I’m terribly sorry I had to do this through my blog, this is not easy for me at all, honestly. This post may be the last memory we ever share on this blog, but I have to come clean: I’m done with you because I decided to be with your best friend . I know this is cold, and I’m really sorry. Don’t let it get you all upset inside, we had a good run, and we seemed to respect each others space. I didn’t exploit you, never took your name in vain to make money, never even did a presentation about you—that said you were quite the icebreaker—and you certainly garnered me more attention than I deserved. For a while there I though we really had a future together, but your history of flirting and seducing the neo-liberals who want to dismantle public institutions has been a real turn off. In fact, the last straw has been your indecent exposure in the title of yet another book by Anya Kamanetz that keeps me from being even remotely interested in continuing this relationship with you.

I mean, when did you stop dating journalists and start dating advocates for a mechanized vision of DIY education? You and I had deep institutional roots, and I am still proud to serve the public mission, why have you turned from this vision? I don’t know, EDUPUNK, I’m confused. I know I don’t own you, I know I have to let you go, but damn it….I loved you once! And I have a feeling your new lovers have moved away from any pretense of “reporting the state of education” and into the realm of advocating for a new corporate ed model. What’s more, I’m afraid they might continue to pimp out your good name—so be careful out there–it is a money hungry world. It might seem all fun and good right now, but just wait until they stick you in a cubicle and have you cold calling kids for that much needed education insurance they’ll need when corporations control the educational field.

I know the Gates Foundation has lots of money (heck they have been throwing millions and millions of dollars at education for years now, look how that has gone) but their vision of education as a wholesale gutting of publicly funded institutions and replacing them with some groovy YouTube vidoes (a la Khan Academy)and a wide range of powerpoint slides (a la Open Coursware) is a surefire means to further alienate an already fractured culture.

But don’t get me wrong, I will miss a lot of things about you, like the time you flirted with my father at our family Christmas dinner. But in the end you’ve changed, and what saddens me most is that you really couldn’t control how others would use you, you’re just a word after all—though a quite attractive one for many a marketer it seems. I mean, let’s face it, EDUPRENUER has nothing on you, you are much more seductive. But, we both know nobody can ever take away the rush of that first few months we had—it was a beautiful time, and when they all have forgotten you and left you for dead, I’ll de there, and we’ll start fresh again.

I love you, but I have to say goodbye—I don’t own you, but I did make you, damn it!!!


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63 Responses to Dear EDUPUNK,

  1. Hi Jim,
    I feel for you, man. My little girl has recently grown up and gotten married too. I am very worried about her future and the kinds of people she now associates with. She even holds to values that are very foreign to me. I can only advise you that you must keep the lines of communications open. She cannot fall to far from the tree that producer her.

    I am one of the suiters of your beautiful “love child”. I promise to try to respect your vision when you raised her up. But, we are building our own life together and we must find our own way. Thanks Jim-bo, I owe a big debt of grattitude.


    PS here is a blog posting concerning your post:

  2. Manoloch says:

    ¡fight for her! it may be more than a word, it may be an idea . . .

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  6. TM says:

    Thanks for this, Jim! I have been sort of a blind advocate of edupunk because it sounded so free and cool and non-institutional, but you’re right, that if that means we’re gutting educational institutions and their public funding just to play into the hands of those who would privatize education or put it fully in the hands of for-profit corporations, we’re in trouble.

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