Why We Call it the BLOB

From the Center for Education Reform:

The term “Blob” cropped up years ago when reformers began trying to work with the education establishment and ran smack into the more than 200 groups, associations, federations, alliances, departments, offices, administrations, councils, boards, commissions, panels, organizations, herds, flocks and coveys, that make up the education industrial complex.

Taken individually they were frustrating enough, with their own agendas, bureaucracies, and power over education. But taken as a whole they were (and are) maddening in their resistance to change. Not really a wall — they always talk about change — but rather more like quicksand, or a tar pit where ideas slowly sink out of sight leaving everything just as it had been.

Now, I suppose they could have been called any number of things: a puddle, a maze, a swamp, a big fat fluffy feather pillow, but BLOB is what stuck. It’s really nothing personal, just descriptive shorthand, like calling accountants “bean counters” and pentagon officials “brass hats,” and my friends in the blob (yes, I have blob friends) all seem to accept it with good humor.

Still, to avoid hard feelings, from now on when I describe the groups that make up the education establishment, I’ll call them the Big Learning Organization Bureaucracies, or… BLOB. There. That’s much better.