"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ravitch Freaks Out

The other day Diane Ravitch had more "breaking" Randi news about how Weingarten is once again standing tall for teachers against the corporate forces.  

Perhaps it was this bit of spinning that prompted the storm of responses (84 at last count) that almost all disagree with Ravitch's lame take:

Randi Weingarten was unusually outspoken in criticizing the rush to impose the Common Core, and she warned the Chiefs that the standards were in serious jeopardy. The article makes clear that while Randi is listening to teachers, the Chiefs are not. 
Then somewhere down in the comments following the post, many of them dripping with sarcasm, comes this comment from philaken, which brought the following from Ravitch:

You did not mention Randi’s decade long involvement with the Broad Foundation. See the section “Broad and the Unions” in “Who is Eli Broad and why does he want to destroy public education?”
  • Ken, you didn’t mention my two-decade long involvement in the conservative movement. Stop bashing Randi. She is the president of the AFT and we want her as an ally. You help Gates, Walton, and Broad with your attacks on her. You divide us when we need to unite.
As Ravitch knows, she has done something quite different since her decades as historian and right-wing semanticist for the educationist neo-cons.  Having undergone no such conversion experience that can be discerned by any actions taken, Weingarten remains the willing tool of CorpEd and the corporate foundations.  Big difference.

Methinks, too, that critical examination of the self-serving ties between Randi Weingarten, AFT, and Eli Broad is a great service to anyone wanting to understand the facts and what they mean in our current context.  If telling the truth and exposing the facts are now to be equated with "bashing," then let the bashing continue, despite Ravitch's matronly shushing.

I would guess that Gates, Broad, and the Waltons have been helped, assisted, emboldened, undergirded, supported, and coddled much more by Randi's film-flams, flip-flops, back room deals, and public pronouncements than anything that philaken can accomplish with a piece of research.  

Fox News loves to talk about Randi's trips to Ukraine on the AFT expense account, while she plays footsy with the billionaires and collects her half-million dollar annual salary from members who make 40K a year.  Now that kind of overt behavior puts the whole concept of unionism into disrepute, which is much more help to Gates, Broad, and Walton than what any researcher or commentator might say to expose Randi's corruption.

Unity requires honesty, unless your togetherness is held together by lies, wishful thinking, lack of principle, and pretension.  Ten years years ago, none of us fighting CorpEd wanted Diane Ravitch as an ally.  It is only through what she has said and done differently since then that has made her welcome inside the Commons tent.  Ravitch might want Randi as an ally, but from the comments at Diane's own blog, almost no one else does.  We can't afford to have someone inside the tent who is trying to burn it down.   Take your friend elsewhere would be my advice.


  1. I just finished watching the German film "The Wave" - heard about it but never saw it until today. I wanted to see if it would be appropriate for my middle school students as part of a unit on the Holocaust and genocide, but it's not, however, it would be good to share with high school students. Anyway, Randi Weingarten has been part of the wave of high stakes standardized testing and the accountability propaganda campaign for too long and her appeasement of monied interests is beginning to backfire on her and her friends. Perhaps Weingarten should watch The Wave so she can see her role in this huge education mess more clearly. High stakes standardized testing, a one size fits all curriculum where students are nothing more than a number, has taken on a life of its own and it won't be easy to stop this train wreck until more parents, students and teachers stand up and speak out or opt out of the madness. The movie doesn't end well and neither will the continued destruction of the teaching profession.

  2. How does Randi stay President? I was a member of AFT for a few years and never once got a ballot for President.