Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Schools Matter: Diane Ravitch's Very Selective Blame Game

Schools Matter: Diane Ravitch's Very Selective Blame Game:

Diane Ravitch's Very Selective Blame Game

Jim Horn
Until just a few years ago, no one would have guessed that Diane Ravitch would ever become the unofficial spokesperson for the NEA and AFT’s corporate education empowerment project.  Diane was viewed as a conservative historian and policy insider, and as such, she was hostile to union priorities.  By 2008, however, Republicans had moved so far Right, with the Democrats in hot pursuit of the same racist voters, that Diane suddenly found herself a liberal by doing nothing other than remaining steadfast to her Republican ideology. 

In the days leading up the Republican Party becoming the proudly-racist Tea Party, Ravitch’s conservative historical scholarship had followed the same elitist, happy-talk trails that official education historians like Elwood P. Cubberley blazed in the early 20th Century, when the official education history was told in idealized narratives that celebrated the unquestioned success of American schoolmen, just as it ignored or denied the deeply racist, classist, and unjust containment and miseducation of the non-white, non-male, and non-privileged citizens and immigrants. 

Before she traded in Republican ed reform despotism for the Democratic ed reform despotism, Ravitch had defended the Republican brand of corporate education reform as crucial to what she viewed as public education’s continuing perfection project, and she had been a fierce critic of educational historians who pointed to the role of schools in reproducing social and economic inequality. Historians like Joel Spring and Michael Katz she viewed as anarchists and radicals, as their more inclusive and critical views of educational history questioned Ravitch’s romanticizedSchools Matter: Diane Ravitch's Very Selective Blame Game: 

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