It's not often that the unofficial matriarch of anti-ed reform gets called out for her support of the corporate education forces that she would, otherwise, have us believe that she opposes. When it does happen, however, as it did a couple days ago when Emily Talmage questioned Diane's recent gush about the virtues of the MacArthur Foundation, Ravitch's reaction is entirely predictable: she accuses those with the temerity to question her professional judgment or her policy positions as "lashing out" with personal attacks against her.
It is Diane's ruthless cultivation of sympathy among her followers, then, that takes the focus off the questions raised about her positions and puts it on the motives of the person who raises the questions. In doing so, Ravitch transforms the skeptical questioner into a mendacious meanie, whose criticism, then, can be dismissed outright.
Ravitch, then, effectively uses the personal attack strategy that she attributes to others in order to neutralize any criticism of her own positions, which are predictably aligned with DNC neoliberals and increasingly out of touch with reality.
You should go to the Talmage page first and read the post that has Diane's Basecamp followers waving their limp swords at the imaginary attacker. And then read Ravitch's response. I think you will see what I mean.
You might want to read the comments as well at the Ravitch blog. Among them, this comment below:
As I see it, the state-finance nexus (banks/financial markets/corporations; state, federal and municipal governments; NGOs; philanthrocapitalists; DNC/RNC; white supremacy, colonialism, militarized austerity, etc.) that’s driving Ed Reform 2.0 is maintained by duplicitous mission statements, promotions, pronouncements, marketing agendas and ideological/cultural narratives. This profiteering web of deceit also relies on dedicated pundits like Ravitch, who earnestly, implicitly and duplicitously promote and normalize this agenda, while presenting themselves as benevolent agents of the common good.
That comment, in turn, raised Dr. Ravitch's hackles even further. So much, in fact, that she has censored all further comment from a UMass PhD (my bolds):
One of the rules of the blog is that I don’t post comments that insult me. The blog is my living room, and I expect people to act civilly, even though we debate, disagree, and hash out our differences. It is a lively room, and I try to keep the conversation civil, which is not always easy.
I am making an exception in this case because it is useful for other readers to hear your voice and understand that those of us who fight privatization, high-stakes testing, standardization, and the replacement of teachers by algorithms are not united. If you think I am your enemy, you have a very strange understanding of what I have written in books, articles, and daily blogs for the past several years.
Since you have identified me as an enemy of the cause I fight for every day, I will ask you not to return here again.
This, again, is pure Ravitch: Use the cover of civility to ruthlessly remove any opposition.
If you have had your comments censored by the Ravitch crew at her blog for being uncomfortably honest, send us your offending comments, and we will post them here for public scrutiny.