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

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Why is Diane Ravitch Celebrating?

No one outside the cabal of corporate education reformsters and their stooges in the U. S. Congress knows the dirty details in the secretive Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and no one will know until a few hours (if we are lucky) before the Congress votes on this ESEA sequel to No Child Left Behind.  

Apparently, the dissemblers at Fairtest and NPE are willing to accept Ed Week's corporate spin on the new bill, rather than examine it for themselves.  After all, the holidays are almost here.  

What we do know about the newest corporate version of ESEA is that--
  • annual mandated testing will continue uninterrupted,
  • states must take action to fix or privatize the lowest-scoring 5 percent (the poorest) schools each year,
  • charter schools are guaranteed billions of dollars more than they are presently receiving,
  • the U. S. Secretary of Education is barred from intervening in state-sanctioned segregation or other exclusionary "education solutions" that states may impose on the citizenry.
Now these are just a few of the corporate goodies inside this NCLB 2.0  And yet, Diane Ravitch pretends that some significant change has occurred in education policy and that there is reason to celebrate.  For those who cherish public education and who oppose high stakes standardized testing and charter privatization, there is nothing to celebrate.  

We are about get screwed again, and Ravitch is taking a victory lap:
But for the moment, let’s celebrate the demise of a terrible law that saw punishment as the federal strategy for school reform. Let’s celebrate that no future Secretary of Education will have the power to impose his or her flawed ideas on every public school and teacher in the nation. Let’s thank Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Patty Murray for finally ending a failed and punitive law.


  1. She celebrated the NYC teacher contract too which Arthur Goldstein then had to explain in detail as a total failure. Among other things it contains an expedited termination process and hangs certain union members asses in the wind if they are declared to be ineffective. It was a terrible deal. For her to praise it was a real gaffe.

    1. For it to be a gaffe, you have to believe that she has some better judgment that somehow got waylaid. She knows exactly what she is doing, and it has everything to do with the corporatist Weingarten's agenda, which is her agenda as well. The sooner that her tribe comes to realize this, the quicker that a large number of people may get on to doing the work of resistance that is required, rather than waiting for Diane's phony condemnations of corporate education to provide the solace that we have become accustomed to substituting as our proxy to action.