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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Isenberg Offers Antidote to the Ravitch Sedative

When Diane Ravitch published Death and Life of the Great American School System, it broke down a bunch of barriers and gained mainstream attention for long-neglected insights and observations that formed the core of her book.  Since then, Ravitch has grown her new anti-reformy fiefdom built on borrowed material into a sprawling empire that includes a growing cadre of speechifers and worshipful, protective acolytes who vie for her attention while hoping that some of her celebrity will rub off on them.  

Meanwhile, Ravitch has used the excuse of friendship to support corporate unionism and the malfeasance of the prostituted toadies that run the AFT and NEA.  She has used corporate education reform as an effective foil to sell her books, while refusing to use her firsthand knowledge of how the corporate education complex operates to bring it down.  And while she delays the sharing of her knowledge of how the fetid inner circle of CorpEd works, she continues to insist that these self-serving and corrupt Koretians, Hooverites, and other fascist thought misleaders are good people with misguided agendas.  Good people don't keep doing the same bad things even though they know better.

If you're tired of righteous panel discussions, blog posts turned into lucrative book deals, corporate unionists posing as the resistance to the corporate education agenda, and endless talk about getting rid of "over-testing," then it could be that there was someone in the last feel-angry Ravitch meet-up that you attended who feels the same.  Obviously, Leonard Isenberg is one who wasn't even there who feels that way.

Ravitch's role in creating and nurturing the corporate monster is a part of history she refuses to tell.  If the truth would set Ravitch free from her role in keeping NAEP cut scores impossibly high and the Sandia Report off the front pages, it could also bring her demigod status back down to the ground level that is so alien to her.  And that could ruin, too, the place she has chosen for herself between Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Jane Addams in the history of great American women. 

I think just to the left of Elizabeth Dole and the right of Hillary Clinton would be much more appropriate. 

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