Opine I will

I am a retired elementary school teacher just trying to do the right thing

Archive for the tag “ravitch”

Reign of Error -A must read

It was a foreshadowing event in 2011 when Diane Ravitch received the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize from the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Moynihan believed that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Diane Ravitch expounds on that philosophy in her new book, Reign of Error.  Within the first few pages of her book, Ravitch artfully unmasks the agenda of the ‘education reformers’. She states,

Recognizing that most Americans have a strong attachment to their community schools, the corporate reformers have taken care to describe their aims in psuedo-populist terms. While trying to scare us with warnings of dire peril, they mask their agenda with rhetoric that is soothing and deceptive.  

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In Reign of Error, Ravitch provides proof, back by solid research, that the corporate reformers have presented  their opinions as facts. She addresses every single claim these corporate reforms use as a pretext to attack our nation’s public school structure, our nation’s teachers, and our nation’s unions.  She includes the research, charts, tables, and empirical studies that form the strong foundation of her work.

Ravitch provides the proof, that our schools are not failing, the achievement gap is closing, we are not falling behind other nations, high school and graduation rates are at all time highs, poverty is being ignored, test scores are not the way to evaluate teachers, merit pay is a failure, and the importance of tenure. Ravitch exposes the audacity of Michelle Rhee, charter schools, parent trigger and virtual schools. Ravitch also lays out a clear concise  course of action towards the essentials of a good education. Challenging our nation to reverse the reformists aims towards destruction.

The reformers are already attacking Ravitch’s masterpiece with rhetoric fueled by ad hominem attacks. That’s the first clue, Ravitch has it right. Opinion does not stand up to facts.

The thousand of educators that follow Ravitch’s blog, will realize that Ravitch has only fed us a daily appetizer with her multiple postings. Reign of Error is the much anticipated main course, served up on a silver platter with all the trimmings.

This is a must read for all those who value our nation’s most valuable assets, our children and their public schools. Arm yourself with the facts..  Moynihan was right.

I will not ally with the Right Wing.

Last night I got into a virtual brawl over some comments I made responding to Diane Ravitch’s  post A Warning to the Anti-Common Core Group in New York. Diane expressed that she was disturbed to learn that the group  called “Stop Common Core in New York State” ( www.stopccssinnys.com orwww.stopcommoncoreinnewyork.com ) and (https://www.facebook.com/groups/607166125977337/) posted a video insulting her good friend Linda Darling-Hammond. She warned the group that if they were really interested in building a nonpartisan coalition, it should avoid insulting people like Linda and stick to the facts.

I took it one step further. I posted this comment 

Some of these anti-common core groups are run by Tea Party types who are conspiracy theory believers. This group and the LI based “parent and teachers against the common core” are dominated by extreme right wing ideology. They are quick to ban those who defend teachers unions.

Well that really set them off.  I encourage you to read the comments. http://dianeravitch.net/2013/08/13/a-warning-to-the-anti-common-core-group-in-new-york/

Let me use this post to make my opine perfectly clear.

There are groups  of all political persuasions that are against the Common Core, high stakes testing and education reform. That said, just because another group may be against something that I am also fighting, they are not considered my ally. You really need to explore the agenda of all groups.

I explained last night, that I am against the Common Core and high stakes testing  due to pedagogical reasons, while groups on the Right were against it for political reasons.  Political arguments are self serving, they reflect a much larger agenda.

In this case these Right Wing groups are pushing a much darker agenda.  They look at Common Core as a grand conspiracy by the left, meant to indoctrinate our children while creating a mega database of  ammunition that will be used against the masses. I can’t be an ally to that rhetoric.

I called out that agenda last night. Posting links that demonstrated that their agenda is so far to the Right that all of us should be wary. These groups are against teachers unions, they are against tenure, they support vouchers, they claim liberal teachers are brainwashing their children, and they claim Common Core is a tool to undermine Christian values just to start. I have been vocal about these groups before, I have shown links to the Heritage Foundation, Freedomworks, the Koch brothers, and other similar groups. Last night I posted proof that their keynote speakers ally themselves with Glenn Beck and the Cato institute.

I encourage you to follow last night’s  conversation, check out the links I posted and make your own decisions.

I will not ally with any group that is looking for my demise as a public school teacher or as a union member. I won’t risk the war, to save our nation’s important asset, our public schools and teachers, to win any battle.

Don’t kid yourself, these Right wing groups that are fighting education reform, with their not so hidden agendas, will ultimately destroy any chance we have to beat back the reformers. They will undermine the foundation of our cause, And once they erode the very ground that public education stands on, all will be lost.

It’s time to call these groups out. Expose their true agendas.

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