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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why Does Diane Ravitch Continue to Support Charter Schools?

About 1 in 6 charter schools is the for-profit variety.  By a wide margin, most of the damage, destruction, and abuse is being done by the 5,000 or so "non-profit" charter schools. The vast majority are more segregated even than the public schools they replace, and most of the punishing "no excuses" abuse is committed in these "non-profit" chain gangs.  And most of the public money intended for public education is being sucked up by the corporate welfare artists and ideologues whose aim it is to dismember government and to devour each piece as they go.    

And so it is a puzzle to many people why Diane Ravitch continues to disparage only the small minority of charters that are openly "for profit."  Is it because her conversion from the deform agenda is incomplete?  Is it because her union supporters still stubbornly support charters, even though their members are being replaced daily by the charter business?  Is it because one or two of Diane's friends own boutique charter schools that purport to be the kind the John Dewey would support.  Please!

St. Diane was in Nashville last night doing the same speech she has been doing since 2011, with a few new riffs that she has ripped off from the blogs.  In sticking to the tired script that stupidly assumes that CorpEd are just well-intentioned bumblers, she continues to leave openings to the charter welfare kings who point out, accurately, that they are beyond Ravitch's criticism.

See below, from Joey Garrison at the Tennessean.  By the way, when Ravitch was asked what actions she would recommend to fight the education conformers, she said, "Be noisier."  Really?  Is that it?
On Wednesday, she said “so-called reformers” do not object when millions of dollars in public funds are diverted to consultants, investors and entrepreneurs. She also said she believes for-profit charter schools — which aren’t authorized in Tennessee but are in other states — should be banned.

Though acknowledging there are “some good charters,” she accused some of making sure low-performing students don’t attend them. And she said public school teachers today are seen as “public enemies,” pointing to evaluation systems, like the one in Tennessee, that measure teachers in part by test scores.

“Reformers say their plans will elevate teaching as a profession, but their plans are destroying teaching as a profession,” she said.

A coalition of like-minded public school advocacy groups — Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence, the TN BATs and Momma Bears of TN — sponsored the event Wednesday.

Ravitch’s remarks, met with applause throughout, came at at time when education has never been more debated in Nashville and in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Charter School Center was ready with a statement: “Based on all credible data, Nashville charter schools are among the highest performing public schools in Davidson County. Ms. Ravitch’s divisive rhetoric and criticisms of the national charter school movement do not reflect what is happening on the ground in Tennessee.  . . .

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