Bueller? Bueller? American education is rife with grand policy proposals that have turned into bureaucratic fiascos, from school turnaround to the Common Core. This is Big ‘R’ reform. Big ‘R’ reform takes the hot idea of the moment, invests it with grand enthusiasm, and then tells doubters and skeptics that they better get on board or get the heck out of the way. I first saw this stuff up close a quarter century ago when I was teaching high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At the time, the hot new reform in the state was a teacher evaluation system. The idea was laudable: Make sure teachers are doing their jobs well. The solution: a checklist with a hundred and thirty odd items that administrators dragged into classrooms. It was nonsense! Good schools are intensely human places. They are formed by thousands of good judgments on the part of teachers that they make every day. This is why grand bureaucratic fixes tend not to make a big difference for schools. This is the problem with Big ‘R’ reform, and it’s why there are better ways to give our kids schools they deserve. To learn more about my take on the problem of Big ‘R’ reform, check the links in the description below. Also, let us know what other topics you’d like AEI scholars to cover in 60 seconds.