Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ravitch's book has power

Diane Ravitch's new book echoes many of the views in our own 2008 book, Small Schools: Public School Reform Meets the Ownership Society. She's become the leading critic of what passes for school reform these days, what we called Ownership Society reform--teacher/union bashing, privately-run charter schools, arbitrary school closings, power philanthropy, and mayoral control. While still a step or two removed from the struggles going on in school communities around the country, Ravitch has become a leading voice of the resistance movement.

She does give our book a mention. But damn, Diane. We're only part of footnote 22 on page 268. What's up with that? I don't feel so bad however, since Deb Meier, who probably played the biggest role, through their Bridging Differences blog, in forcing Ravitch to reconsider many of her previous views, is only mentioned once in passing (p.228).

But Ravitch's story of conversion from right-wing think-tanker, voucher and standardized-testing supporter to arch enemy of current market-driven school reform, is so much more powerful than anything we could have written. Her transformation has drawn notice and lengthy rave reviews from major media and comment from all political corners. Check out today's NYT's piece by Sam Dillon which has this great Ravitch quote:
“School reform today is like a freight train, and I’m out on the tracks saying, ‘You’re going the wrong way!’ ”
Freight train indeed, Diane. Welcome to the tracks.

But the most amusing review came from DR's old right-wing running buddy, Chester Finn. Chester, writing in Forbes (of course), says he still "respects" turncoat Diane, even though she's not a union basher. But the funniest part is when Finn says of DR.,
"She has become more conservative, while I have become more radical."
Is Finn, the 2010 version of Bill Ayers? What are they smoking over there at Fordham?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mike, love your blog. Check out Ravitch on Democracy Now:


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