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Sunday, July 29, 2018

An Explanation to My Readers | Diane Ravitch's blog

An Explanation to My Readers | Diane Ravitch's blog

An Explanation to My Readers 

Dear Readers,
Most of you have been faithful readers of this blog since I started it in 2012.
I consider you my friends, even when we disagree. You have tolerated (and even corrected) my typos and errors because you know that everything I write here is written by me, not by a staff. I am the only staff.
You know that I worked for President George H.W. Bush from 1991-1993. I served on the NAEP board for seven years (appointed by Bill Clinton and Secretary Riley). I was a conservative on education issues until about 2007 or so, when the realization hit me that NCLB was a failure. Obama’s Race to the Top was more of the same test-and-punish regime. I experienced a political conversion. I publicly renounced my support for testing and choice in a book called “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education,” and followed up with “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools.” I support public schools, students, unions, teachers, and parents. I fight for a real education, one that encourages young people to think and question, one that endows them with a love of learning. I recognize the role of poverty and racism in harming children, families, and communities. I oppose high-stakes testing and privatization in all its forms.

These past few years have been challenging, because the blog is supposed to be about education, not about national politics.
In 2016, I made clear that I would endorse whoever was nominated by the Democrats, because the Republican party had taken a strong stand in favor of privatizing our nation’s public schools, attacking teachers’ unions, and undermining the teaching profession. I would have supported Clinton or Sanders, even though neither was perfect on education issues. Clinton won the nomination and I supported her.

Since the election, I have come to see Trump as the charlatan that he has always been, but more ignorant and more dangerous to our democracy than I assumed. His policies–like withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, attacking Roe v. Wade, demonizing immigrants, and relinquishing public lands for drilling and privatization of everything–are appalling. He knows nothing of foreign or domestic policy. He has no values or beliefs other than personal ego and self-enrichment. He undermines our standing in the world by attacking other democratic nations and acting obsequious towards tyrants. He is a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe. He sees no difference between white nationalists (KKK) and those who stand up to them. His boasting, his narcissism, and self-love know no limits.
I have tried to keep national politics out of my blog, but it has proved to be impossible because I think our nation is in crisis due to its dangerous and ignorant leader. The Republicans are rushing Trump’s judicial nominations through the Senate, stacking the federal bench with people who share Trump’s biases and who are receiving lifetime appointments. Trump’s legacy will remain in the courts for decades to come, thanks to his Republican enablers.
I cannot remain silent. I cannot pretend that education and national politics are separate domains. They are not.
The blog will continue to be an education blog. If we allow grifters and for-profit corporations to open their own schools, we forfeit the future. If we divert funding from public schools to subsidize privately-run unaccountable charters and unregulated religious schools, we harm our children while subtracting money from regulated, transparent, and accountable public schools.

As many of you know, I am writing a book about the Corporate Reform movement and the Resistance. I am excited about the book.
I am writing it as I continue to post comments and blogs. I am about half-way through the book.
Bear with me.
If you like Trump, you won’t like what I post. I consider him to be a menace, a clear and present danger to our nation and the world. Read or don’t read. It’s your choice.
If you share my fears for our future as a nation, stay with me.
If you care about the future of public education, stay with me.
Thank you.
An Explanation to My Readers | Diane Ravitch's blog