School districts are complicated. Their leaders must implement state mandates, fashion new policies, and mediate between schools and the broader public. But their staff are rarely unified in their thinking about how to do all of this. Different philosophies of education can undercut district policy-making efforts if individuals approach the problems of teaching and learning from different angles. Indeed, views on instruction and the purposes of education are deeply rooted in technical, normative, and political notions of what constitutes ideal learning experiences. Thus, district policymakers need fluency not just in the technology of instruction, but in the norms and beliefs that condition educators’ receptivity to change.