What is going on with education today? Two authors tell the story.
Diane Ravitch combines data and empathy.
Michelle Rhee combines hype and profit.
Diane Ravitch possesses knowledge and practical solutions.
Michelle Rhee possesses celebrity status and scare tactics.
Diane Ravitch has thousands of experienced educators and conscientious parents supporting her.
Michelle Rhee has hundreds of millions of private investor dollars and their hedge fund managers supporting her.
“As Andrew Delbanco all but says in the New York Times Review of Books, the biggest difference between education scholar Diane Ravitch’s new book, Reign of Error, and former DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s book, Radical, is that the first is based on extensive facts, the second heavily on fiction. Rhee uses her book to promote herself and her agenda, which she fervently insists will close achievement gaps with no basis in either scholarly or historical fact. Ravitch, in contrast, offers a comprehensive, evidence-based critique of the education reforms advanced in Radical and proposals that scholars note will substantially improve education.”
– Elaine Weiss for Huffington Post (Read full article HERE.)
Diane Ravitch has a lot to say, and what she has to say has real value to parents and children as well as governmental policy makers.
Because the title Maverick had already been taken, twice (by John McCain and Sarah Palin), it seems that a profiteer based corporate education reform icon such as Rhee must settle for Radical as her present media image and book title. Radical. Like all media driven brand imagery, you yourself must fill-in the definition or allow Rhee to define the word for you. Consider that fatty “pink slime” has been radically redefined as “lean finely textured beef protein.” Some people actually believe that stuff. These people are either beef industry employees or propagandized folks. Perhaps Rhee is on to something in the Education Industrial Complex? “Lean finely textured education protein” with added Radical hype.
Doesn’t it bother you that so many middle and lower level management-administrative people and teachers have been fired, fined, prosecuted, and convicted for following Rhee’s education reform demands while she writes books and gets TV interviews and high paying, politically appointed, tax funded consultant positions in state after state? Well then, she must be on to something. On her way to jail, hopefully.
The corporate reform movement is imploding. Now, how delightful is that?
The ubiquitously named K12 Inc.’s stock has recently plunged from $29 per share to $19 per share the day it announced its numbers. (Read the full article HERE.) What numbers? Effectiveness with children or test scores? Neither. Investment numbers are the only numbers that matter to investors. Therefore, even in the most positively spun financial language, the K12 corporation is failing. (Read the K12 Inc. “Investor Relations: News Release HERE in its own words.)
The public face of the Education Industrial Complex is Michelle Rhee. Her personal stock value is also failing in value and credibility.