For the full potential of e-learning standardization and infrastructure efforts to be realized, it is important that these efforts place significantly greater attention on existing educational practice, on issues of innovation adoption, and on the heterogeneity of educational activities and contexts in general. To properly deal with this divergence and complexity--and with issues also now emerging from training and other communities--it is necessary to look beyond systems engineering techniques and standardization processes. These techniques and processes may work well for more exclusively technical applications, but they are proving inadequate for dealing with the ambiguities implied in education and even in the deceptively simple term "learning." They also bring with them a culture and set of connotations that are (at the very least) not entirely helpful in public education. Perhaps most importantly for e-learning content and standardization, it is important to recognize that objects and infrastructures for learning cannot simultaneously be both pedagogically neutral and pedagogically valuable.