Excellent Article on Diane Ravitch in Washington City Paper

I would like to thank Lacai Raine for bringing this article to my attention. It discusses Diane Ravitch, who is one of the few prominent writers to take on Michelle Rhee and the current trend towards educational Deform that is funded by billionaires:

I’m not going to post the entire article, but it’s really worth reading. In fact, it’s much better than most WCP articles, which tend to be quite one-sided and snarky.

Published in: on June 24, 2011 at 5:12 am  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. BTW: The link you provide is to the article on Michelle Rhee: “As Michelle Rhee Links Arms With The Right, Allies Worry”


  2. Diane is a nice person and serious academic, I think, but we cannot forget that she had a central role in foisting NCLB on the children of America. She also seems to make reform a zero-sum proposition, pitting teachers professional and economic benefits against the educational quality of our children. We need a more balanced kind of position from her.


    • I don’t think you’ve read much of anything that she’s actually written since 2006 to accuse her of saying that we need to improve benefits to teachers and the economy instead of improving students’ education.


  3. Can’t say I agree with your assessment of the City Paper article. In fact, Ravitch does seem to cherry-pick data incessantly. Goldstein reports this criticism of Ravitch, then makes no attempt to assess it. Meanwhile, the anecdote about Ravitch and Gist is quite striking.

    I’m puzzled by Ravitch’s flip concerning NCLB. (In her book, she give an explanation for the flip which is baldly absurd.) But I think she’s a highly unreliable advocate, unless you enjoy tribal disputes in which a person who was once quite unbalanced in one direction is now quite unbalanced in the other direction.

    By the way: Ravitch was scoring good corporate swag during the years when she pimped for NCLB and its predecessors. Maybe she really believed in the cause. But then again, maybe she didn’t.

    Let me repeat: I find that Ravitch constantly cherry-picks data. Goldstein reported this claim, made no attempt to assess it. So it goes in the type-for-pay crowd. I think people who have truly worked in the educational vinyards deserve better advocates.

    One final point: Reading Ravitch’s book, I see no suggestions for how to improve outcomes for low-income kids other than the standard stuff you could type in your sleep. But then, why would she know anything? When did she ever work in a low-income school?

    I’m prepared to learn that I’m wrong, but Ravitch strikes me as quite unimpressive. We need to do better than this.


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