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

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Education News That the Ravitch Camp Ignores

With an army of AFT and NEA social media trolls and Basecamp bloggers at her disposal, Diane Ravitch never has to go searching for education stories to re-post at her blog, along with Ravitch's characteristically wooden introductions to them.  

The Ravitch machine maintains a daily steady stream of articles critical of charters schools, standardized testing, and corporate education reforms.  If you could discern Ravitch's actual policy positions from the articles she posts, you would think that she is resistant to corporate education reform, rather than functioning as corporate education's chief enabler and corporate union propagandist.

Diane's true colors, however, are easier to discern by the education news that she would rather we not see in the big stories that she does not report.

On December 2, Alternet published an important article by New York parent, Jake Jacobs, that lays bare Hillary Clinton's complicity in advancing the corporate education agenda during the 2016 presidential campaign.  

Ravitch's own support for Clinton is well-documented, and the Alternet article is the kind of news that Diane would rather keep in the dark, for it reminds us once more of the complicity by NPE, AFT, NEA, FairTest, and the other corporate union satellites whose tight orbits around big corporate donors are well-defined and entirely predictable.  Here is a clip:

. . . .Tying campaign donations to a singular issue like expanding charter schools might in days past been seen as a prohibited quid-pro-quo. But in this cycle, Podesta, O’Leary and Tanden all busily raised campaign money from the same billionaire education reformers with whom they were also talking policy specifics.
But they did more than talk. On June 20, 2015, O'Leary sent Podesta an email revealing the campaign adopted two of Powell Jobs' suggestions, including "infusing best ideas from charter schools into our traditional public schools.” When Clinton announced this policy in a speech to teachers, however, it was the one line that drew boos.

“Donors want to hear where she stands” John Petry, a founder of both Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) and Success Academy, New York’s largest network of charter schools, told the New York Times.  Petry was explicit, declaring that he and his billionaire associates would instead put money into congressional, state and local races, behind candidates who favored a “more businesslike approach” to education, and tying teacher tenure to standardized test scores.
Clinton’s advisors warned her that wealthy donors like Petry, Whitney Tilson, or Eli Broad could walk if she didn’t support charter schools. Broad would indeed threaten to withhold funding from Clinton when she criticized charter schools for excluding difficult students. John Podesta and Ann O’Leary would publicly correct Clinton, reaffirming her commitment to charters.
The revolving door was also in full swing, with top Clinton and Obama administration officials working for “non-profits” run by Powell Jobs and Tom Steyer. In the end, the influence of the various well-connected “experts” advising Clinton could be felt in an official education platform that endorsed a test-centric approach that was becoming unpopular with parents, students and educators. . . .

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:24 PM

    I am seeking edification. What are the best ideas of charter schools?

    Abigail Shure