Tom Vander Ark must think he is some kind of Greek God. The destruction he causes is in his mind somehow is his right or duty to mankind; never mind the abject effects on men (women and children), communities, cities or whole entire states.
He cleverly disguises his demolition of public education in geek talk – “Mentioning “disruptive innovation” adds a veneer of sophistication to bread-and-butter speeches about education…” (economist.com) He storms on completely oblivious to the damage from the death blows he deals daily.
I really think that the way he skirts mentally around the mass exodus of teachers (irreparable complete brain drain on education), the repeated reported mass failures and closures of charters, and the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of organizations and parents forming the largest ever groups of civil disobedience in education history, is by convincing himself that it is all for the good and the betterment of country. I am not lying when I say I think he has some major personality disorder(s) and psychological hang-ups. He lives in some self-formed world of denial of the real repercussions reeling all around him, and in some twisted sick manner actually takes all of the negative outcome of his efforts as that he is being successful at “disruptive innovation” which is one of his all time favorite overused phrases. The whole twenty years that he has skinned education alive he has never once stopped to express remorse or regret for the lives he has ruined.
“A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.” (wikipedia.com)
I am sorry to tell you teachers, but you all are an “earlier technology” in Tom’s plans.
“Disruptive innovation, a term of art coined by Clayton Christensen, describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.” (claytonchristensen.com) Tom worships this fellow!
Here TVA quotes Christensen’s nonprofit think tank Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, Cofounder Michael Horn : “These struggles aren’t unique to education. Businesses struggle consistently with the innovator’s dilemma—the ability to prioritize disruptive innovations that would cannibalize their existing business,” (gettingsmart.com) Michael Horn is another one that Tom worships.
“Expanding on the notion of “disruptive,” Horn said that schools’ standard practices and measures would need to change to incorporate blended learning. Seat-time requirements for students, geographic boundaries limiting the sources of online subject matter, teacher certification, and funding are some of the conventions and practices that would be disrupted.” (crpe.org)
In this 4 year old article, http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2011/12/18/small-and-nimble-also-key/ Tom Braggart Ark talks about his small business companies will trump larger companies’ abilities to be a disruptive force in the education market. “First, big companies are “less comfortable with disruptive innovation.” It’s likely to be the case that the big players will focus on incremental innovations and that the really disruptive stuff will come from the edges. And, second, the Economist suggests that progress tends to come from growth companies regardless of whether they are big or start small. No question that we’ll see more innovation from Edmodo than HMH.” (Edmodo is supposedly a non-profit company in underneath Tom Vander Ark’s 48 companies housed all business-like in a row under his Learn Capital,LLC.)