Thursday, May 12, 2016

Whitney Tilson and I Debate Education Reform and the Billionaires’ Role, Part 2 | Diane Ravitch's blog

Whitney Tilson and I Debate Education Reform and the Billionaires’ Role, Part 2 | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Whitney Tilson and I Debate Education Reform and the Billionaires’ Role, Part 2



Whitney Tilson, a key figure in the corporate reform movement, and I have continued an exchange about the teaching, charters, and the movement he represents. He was among the founders of Democrats for Education Reform and Teach for America; he is also involved in Bridge International Academies, which opens low-cost, for-profit schools in poor countries. Another in this series will appear soon. He posted this on his blog this morning. You can read it there to see my remarks are in blue; when I copied and pasted to my site, all the blue disappeared, and I didn’t have time to recolor them. My comments are marked DR, his are WT. I am engaging in this dialogue so that his readers can learn what their critics say, not filtered but straight.
From: Whitney Tilson 
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 9:00 AM
Subject: Round 2 of my discussion with Diane Ravitch, on who’s the status quo, charter schools, and testing
If someone forwarded you this email and you would like to be added to my email list to receive emails like this one roughly once a week, please email Leila at leilajt2+edreform@gmail.com. You can also email her if you’d like to unsubscribe. Lastly, in between emails I send out links to articles of interest via Twitter (I’m #arightdenied) so, to get them, you must sign up to follow me at: https://twitter.com/arightdenied.
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STOP THE PRESSES AGAIN!!!
My new BFF, Diane Ravitch, and I have continued our conversation and it’s gotten even more interesting, as we’ve moved past the high-level principles we mostly agreed on in our first exchange of emails (sent a couple of weeks ago and posted on her blog here and my blog here) and started engaging on the many issues on which we disagree.
Our ongoing discussion covers many topics:
1) Whether reformers are now the status quo
2) Charter schools
3) Tests and how they should (and shouldn’t) be used
4) Who is the underdog in this battle
5) The tone of the debate and our shared desire to focus more on the issues and less on personal attacks
6) The details of the Vergara case – namely, a) the amount of time it takes teachers to earn tenure; b) how difficult it is for administrators to fire a tenured teacher; and c) whether layoffs should be done strictly by seniority
Because of its length, we’ve agreed to break it into two parts: Round 2 is below and will cover the first three topics. Tomorrow we’ll release Round 3, covering the remaining three.
My original email is in italics, Diane’s comments are in blue (beginning with “DR:”), and my responses are in black (beginning with “WT:”).
Enjoy!
Whitney
Hi Diane,
I really enjoyed our first exchange of ideas. Thank you for engaging.
Since you had the last word, the onus is on me to respond – which, frankly, makes me feel overwhelmed because we’ve already touched on so many enormously complex and difficult issues that we could spend weeks discussing just one of them.
So, I’m going to approach this following the old maxim, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” I’m not going to try to respond to everything, but rather just a few things and hopefully we can build from there.
So let’s talk about two things, one high-level and one nitty-gritty: 1) tone, language and motivations; and 2) the Vergara case.
Tone, Language and Motivations
Here’s another thing we can surely agree on: we (and our allies) have Whitney Tilson and I Debate Education Reform and the Billionaires’ Role, Part 2 | Diane Ravitch's blog:

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