School Talk

Diane Ravitch Swings and Misses

Ravitch swings and misses with this quote too.
Diane Ravitch rightly calls Peter Cunningham a charming fellow before wrongly telling Salon Readers that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to public education. Since I work as a consultant for Peter while using my educator and mom lenses to inform my thinking, I can unequivocally confirm that he is highly knowledgeable on the topic of public education and how best to serve kids.

If only Diane had carefully read Peter’s piece, she’d have had far less inaccuracies in her rebuttal. She criticizes Peter for citing Education Next’s poll; funny thing is Peter cited the Education Post poll and made no mention of Education Next.  

Speaking of funny things, Cunningham’s piece isn’t even about charter schools despite Ravitch’s fixation on them. Quite simply, she misses the the entire point.

As has become her habit of late, she again condescendingly refers to Education Post as just a blog, despite the obvious fact that it’s a non profit, non partisan, 501C3 that happens to include a blog on its site. Doesn’t almost every education organization do the same?

And then she proclaims this:

These issues are questions of fact, not of public opinion.

Perhaps she isn’t a fan of public opinion because it’s overwhelmingly in conflict with her agenda of blocking parents from having any power over how and where to educate their children.

Had she cited the correct poll, the Education Post one, she’d know that 65 percent of parents nationally (and 72% of African American parents) believe that charter schools provide options to low income communities.

(As an aside, Ravitch also frequently claims poverty makes educational success impossible. Well, 68% of parents disagree with her on that too. They believe that ‘Schools and teachers can overcome the obstacles faced by our nation’s most vulnerable children, so we should focus on improving schools serving students in poverty.’)

For a final laugh, Ravitch again makes this claim:

Unlike those who post on Cunningham’s “Education Post,” pro-public education bloggers are not paid for expressing their views.

She gets three things here wrong. She wrongly assumes that everyone who posts at Education Post gets paid. She makes the false claim that bloggers on her side are not compensated. And perhaps most egregiously, she quite predictably implies that her side is pro-public school and that others, because of their support public charter schools, are not.

I have yet to meet a reform advocate who is not pro public school. On the contrary, that is what drives their work.

It is most assuredly what drives Peter Cunningham.

What do you think?

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