Diane Ravitch, a critical mind at work

Written by eduskeptic on January 12th, 2012

Diane Ravitch, has a long history of working within various educational systems. She has a doctorate in history from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, along with an impressive curriculum vitae. She has been quite active since earning it in 1975. Her focus was on history and education history.

She started out championing charter schools, choice, and got behind NCLB. She’s changed her mind. Her words: “In short, accountability turned into a nightmare for American schools, producing graduates who were drilled regularly on the basic skills but were often ignorant about almost everything else.”

She can document all that she has done. It’s there for anyone to look up and verify. That’s as it should be.

She will be addressing teachers, hundreds according to an article in the Sacramento Bee written by Melody Gutierrez, on Jan. 20 at the Sacramento Convention Center. The host for the event is the Sacramento City Teachers Association. Her goal, according to the article, is “to give public school teachers some backup.”

Ravitch is critical of the reform measures that Michelle Rhee and her StudentsFirst advocacy. The Eduskeptic has written a few times about Rhee and her lack of experience in the public school system, and the inability to find anything to substantiate her claims of being anything other than an average rookie teacher.

In short, she spent 3 years as a classroom teacher before quitting to go into the corporate world. Her claims of greatness in the classroom are not supported by any documentation the Eduskeptic has been able to find. There isn’t any. Her tenure as the chancellor (superintendent) of the Washington D.C. school system was, by any standard, a disaster.

Ravitch is right to be skeptical of Rhee and her idea of reforms. To have someone like Ravitch land in Sacramento to address the actual, real, verifiable history of the entire testing mess, should prove to be a good counterpoint to those who take a slash and burn approach to teachers, teachers associations, and students.

If you can make it to Ravitch’s presentation, do. It should be an interesting day.

It is important to look up and research all of this yourself. The Eduskeptic did, long ago. Nothing has come up since then to alter his opinion.

As always, assume nothing, verify everything.


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