Brill versus Ravitch

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

C-SPAN brought in Diane Ravitch to interview/debate Steven Brill. Check it out.

Too much Ravitch nonsense to refute, but her talking points about the PISA tests are just too simple-minded for words. So if you look at only the very wealthiest schools in America, they outscore the national average in Finland and South Korea.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiight

No mention of how the very wealthiest schools in America compare to the very wealthiest schools in Finland and South Korea, or that our African-American kids score closer to the average score in Mexico than that in Finland.

Ravitch goes into her absurd poverty litany as if they don’t have poverty in other countries. Mexico will be delighted to learn that their poverty problem has disappeared! I wonder how much we spend per pupil here in America compared to other countries. Oh wait, they keep track of that sort of thing.

Brill says Ravitch’s attempts at spin remind him of Thank You for Smoking. That’s not fair. Nick Taylor was at least good for a laugh.

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6 Responses to Brill versus Ravitch

  1. MOMwithAbrain says:

    Our district is outperforming some of the higher performing countries. We live in a VERY affluent community. The academic offering is not that great at all. What we DO have is, parents willing to hire private tutors for their little darlings!!
    Maybe they should look past the scores to see who’s actually teaching those students. I suspect you’d find the rich districts making sure little Johnny doesn’t fall through the cracks the progressive educators put in their way. It’s called TUTORING!

  2. Doug says:

    Seems to me that Ravitch destroyed Brill. He is totally unaware of the research.

  3. matthewladner says:

    Ravitch’s grasp of the “research” seemed quite formidable when discussing perceived the perceived education crisis of the 1920s, but otherwise not so much.

    The fact that she has latched on to this silly statistic about super wealthy schools in the United States scoring well by international standards as some sort of trump card tells you just about everything you need to know about her ability to digest serious research.

  4. [...] Big deal, responds Matthew Ladner on Jay Greene’s blog. Our best students do as well as the average for all of their students. No mention of how the very wealthiest schools in America compare to the very wealthiest schools in Finland and South Korea, or that our African-American kids score closer to the average score in Mexico than that in Finland. [...]

  5. Doug says:

    What Ravitch “actually” said was that only America’s poorest schools (greater than 25% poverty) score below the OECD average. Those with 10% poverty are at the average. She is correct. Poverty is not just AN issue it is the ONLY issue. Poor schools in the USA drag the whole nation down to 3rd world status. A national shame and disgrace.

    Better teachers are not enough to even make a blip. Charters and vouchers will not help. Testing is useless. Only raising the poor out of poverty will have any serious effect whatsoever.

    The rest is piffle and window dressing.

    • matthewladner says:

      Doug-

      American schools are spending beyond the dreams of avarice for most of the OECD, nor are we the only country that has poverty.

      If you have an explanation for how Mexico, a nation with a far larger poverty problem that spends literally a fraction of what we do per pupil and educates their average student to a level approaching that of American students of color, I would be fascinated to hear it.

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