chief John White will say in a speech Tuesday, according to prepared remarks. “An aggressive form of populism has asserted itself in the rhetoric of our day,” White is expected to say at the conservative American Enterprise Institute’s headquarters in Washington.

“I see it in a tone that is skeptical of reformers in the same populist way our country today is skeptical of authority generally. This is, I believe, greatly damaging for an education reform effort that has done good in America and that needs to be sustained. And it needs to be addressed, lest this generational effort wash out with the tide of the next administration.”