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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time

Alison McDowell with Diane Ravitch at the Free Library of Philadelphia in 2013.

from Wrench in the Gears
August 20, 2017

I am writing this feeling somewhat like a David facing off against a Goliath. It certainly won’t make me popular. There are many of us who keep weighing the evidence. Is Diane Ravitch incredibly wiley or incredibly obtuse? I’ll leave it to you to decide.

It IS clear that there are parts of her narrative that don’t add up. My first sense that something wasn’t right came last February. Then in August, concerns I expressed in comments about the Clinton family’s involvement in the development of digital learning and Joe Ravitch’s venture capital company, Raine Group, were suppressed. You can read about it here and here. The Raine Group information, with its ties to Ari Emmanuel and Parchment, has gotten increasingly interesting as I’ve seen the convergence of education, virtual reality, entertainment, online credentialing and blockchain. Now my comments on her posts are always moderated. Some make it out. Some don’t. These from this afternoon haven’t as of posting time. I didn’t think they would.
I know I risk becoming a target for saying what comes next. Nevertheless, it needs to be said so here goes. In the spirit of my inspiration David F. Noble I will just leap out there and do it (thanks Kay).
So today I had a flashback when a friend forwarded me Ravitch’s testimonial on the wonders of the MacArthur Foundation “This is What Philanthropy Looks Like.”
Click here to read the entire post.  

Also see: Calling Foul: Ravitch is Wrong About MacArthur
Save Maine Schools - September 20, 2017 


  1. Diane Ravitch has always doggedly fought to gain the intellectual respect that she has never deserved. Her best works are Hayek-inspired middle brow histories of schooling, a subject that Diane knows only from the indirect exposure of writing books about schools--and from being Lamar Alexander's research flunky at the U. S. Dept. of Ed in the early 90s.

    Ravitch wants to be major player, and her highly-leveraged NCLB conversion in 2009 has helped earn that for her. But after two best sellers that whitewashed her own role in the history of corporate ed reform, and after hundreds of speeches that are craftily designed to pat teachers on the head and keep them within the political confines of the corporate union agenda, Diane's politics and policy prescriptions have changed little from the early days when she was hawking articles to the neoconservative Commentary magazine.

    Diane remains supportive of standardized testing, while claiming opposition to its "overuse." She remains supportive of dehumanizing corporate charter schools, while opposing only those without tax exempt status. She remains in favor of national standards, even though she was arm-twisted in acceding to the fact that the Common Core was a trainwreck. And she remains a supporter of Lamar Alexander's segregated charter stimulus legislation known as ESSA, even though she posts on her blog enough commentaries by others to provide an impression that she might believe otherwise.

    Ravitch is dodgy and deceptive, and she is quick to accuse anyone with clear principles of being a purist. She and her corporate union allies (and their many anti-reformy shills) are the greatest stumbling blocks to the emergence of a legitimate resistance movement to corporate education. Perhaps when Diane gets her own MacArthur Genius Award to match the one already owned by former foe, Deb Meier, then Ravitch might find contentment and move off center stage. If Alison McDowell keeps turning over rocks, we may have clear evidence that Diane has ingratiated herself enough to have finally earned one.

  2. Diane Ravitch's and Mercedes Schneider have boycotted all of my comments. When I went up against the two of them for supporting ESSA, I knew that I would be boycotted-so goes for protecting teachers and children. As we all know ESSA was a trap for kids, teachers, and schools. The datamining has continued at hyper speed. The social, emotional, and behavioral standards and interventions have been legislated into law. Where were Diane and Mercedes....yapping it up to Lamar Alexander and his trap for the countries education system. They are both traitors to true education. Please join Child Abuse in the Classroom, A Legal Challenge to ESSA. A parent revolt is at hand.