The debate on educational policy in this country is rough and divisive. In fact, I believe it's the most divisive debate happening right now that doesn't depend on vapid sensationalism (that is to say, it's more substantive than debates over abortion, evolution, or even gay rights). The two sides have dug in hard, and as with most debates of this type, each has carved out a rhetorical identity that includes a sort of built-in self-justification.
One side is the reformer's side, identifying themselves as economic realists, clear-eyed critics, and advocates for the students, even if that puts them at odds with the entrenched traditional educational system. This is the Michelle Rhee and "Waiting For Superman" camp. The other side is the pro-teachers' side, which views itself as a liberal, open-minded lot, advocating equally for both the teachers and the students, defending traditional liberal-arts education against the callous forces of excessive structure and bureaucracy. This is the position of the Teachers Union and Curriculum Development students.
These are strange beasts, when looked at through a partisan lens. The reformers are oriented by measurable outcomes. They are liberal in that they seek systemic change, but may be joined by the conservative forces of privatization and free-market competition. The pro-teachers' side is guided more by broad educational philosophies and commitment to the liberal arts. In a certain academic way, they come from a leftist free-thinking platform, but they also align themselves with a certain intensely traditionalist conservative mindset: defend teachers, preserve the community status quo, and keep federal government bureaucracy out of our schools.
As I've become more aware of these interwoven issues, I've gradually found myself aligning with the reformers' camp. From a philosophical point of view, I think this is because I'm a technocrat at heart. When I see something as a problem (and the US educational system is now widely accepted as problematic, no matter who you're talking to), I consider it a mandate to find a way to solve it. And in the case of a problem like this one, where there are measurable effects and identifiable goals, I see scientific tools — assessment, analysis, redistribution, application of social and economic pressures — as the most valuable route to solutions. I'm a big fan of information, which is available in ever greater abundance, and of organization, which allows us to understand and act upon that information. Cybernetics. Information technology. Social and economic mechanisms, sanctions, stimulus. The reformers are offering a fairly uniform, goal-oriented solution using these tools, as opposed to the pro-teachers' side, which are offering... well, I'm not exactly sure what.