Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education
Terry Moe, professor at Stanford University and co-author of the new book, Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education (2009), will be a keynote speaker for the Virtual School Symposium on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8:00 a.m.

Liberating Learning maps out a dynamic vision of the nation's educational future, showing how the ideas and innovations of virtual schools will ultimately transform public education to the great benefit of the nation and its children. Liberating Learning also points out solutions, challenges and opportunities through online learning, with special emphasis on the political forces that resist change and how technology can help overcome the limitations in our current system by providing a new delivery model.

Terry Moe is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a member of the Institution's Koret Task Force on K–12 education, and the William Bennett Munro Professor of political science at Stanford University. He is an expert on educational policy, U.S. political institutions, and organization theory. His current research projects are concerned with school choice, public bureaucracy, and the presidency. Moe has written extensively on educational issues. In 2005, Moe received the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Prize for Excellence in Education. In addition to his positions at Stanford and Hoover, Moe has served as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC.


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spotlight on performance of public schools - what are the politics of this?
Teacher unions blocking progress?
liberation of learning - not talking about more high tech schools, but talking about range of influence of technology to ensure that all students will learn

political consciousness key to mobilizing educational reform

Competition vs public education

technology single biggest school choice in history of US education (no limitations for students/teachers in geographic location, time, etc.)
substitution or technology for labor

students are entrepreneuring

[mkb] Blog entry I posted about this session available at

[BobBl] Moe's speech is a thinly veiled attempt to pursue the social conservatives' "deschooling" agenda that's been a part of "critical discourse" concerned with public education since William Bennett was Secretary of Education during the Regan Administration. Moe calls for eliminating the public educational system entirely and turning the education of our children over to "teacherless" content delivery delivery systems managed by for-profit companies. His positions supports "market choice" as a superior alternative to "democratic choice." This is a powerful and seductive position because it appeals to the commitment and belief many of us share that online teaching and learning supports improving education in America. The ideology behind his speech to the audience at the VSS comes from the social conservative position that "market choice" is a more efficient way to offer and admister education because it requires neither regulations nor investment investment in leadership. The key motivating factor behind "market choice" is self-interest. In contrast,"Democratic Choice" involves lengthy, complex and time consuming participatory processes wherein issues are publicly deliberated and a consensus is reached and codified as legally binding educational legislation or regulations. Advocates for "Democratic Choice" believe that some issues in society (like the education of our youth) are too important to be left to individual decisions based on perceived self interest. Democratic Choice favors sacrificing self-interest in favor of the common or "greater good." Like the majority of American educators, I remain committed to pursuing that "greater good" by continually striving to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of educational opportunities provided for our nation's children in our K-12 public schools. Although I honor the value that many among us ascribe to "educational choice," I reject Moe's position that educational choices should be made based on perceived "self interest" over democratic ideals. In DEMOCRACY IN EDUCATION, John Dewey said: "A society which makes provision for participation in its good of all its members on equal terms and which secures flexible readjustment of its institutions through interaction of the different forms of associated life is in so far democratic. Such a society must have a type of education which gives individuals a personal interest in social relationships and control, and the habits of mind which secure social changes without introducing disorder." Moe's positions are essentially ANTI-DEMOCRATIC and ELITIST. I fundamentally question why Terry Moe was invited by iNACOL's executive director to be a keynote speaker at the 2009 Virtual Schools Symposium. Does iNACOL's executive director support deschooling? Does she support "self interest" over the democratic ideas upon which our great nation was founded? If so, maybe it's time for a CHANGE.

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