Wednesday, January 25, 2012

School Reform and the Michelle Rhee machine

“We need to say it's wrong, and if that doesn't work, engage in direct action, it's time to organize, demonstrate, and agitate…”  ~  Diane Ravitch, in Sacramento 1/20/12

The Sacramento Bee has a promotion of Michelle Rhee this morning.  Here are other viewpoints.

 Diane Ravitch’s extraordinary visit to Sacramento on Friday, Jan. 20,  left the 3000 people in attendance with a clear message of what those of us who care deeply about public education must do to stand up to and reject the privatization of our schools and the treatment of our children as commodities whose value is measured by “bubble tests.”   Michelle Rhee, disgraced former-chancellor of the Washington D.C. public schools and wife of Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, is the standard-bearer of the privateers, raising millions of dollars through her organization, StudentsFirst, from the likes of the Koch Bros and Rupert Murdoch to advance an agenda of  union-busting, school vouchers and public school give-aways to private interests.   The national headquarters of StudentsFirst happens to be located right here in Sacramento.  Lori Jablonski.  Sacramento Teacher.
See prior posts on Ravitch.
Cosmo Garvin. Sacramento News and Review. Jan.19, 2012,
Bill Gates too is spreading the gospel of more testing and technology in the classroom. Even President Barack Obama is getting in on the school-reform act. He followed No Child Left Behind reforms with his own Race to the Top initiative, raising the stakes even higher for schools who lag on test scores.

The testing-and-accountability craze has swept the nation—but here and there are pockets of resistance, led by education historian Diane Ravitch. She was assistant secretary of education under Bush I, and was once a believer in testing and charter schools. She now also believes that Rhee and Gates and the other would-be reformers are actually hurting education, as she lays out in her book The Death and Life of the Great American School System.  See prior posts on Ravitch at
Read the entire piece at Sacramento News and Review.

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