10-29-13 – Diane Ravitch on Education

by John McClaughry

Nationally known education thinker Diane Ravitch recently made a visit to Vermont, where she was interviewed by Andrew Stein of Vermont Digger.

Once an innovative liberal in education, Ravitch recently did a 180 turn to come down on the side of the teachers unions and educational bureaucrats.

Stein asked her reaction to the recent conversion of the North Bennington Village school into a community governed independent school. She replied: “ I think it’s a terrible idea, actually…it’s privatization. It’s taking the public schools private, and there are districts around the country that are doing this but they are doing it as a way of cutting the budget and getting themselves out of public education.”

But Stein replied, “What’s the danger there, if it’s still community-run?”

Ravitch replied “If it becomes a pattern across the state, then we do lose the sense of we’re all in this together. Other communities will say if Bennington does it, why can’t we do it, too? And at some point you look around and say, gee, what happened to public education? We don’t have it anymore.”

Well, there you have it. What’s important to Ravitch is not parental choice, or finding the most suitable schooling for your kid, or letting kids go where their parents approve of the values taught. What’s important to Ravitch is protecting the overgrown and overfunded public school establishment from any leakage, at any price. This is pathetic.

John McClaughry is the founder and current vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

bruce buxton November 2, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Ravitch says she is for reform. What she and others don’t confront is that school choice accomplishes the substitution of direct accountability ($ follow the student) for the bureaucratic accountability embraced by the parasites. It also eliminates the parasites who draw their pensions from untransparent government-managed tax revenues. Who are these parasites? Union executives, superintendents, education professors, consultants trained in behaviorism by the tenured professors and hired by the superintendents…in short those rightly afraid of choice. When I ran a school unsupported by any government or other organization I certified the teachers, I was directly accountable to the parents for their performance and the untenured teachers were directly accountable to me. I charged 22 K for the same basic product the public schools were giving away. Teachers certified by parasite-bureaucrats were turned away from my door even as they sent their children to my school!
I hired teachers who, because they had earned Phi Beta Kappa degrees from world class colleges and universities but had neglected to take limp education courses were uncertifiable by bureaucratic means. And I had lines out the door.

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