Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How Diane Ravitch's publisher is connected to Pearson, why we should care, and what we can do about it.

Maybe there is nothing to this but coincidence but I think we need to read Diane Ravitch's new book with caution.

I created this video in response to the Texas School Board decision to radically rewrite the curriculum, a decision likely to have Sandy Kress' fingerprints all over it being that he is from Texas, is a lobbyist for the Texas Charter School Board Association and former School Board member for Dallas Schools (in a time when they misrepresented test scores so George W. Bush could claim success as an education governor). I think this applies to Ravitch's call for more and better curriculum.

Additionally, if this theory is correct, Ravitch's has been used as a Trojan horse for the teacher unions as well. I think every single AFT publication I have read this past year has had a piece by her or her protege Diane Senechal. You can read what my thoughts are with Senechal's involvement with the AFT here and here. You can also read more about what I think about Ravitch's call for more curriculum here. So, Scott McLeod asks, "Should we absolve Diane Ravitch of her earlier decisions?" I say NO NO NO NO NO. All of this is still screams of clever ruse. Buy testing materials or buy textbooks it all still drives money to Pearson.

Perhaps this is all post-fact. Perhaps what "The Death and Life of the Great American School System" is not a reversal of Diane Ravitch's thoughts on education reform but rather an opening up of the playbook after the game is over. Perhaps this agenda has already been enacted.


Ian H. said...

Paranoid much? Just because her publisher has something to gain does not mean Ms. Ravitch is in on the "conspiracy" or that she is being used by it. Large corporations (even publishing houses) have distinct editorial groups which may or may not work in conjunction with each other.

What you've presented is a whole lot of conjecture with a couple of punchy quotes to lend credence, but there is a definite paucity of facts.

Carl Anderson said...

Thanks Ian,

Paranoid, maybe a little. I also agree, there is no smoking gun here, just enough to cause me not to trust Ravitch or count her as one of my allies in the fight for the education of our youth (including my daughters). Even if there is no "conspiracy" I still don't view her new charge for "better curriculum" as on the side of learning. It still presumes that the agent in learning is not the learner. It still squashes discovery.

Ian H. said...

Fair enough.

Mrs. Tenkely said...

I'm not sure all of your conclusions are accurate, but I do appreciate that you aren't blindly following and are thinking critically about what these types of partnerships could mean for education. We would all do well to be discerning of the changing landscape.