Diane Ravitch Urges Others to Read my Book, “Education Under Attack”

I have recently started following Diane Ravitch’s blog. I highly recommended it for those interested in education. She is one of the most influential and insightful voices speaking for education as she combines the virtues of truth, love and justice in a powerful way.  She recently made a comment on her blog to my book, Education Under Attack, which has lead a lot of people to look at it. You can read what she said below or by going to http://dianeravitch.net/2012/06/24/a-scholar-in-michigan-defends-the-schools/

You can also read comments to the posting below at her blog.

A Scholar in Michigan Defends the Schools
by dianerav

I have been hoping that professors would step up and join the struggle to save our nation’s public schools from the stealth attacks on them. I don’t know if I can use the word stealth any more. It’s out inrt he open, as the privatizers grow bolder and more confident. What other political movement can claim bipartisan support, even as it seeks to destroy a basic public institution?

Rodney Clarken, a teacher educator in Michigan, stepped up to the plate. He was outraged by the constant attacks on his students, his graduates, and the schools they work in. He wrote the following comment, which includes a link to his book refuting the attacks. I urge you to read it.

[My comment on her blog]

I began sharing some reactions to Michigan governor’s special message on education reform with the teacher education faculty at my university. Since then it has morphed into a book that I have published online called Education Under Attack-What Schools Can and Cannot Do and How Popular Reforms Hurt Them (https://rodclarken.wordpress.com/published-works/).Though his message was just another in a series of attacks on education by politicians from around the country, this one was from my governor and these policies would hurt my students and the teachers and schools with whom I worked. I had felt for some time that what was being said about education was untrue, unfair and showed a lack of respect and disregard for educators. The political and paternalistic rhetoric assumed educators were not doing their jobs, the education system was “broken” and that certain reforms were going to “fix” it.

I did not feel the evidence to support the critics claims that education was broken and that their policies would fix it existed; therefore, these reforms did not meet the standard of truth. I did not feel their efforts were motivated by compassion and a sincere concern for our children and their proper education; therefore, they did not pass the test of love. Moreover, I did not feel their policies increased the likelihood of fairness for all people in our society; therefore, failing the criterion of justice.
One problem was that many of these reform proposals work against what their proponents claim to be supporting and that they subvert the best interests of education and society. It was my hope that educators–given their experience, expertise, dedication, loyalty, wisdom and commitment to excellence in education–would be provided with a greater voice on these matters of vital concern to the welfare of our nation and world. As an educator, I felt a moral obligation to do what I could to contribute to raising that conversation to a more reasoned, civil and balanced discourse.

Many critics of education stated purpose has been to create the best schools, teaching, teachers and teacher education, but I do not believe many of these policies are in the best for education or our society, and I question the motivations behind them.

dianerav | June 24, 2012 at 6:40 am | Categories: Accountability, Education Reform, Michigan | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-qH
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About rodclarken

Dr. Rodney H Clarken is professor emeritus, School of Education, Northern Michigan University.
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