As I’ve said before, I’m trying to avoid writing about Diane Ravitch 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 can’t resist posting a link to the editorial my colleagues Pat Wolf and John Witte wrote today in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Wolf and Witte are responding to an earlier op-ed by Ravitch in which she declares:
Milwaukee needs one public school system that receives public dollars, public support, community engagement and parental involvement.
Vouchers and charters had their chance. They failed.
Wolf and Witte actually review the evidence on Milwaukee’s choice programs, including their own research. They conclude:
Our research signals what likely would happen if Ravitch got her wish and the 25,000 students in the Milwaukee voucher program and nearly 8,000 children in independent charter schools were thrown out of their chosen schools. Student achievement would drop, as every student would be forced into MPS – the only game in town. Significantly fewer Milwaukee students would graduate high school and benefit from college. Parents would be denied educational choices for their children.
That’s not a future we would wish for the good people of Milwaukee.
There’s no point in trying to persuade Ravitch or her Army of Angry Teachers, since they abandoned rationality a long time ago. But Wolf and Witte have done an excellent job of equipping sensible people with evidence that could help inform their views about school choice in Milwaukee. Angry blather and bold (but false) declarations cannot compete with actual facts.
[Edited to correct typo in title.]