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

Monday, December 05, 2016

DeVos Will Make Democrats' Charter Plan Easier to Sell

A few years back Diane Ravitch was forced to admit openly what the opponents of testing accountability knew when No Child Left Behind became law: the ridiculous goal of 100% percent student proficiency in reading and math could never be met, and the fanciful imposition of such a pipe dream would wreak havoc across the entire K-12 education universe.

By the time Ravitch finally came around to acceding the dangerous fantasy that she had loyally promoted along with her fellow charter and voucher supporters at the Hoover Institution, almost half the schools in the U. S. had already been labeled as failures, and a reckless and corrupt corporate feeding frenzy had been set into motion by Ravitch's free market chums.  Tutoring companies were draining billions in federal dollars by cramming poor children for tests they would never pass; the scandal-ridden Reading First gang was shoving its antiquarian reading techniques nationwide to really bad effect; alternate teacher certification scams had been federally incentivized; charter schools, both virtual and physical, were springing up like mushrooms in cow paddies after a rain, and a whole new industry of sponsored fake education research by corporate foundation "think" tanks had become an acceptable occupation for under-employed academics.

During the seven years since Ravitch's lucrative conversion experience, Diane has made it clear that she maintains one foot solidly on the side of the corporate education reformers who brought us the NCLB disaster.  It took her until 2013 to admit her stubborn wrongheadedness on Common Core, even while maintaining even today her support for "voluntary" national standards--whatever that means.  Today she maintains her enthusiasm for shoveling Core Knowledge into the heads of children, just as she remains a supporter of ridiculously high NAEP standards that have been used by "reformers" for years to bludgeon the public schools for their low scores.

In early 2015, her crucial support for NCLB 2.0, which is better known as ESSA, made her culpablility undeniable. This was followed by a year of propagandizing for the longtime charter supporter, Hillary Clinton, while pretending to be the most determined foe of school corporatization.  Diane's blog was used to soft-pedal Weingarten's autocratic choice of Clinton over Sanders, just as it was used to obfuscate Hillary's supportive position on corporate welfare charters.  And it was her political soulmate, Randi Weingarten, who put the final flourishes on the Democratic platform, which clearly supported charter schools while pretending to do the opposite.

Her recent outlining for Jay Mathews the kind of charter schools she would support signals that she is ready to swing both legs onto the side of the charter fence.  Along with the NEA's Eskelsen, AFT's Weingarten, and the troglodytes running the DNC, Ravitch is clearly signaling surrender on charters to Team Trump, even before the first inaugural dance.

Ravitch, as lead propagandist for the corporate unions, will use the Betsy DeVos nomination to make the Dem position of supporting "non-profit" segregated no excuses charters seem most reasonable in comparison.  It is not a coincidence that Ravitch is suddenly playing footsie with charter spokesman, Jay Mathews.

The ESSA, which could not have happened without NPE, NEA, and AFT support, will continue intact, thus allowing Trump, too, to appear reasonable in letting public schools die a slower death than Sister Betsy would have preferred.  And thus the bipartisan dismantling of public education is likely to continue on schedule.  The biggest change we are likely to see in Washington are the corporate Democrats from the Gates Foundation heavily reinforced by the corporate Republicans from the Walton Foundation.

Oh yes, don't forget to send your next donation to NPE.  Ravitch and the corporate unions need your support to buy a whole new supply of whitewash.


  1. Speaking of troglodytes at the DNC, Andrew Cuomo got a position there today even as he works to maintain a GOP-led state Senate in NY that his very wealthy charter backers want (and support with huge amounts of cash):


    With HRC safely vanquished to the hiking trails above NYC, Cuomo, the friendly neighorhood school monopoly buster, aims for 2020.

  2. Anonymous10:28 AM

    I await the arrival of the Kingdom of God on Earth. Did Jesus utilize personalized instruction? It was my impression that he focused on the old fashioned lecture method. I need to check my New Testament.

    Abigail Shure