Friday, August 19, 2011

Obama should have walked over to the Whaling Church last night

I wish I could have been there. I wish Pres. Obama and Michelle would have made it over to the 1787 Old Whaling Church in Martha's Vineyard last night as well. The Post's coverage makes last night's  panel sound simply like a well-deserved verbal spanking of  test-and-punish Michelle Rhee by Diane Ravitch. Rhee's singular focus on bad teachers always pales in comparison to Ravitch's broader social critique.

Harvard prof Lawrence Bobo
Unfortunately, you have to scan this morning's skimpy media coverage of the event to find out that Rhee and Ravitch were not the only ones on this panel. According to The Root, Harvard sociologist Lawrence Bobo also lit into to Rhee. 
Bobo took Rhee to task for her hard line on ineffective teachers, arguing that students came to school with overwhelming social problems like poverty that teachers could not be expected to solve alone.  -- The Root
The Massachusetts forum is an annual event organized by The Root's editor-in-chief, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and took place just miles from where President Obama and his family were vacationing.  Other panelists included Yale professor James Comer, who said that teachers were not being taught enough about child development; and Angel Harris, who teaches at Princeton University and has used quantitative analysis to debunk many assumptions about a successful education.

One audience member is quoted in the WaPo story, cutting right to the chase:
“Public education here in Martha’s Vineyard is terrific,” one woman told the sold-out crowd of about 500 during the question and answer period. “We have really good early childhood [education], really good health care, and we have rich people who come here in the summer, so thank you very much.”

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Dr. Ravitch and Dr. Bobo. Somebody has to take on Michelle Rhee in the public arena and you did it. Maybe this will open some eyes over at the Dept. of Ed where Arne Duncan has been a staunch supporter of Rhee and her destructive policies.


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