The Alexander-Ravitch Policy Era Grinds On
Valerie Strauss is publishing interviews by oddball and Disruptor Foundation Fellow, C. M. Rubin, who is in the process of interviewing six "potential" candidates for Secretary of Education under the next President Clinton.
Diane Ravitch's is the most recent interview offered at Valerie's WaPo blog.
Ravitch begins her first response to the first question by labeling our sordid modern history of racist standardized testing the "Bush-Obama policies." Even though the standardized testing ideology has been around for over a hundred years, Diane would have been much more accurate to label the modern-day fixation on testing as the "Alexander-Ravitch policies," as Lamar and Diane provided the foundation upon which Bush II and Obama built their shaky edifices.
After all, it was during the mid-to-late 1980s gained national prominence as the nation's first "Education Governor" by instituting some of the first high stakes grade-level tests in Tennessee and by initiating bonus pay for teachers based on evaluations.
In 1991, Alexander leveraged his bullshit reforms in Tennessee into the Secretary of Education slot under Bush I. With recommendations from Checker Finn, Lamar hired Diane as his Assistant Secretary in charge of research at ED, even though Ravitch had never even written a doctoral dissertation. But that did not matter: Diane had attended elite colleges, had never trained as an educator, had never been a teacher, and she marched to drummers at the Hoover Institution.
In the years leading up to her post at ED, however, Diane had already gained lot high-level experience in using test scores to demonize public schools. She was part of Washington's inner circle of former Reaganites and corporate enemies of public education who pushed through a set ridiculous cut scores for Schools Matter: The Alexander-Ravitch Policy Era Grinds On: