Thursday, August 4, 2011

Secret Ravitch Group at Duncan's DOE?

Bush media whore, Williams was
paid to defend NCLB.
 Suggestion for journalists, especially ed writers: Ask Secretary Duncan or his press guys Cunningham or Hamilton about DOE staffers assigned to the secret Ravitch Group. Word from dept. insiders is that such a group has been meeting regularly.

Is Duncan really spending badly-needed  (especially after the Obama/Boehner debt deal) funds to have this relatively large group of DOE staffers strategize how to undercut criticism from Diane Ravitch?

 Are they really so worried about DR's criticisms of DOE policy that they're spending their time trying to dig up personal dirt on Diane to feed Ravitch debators and detractors like Michelle Rhee, David Brooks and Jonathan Alter their lines? Maybe even ask some of the folks over there at Politico or Dropout Nation. They might know something.

Ask which friendly columnists and talk-show hosts have been receiving DOE anti-Ravitch memos and debating tips and running with them. Ask if any of these embedded columnists are taking DOE money for their services the way it was done during the Bush years with media whores like Armstrong Williams.

Finally, ask why the Ravitch group (if it exists of course) is dong such a poor job. Diane is chewing up and spitting out embedded journalists on the issues, while they just parrot the same old b.s. about her being "paid by the unions" or being for the "status quo."

Just a suggestion.


  1. Yes, the anti-Ravitch group is real.

  2. It's OUR money the DOE is spending. File an FOI request. Afterall, that's what the teacher-bashers do all the time in order to print teacher salaries, test scores, medical records (think Wisconsin) and other personal details in the newspapers.

  3. Sort of ironic that DR would have to go through the same BS with the Obama administration as she did with the Republicans and Bloomberg in NYC. Wasn't the Obama DOE supposed to be a friend to education?

  4. Very interesting. Where is this information coming from?

  5. jerry--What makes you think Obama was "supposed" to be a friend to education?

    What do you mean by that?

  6. CAP had a presence at SOS, also. I met their reporter on his way to the elipse who, at first, told me he worked for a political blog. When I asked who he worked for and who funded the blog, he hedged, wouldn't tell me. When I persisted he admitted he was from CAP. I replied I knew exactly who funds CAP and well aware of their influence at the WH. He looked down, shuffled his feet, a bit embarrassed, and mumbled something about but I support teachers...

    Considering the garbage CAP has been publishing about market driven ed reforms, my sense is they too wanted to keep an eye on Ravitch and the crowd.

  7. Well, that's what I thought back in '08 anyway. Like like millions of other teachers, union folks and middle class citizens - I bought into all the change rhetoric.

  8. I don't get this very hackneyed outrage. What do you think a press office gets paid to do? Every organization in the country with a PR shop is going to meet about prominent critics attacking them. Maybe if Ravitch ever put forth an actionable idea, the conversations would be easier.

  9. So then, last Anon. Are you saying there is such a group? Is the DOE's PR shop meeting "about prominent critics attacking them?"

  10. I don't know about the anti-Ravitch group, but they sure were meeting about Matt Damon. A leak to Valerie Strauss at the Post showed Duncan was desperately trying to stop Damon from speaking at the July 30th SOS march and rally.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.