Diane Ravitch, Super-Villain…. And Related News

I’ve avoided writing about Diane Ravitch recently because I think it’s now clear to all sensible people that she has gone completely nuts, lacks credibility, and was probably never much of a scholar.  But I just couldn’t resist noting that in addition to all of her previous vices, Ravitch is now seeking to play the part of a super-villain.  She always had the megalomaniac dimension of a super-villain, but has now added the dimension of making threats if her demands are not met.  In a recent post [UPDATED], she declared:

The election, I hear, will be decided in Ohio and Michigan.  As it happens, I have a very large following of teachers and principals in both states.  My decision could swing several thousand votes in both of these key states.  I hold the election in my hands.  Bwahahahaha! And if my demands are not met within 24 hours I will reverse the Earth’s gravitational pull and everything will go flying into space. Bwahahaha!

Actually she didn’t say the last bit, but she did say that President Obama should “read this and heed my advice… while you still can, puny Earthling.”  Again, she didn’t actually say the last bit, but I think you get the picture.

And in related news… The Chicago Teachers Union has decided to go on strike.  In their own effort to play the part of a super-villain, they are demanding that virtually bankrupt Chicago and its Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel transform all matter in the universe into currency to pay for increased teacher salaries,  gold-plated pension and health benefits, and a hot tub for each teacher filled with KFC gravy.

And in related news… the Chicago Tribune has reacted to the demands of these super-villains by calling for vouchers for Chicago students.

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9 Responses to Diane Ravitch, Super-Villain…. And Related News

  1. MOMwithArain says:

    It’s really sad to watch. She went from someone who championed academic excellence to a Marxist mouthpiece for the NEA.
    The union thugs still don’t understand parents are fed up with the lousy education in the public schools. Instead of addressing this, they call for Social Justice.
    Rahm has NO intention of offering kids a quality education via Common Core so it is interesting to see one Social Justice faction battle with the other Social Justice faction.

    When you divert from academic excellence in education, you lose focus.

  2. Ed Jones says:

    Jay, I’ve presented Diane with evidence of her mis-reading studies weekly for three years. Her response was, of course, to first accuse me of working for the NYCDOE (I work for myself in Appalachia), then to simply not respond.

    Readers should know that Diane began her career editing The New Leader, a magazine affiliated with the Socialist party. So Diane was never a conservative.

    The thing is that I basically agree with her about the dangers of testing. But that’s kind of like agreeing that riding a Saturn 5 has its dangers. If you want to get somewhere new, you have to take risks.

    Diane has no vision for where we go next, only dire and bitter complaints about where we are now.

    Since we can’t go backward, the main effect she has is keeping us stuck where we are. And none of us really want that.

  3. niki hayes says:

    We truly have a growing system of parallel universes in K-12 education today. There are those who live among self-professed intellectuals and progressive romantics.There are those pragmatists in education who see results as important as the process, or “journey,” and who insist on laying responsibility on all the parties for the trip–children, parents, teachers, and leaders. These folks are few and far between in education, however. (One was John Saxon, the math teacher and publisher.)

    These pragmatists are the people who conquer problems and new worlds to the benefit, mostly, for others. The “others” then come in after the hard and dirty work of setting up a safe area. They “civilize” the place with schools, churches, and commerce.

    Obviously, we need both groups to achieve true civilization, but the white collar, “civilized” folks just can’t seem to tolerate those of us who think with blue collar views. They want the benefits of our labor, but not of our particular “real-world” insight. That is, the blue collar community most often sees, up close and personal, the results of economic failure and success in the faces of their people, be they in a business or classroom setting. It is the blue collar folks who build the ladder for the white collar ascendence.

    Nonetheless, the willingness to castigate their common sense views as low-class, out-of-touch methods continues to lead us to where we are today in our political history. Unfortunately, for all those who know no history of the United States (and they are legion now), this nasty kind of political warfare has gone on since our country was founded. It’s just that it’s now taken over K-12 education. This present world of politics, or the adult jockeying for power and glory, is thus destroying the more important power that education can offer our children. That is why we have so many parents in rebellion and pushing for alternative sources of schooling for their children. That is why some politicians (even leaders) are finally getting it and pushing for such changes.

    Ravitch and her friends don’t want to get it. That would mean they are wrong. And the one thing about an intellectual? They are never wrong.

  4. Matthew Ladner says:

    As usual, the Super-Villian plan for Global Domination has a deep flaw.

    Anyone, teacher or otherwise, who is “following” Diane will already be on the far left side of the bell curve in terms of political preferences. Their chances of voting for Romney is almost nil. Judging from the comments section, her best hope in influencing votes in Ohio and Michigan would be in trying to persuade her Zombies to vote for Obama in preference to the Green, Socialist or Rent is Too Damn High parties.

    Watching Diane attempt to persuade her Zombies to be “reasonable” and vote for Obama would be quite funny, but very unlikely to sway the results of even a county election.

    In short: Do your worst villian!

  5. Greg Forster says:

    Hope she doesn’t read this. If she does, we’re screwed.

  6. Teacher Joe in LA says:

    TO be clear. I may argue with you guys, but I despise the Ravitch’s etc. too. They are destroying my profession almost as much as the many professional educators (i.e. money-sucking bureaucrats) in all the District central ofices and Dept. of Education Kremlins.

    • Thanks, Joe. It’s nice having your opinions on the blog. And just to be clear, not everyone involved in the blog agrees with everything in the comments (or sometimes with each other), so we all benefit from learning about other views and seeing points of agreement and disagreement.

  7. So sad.

    I admired Ravitch for the work that went into Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reform. She clearly waded through vast sloughs of verbal sludge before writing her history of the fad-driven, top-down US pre-college school system. Ravitch made clear even then that she did not object in principle to the planned education economy, just to those plans. She made clear her preference for classical (19th century college-prep) education for all.

    Thanks, Ed Jones, for the detail about Ravitch’s early career.

    As ever, federalism and markets institutionalize humility on the part of government actors. If a policy difference involves a matter of taste, numerous local policy regimes and competitive markets in goods and services allow for the satisfaction of varied tastes while the contest for control over a State-monopoly provider of goods and services must inevitably create unhappy losers (who may comprise the vast majority; imagine the outcome of a nationwide vote on the one size and style of shoes we all must wear). If a policy difference involves a matter of fact, where “What works?” is an empirical question, numerous local policy regimes and competitive markets in goods and services will generate more information than will a State-monopoly provider. A State-monopoly enterprise is like an experiment with one treatment and no controls: a retarded experimental design.

  8. harriettubmanagenda says:

    I still cite Left Back. Is this unwise?

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