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

Monday, August 15, 2016

Keeping Readers Ignorant to Protect Diane

From reading Diane Ravitch, it is hard to tell how much our neoliberal matron of anti-reformy complaining does or does not know about the real threat that competency based education (CBE) or "personalized learning" represents to public schools, children, and teachers.

For even while it is an advertised fact that corporate education deformers are initiating a plan to digitally teacher proof schools and to have children's learning paths determined by computer algorithms, Ravitch seems puzzled about what's really going on.

Based on her latest post, she seems to think that CBE is just a "very problematic concept" that sort of sounds like computer-assisted instruction (CAI) of yesteryear.  While, then, minimizing the threat to face-to-face learning that CBE represents, she ignores the fact that the ESSA, which she supports, has major stimulus money for states to initiate competency based programs in public schools.  She does not mention that.

One has to wonder if she is aware that her son's company could profit handsomely from some of those millions in federal seed money for turning children in alienated computer-compliant drones.

What is clear is that the Ravitch team is always alert for any comment at her blog that could indicate Ravitch's lack of understanding of an issue or any comment that would question her real commitment to the public education system that she claims to support.

Below is one of those comment from a reader of Ravitch's blog that did not get published.  

Digital learning is designed to segue into algorithm-driven workforce development.

Competency-based education and digital learning approaches are intended to reduce a child's accomplishments into series of "badges" that can be stored in online portfolios.

Tomorrow's workforce can look forward to a "lifelong learning" scenario where people are compelled to accumulate more and more badges (paying for-profit online companies for the opportunity and racking up piles of student debt) as they chase job postings dictated by coded skill sets.

We need to make everyone aware that it's not just academic skills that are being tracked. Social, emotional, and behavioral competencies are in the mix, too.

That is why companies like Parchment (allied with Pearson) are working so hard to position themselves as arbiters of education and workforce credentials. http://exchange.parchment.com/extend/

I'm kind of surprised this is news to you as your son's Merchant Banking Company, Raine Group, is one of Parchment's major investors. http://www.parchment.com/press-releases/parchment-raises-23-5-million-to-expand-investment-in-its-industry-leading-e-transcript-credentials-network/
Alison McDowell
Public School Parent
Philadelphia, PA"


  1. More information on Joseph Ravitch's investment company Raine.


  2. Anonymous1:38 PM

    Maybe she will flip-flop on this the way she did with NCLB. Sarcasm indended.

  3. Anonymous3:13 PM

    My comments were blocked for awhile, now they are not.
    No one should get their info from one source. I'm glad there are many, including conservative voices, to hear from.

  4. And then there is the fact that Diane and Linda Darling Hammond are best buddies. LDH, who is the Queen og Social and Emotional learning, loves ESSA and has no problem with standardized tests as long as they are HER standardized tests.

  5. Karen Bracken9:04 AM

    Diane Ravitch saw the gravy train coming and after a waning career decided to jump on board claiming she had seen the light of her misguided support for Charters etc. But when you invite the devil himself (Lamar Alexander - her old boss) to provide information for a 7 part series on ESSA one can only use basic pre-Common Core math to figure out that not much has really changed in her education ideology. She is every bit as progressive now as she was back in her Alexander days at the White House. And yes I too have been a victim of her pose' and their vitriol when you say anything negative about Ravitch. There are people that have fought the deliberate dumbing down of America at great personal and financial loss and are still fighting to this day some 40 years later. It is those people I support and listen to for advice. Why would I want to listen to a has been that saw her bank account dwindling and figures out how to capitalize on our hard work and personal/financial sacrifice. Diane Ravitch charges $20,000 if you want her to speak at an event. I and most of everyone I know that is this battle with no other interest than to save our children and our country speak for FREE. Charlotte Iserbyt, Dr. Peg Luksik and Anita Hoge speak for free and have been speaking for 40 years. They are just a few of the names that have fought OBE, Charters, Vouchers and the mind control taking over generations attempting to make them into little global, obedient, slaves. Thank you for this post and I will be sharing it all over the place. It is time we exposed the frauds.

  6. I'm not understanding the objective of this blog entry. It appears to be that Diane and the OP are on the same side in their distaste for computerized learning. Is it that we are holding her responsible for her son's company investing in computerized learning? How's that fair?

  7. I suggest reading the entry a second time. If you remain confused, please contact me: ontogenyx@gmail.com