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

Saturday, January 23, 2016

While Calling for Unity, Ravitch Lies About Critics

Diane Ravitch's capacity for subtle manipulation has allowed her to put together an army of bloggers and commenters, all of whom would, doubtless, march off to battle the corporate education reformers if talk had legs.  

Just like the pronouncements of their FairTest predecessors, however, NPE and Ravitch's political movements are encased by the corporate leadership of NEA and AFT, whom they must either mimic or allow to take the lead in any matters related to moving against the rephormist status quo that continues to be supplemented by millions of corrupting dollars from philanthrocapitalists.

One thing Ravitch cannot stand is criticism of her conservative permanent basecamp posed as a revolutionary front, and she is known to use any method at her disposal to silence critics and/or to discredit them.  The most recent example comes in her defense of FairTest, whose history of depending upon the kindnesses of collaborationist insiders and corporate foundation front groups recently came under scrutiny as a result of FairTest's unerring advocacy for ESSA, the new states rights version of ESEA.  

With FairTest's continuing defense of the indefensible ESSA and FairTest's silence on the dangers of competency based assessments and the thousands of new charter schools that ESSA guarantees, FairTest has moved beyond the role of celebrating the accomplishments of real activists that Bob Schaeffer made famous.

Ravitch is incensed that I and others would question the sanctity of FairTest, and she has called us out to her online principal's office to account for our indiscretion.  In doing so, she has made up a story that Jim Horn, Mary Porter, and Emily Talmage have accused FairTest of accepting cash from the Gates Foundation, which Ravitch says that FairTest has acknowledged.  Unfortunately, this is untrue.  

Whether intentional or simply the sloppy work of a Ravitch's underling, readers must know that I have never made such a claim, nor have I read such a charge by either of the other purported miscreants called out by Ravitch.  I have pointed out that FairTest has received grants from both NEA and Nellie Mae, and that its political position is defined by the positions that Washington corporatists allow for NEA and AFT. 

So when you hear Diane or fellow campers talk about "big tents," "standing together," and "harmony among allies," know that someone has, 1) intruded upon truths that should remain mysteries, or 2) called out Diane or one her acolytes or emissaries for sleeping with the enemy.  

And know, too, that in order to talk to Diane, you must play by her rules.  Otherwise, pipe down.  As she told Mary Porter in comments at her blog when it became apparent that Mary would not be contained by Ravitch's smarmy oppression, 
Mary, enough. I asked for harmony among allies. I never told Emily to shut up nor did I call her toxic. Stop attacking your allies.
In other words, stop telling me that I am telling you to stop.


  1. It is against the laws of economics and psychology to think that Gates is not giving money to various organizations supporting public education to buy influence. Not only does he buy influence for his corporate education reform agenda, but he discredits the organizations that are accepting the money. A good investment for him!

  2. For what it's worth, I have observed over the past year that Ravitch's blog has become mostly ditto-heads preaching to her choir and mostly "teachers' lounge" talk. Ravitch has rebuffed attempts to craft a view of education to build on rather than just being obstructionist.
    For those of us actually trying to make good things happen, Diane Ravitch has become irrelevant - a good writer who got too wrapped up in her covers and plaudits.
    Mary, Jim, Emily and others - I don't she's worth the time any more. There's too much to do.

    1. I would agree with you if more people felt like you do. Sadly, I have found that they don't, and I still get a lot of grief from those who think that I have acted badly toward a deity. Until I stop getting hate mail, I will continue to uncover Diane's various ploys, some of which I am convinced are totally unconscious.

  3. Ed Fuller2:21 PM


    In one of your previous posts, I swear I saw that you had mentioned that Fairtest received some financial support or a grant from the Gates foundation. I think it was in some diagram or figure. But, I took that connection away from you post as well. Im not saying you intended to make that connection, but I certainly read your post that way. I remember it distinctly because I was going to respond that evidence of receiving a grant or financial support from Gates does not necessarily mean that an organizations bad for schools or kids. But, I didnt post because I figured it wasn't worth the time or effort.

    1. Probably this one, which has a chart showing Nellie Mae's contribution to FairTest. That's the only one I know of:

  4. Anonymous9:43 PM

    My Ravitch critique began with her unwavering support of Weingarten and her toxic brand of leadership. Then Weingarten endorsed HRC without the backing of the rank and file. Ravitch often mentions her desire to have a talk with Clinton as if that would have some influence on her longstanding pro-charter corporatist views. I enjoy reading the blog due to the geographically diverse readership and the links they provide. I was roundly criticized for my views of the Obama presidency and my readiness to give up the fight for my professional life.

    Abigail Shure

  5. Thanks for writing this, Ravitch has reconstructed herself in the mass media as a critic... she is a charlatan.