By Thomas Arnett
If you’ve followed the K–12 education dialogue over the last decade, then you’re probably familiar with the term “disruptive innovation.” Edtech entrepreneurs and school choice advocates sometimes invoke it as an indomitable force that will redeem and transform broken school systems.
Meanwhile, people on the other side of these debates worry that “disruption” is a flawed yet rhetorically powerful narrative used to rationalize K–12 privatization. Somewhere in the middle are skeptics who give consideration to the idea, but wonder if “disruption” is an oversold term that is likely to underdeliver on its proponents’ promises.So how do we make sense of the tumult of opinions? What is disruptive innovation as it relates to K–12 education?